Feds Preparing To Tax Band Post Secondary Grants

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 at 15:15



A masters student at Regina’s First Nations University of Canada is warning Aboriginal students to brace for new federal tax guidlines.


According to student Cathy Wheaton, the Canada Revenue Agency has decided it will begin collecting tax on grants and aid-money given to First Nations students by their bands.


The decision is scheduled to come into effect on January 1st, 2005 and also lower the amount students with families could claim on their family allowance.


AFN National Chief Phil Fountaine recently announced in Prince Albert he had been hearing whispers out of Ottawa that this type of move could be coming after the election but nothing was confirmed.


According to Wheaton, its a clear violation of treaty rights, something the federal government appears to be ignoring.


The tax would also be applied on book allowance, scholarships and travel dollars.


Wheaton is encouraging First Nations students in the province to speak up before it is too late.


She adds such a decision could actually decrease the amount of band-members trying to attain a higher education for themselves and their families, something that could have negative implications for the whole province.