Imposition of PST Still a Sore Point for FSIN
Thursday, February 12, 2004 at 14:10
A handful of chiefs gave the minister of Aboriginal Affairs an earful yesterday about what they view as government infringements on treaty rights.
Chief Claude Friday of the Piapot First Nation was one of the speakers from the floor on the second day of the FSIN’s winter legislative sitting.
He told Maynard Sonntag he would never forget it was the NDP that imposed the PST on his people. Friday feels First Nations children are the poorest of the poor and says he can’t understand why the government continues to view Indian bands as money-makers.
Meantime, Chief Roy Cheechum of the Clearwater River Dene Nation stated the NDP government quite clearly violated treaty rights when it forced residents of Treaty 8 to pay the PST.
Sonntag countered that by saying the government was still acting within the confines of the treaty land entitlement process when it made the change a few years ago.
Sonntag went on to say that First Nations that disagree with the decision can still negotiate for tax-loss compensation with municipalitities that have urban reserves.
Sonntag also notes the province and FSIN have an agreement in place regarding this process.