WINNIPEG, MB ----- March 29, 2013 ----The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) applauded the federal government for passing and proclaiming Bill C-27 today; legislation that will require aboriginal politicians on all reserves in Canada to disclose their salaries to the public (just like every other politician in the country). The CTF first began pushing for such a change back on December 22, 2009.
“We’re ecstatic this bill has become law as we’ve pushed hard for it over the last three years,” said CTF Prairie Director Colin Craig. “Plain and simple, aboriginal politicians should have to disclose their pay to the public just like all other politicians in the country. The federal government deserves praise for addressing this issue.”
“We really tip our hat to the brave men and women on reserves who have risked a lot to leak documents or speak out,” added Craig. “Most people don’t understand it, but it can be really difficult to speak out on reserves. This legislation will help people on reserves hold their officials accountable.”
The CTF began pushing for the bill back in December 2009 when Phyllis Sutherland, a whistleblower from the Peguis First Nation, provided copies of outrageous pay information from her community. At the time, the chief and council from the small community of 3,700 were making more in pay, or close to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s salary.
The story from took on national attention and soon after the CTF was flooded with calls and emails from people living on reserves across the country.
“People either had documents to leak or wanted help getting access to their band’s financial statements. We knew we had to keep pushing hard on this issue,” continued Craig.
The CTF also noted the bill will help clear the names of the many good chiefs and councillors out there who aren’t taking exorbitant pay cheques, but have been painted with the same brush. Disclosure will help everyone sort out who is taking advantage of the system and who isn’t.