Question Period, House of Commons, Friday, May 4, 2018:
Cathy McLeod, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC
Mr. Speaker, after lengthy court battles, Charmaine Stick finally won the right to see the financial information for her band, Onion Lake Cree. The vast majority of bands publish this information freely. However, the government has enabled the rest to hide their books.
As Charmaine said, “Now that we have the numbers, our leaders are going to have to start answering tough questions.” That is the way it should be, communities that are empowered. Why is the government continuing to be complicit in this cover-up?
Don Rusnak, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services
Mr. Speaker, everyone, including first nation governments, support transparency and accountability. We held 27 engagement sessions from coast to coast to coast, and heard clearly from first nations that top-down solutions do not work.
We are moving forward with the co-development of the mutual accountability framework, which was a recommendation for the new fiscal relationship report that was developed with the AFN. Mutual transparency and accountability will only be approved by working in true partnership with first nations.