PBCN Leaders Still Ironing Out TLE Repayment Plan
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at 15:31
The head of the Treaty Land Entitlement trustees for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation says the recently-depleted multi-million-dollar trust account won’t be repaid using band casino profits.
Tom Bird admits that was one of the options tabled in discussions between the band council and the trustees recently.
However, Bird says Chief Ron Michel nixed that idea after being informed by SIGA officials that it wasn’t allowed.
Bird refuses to get into specifics about a repayment proposal that was discussed in a meeting between trustees and the council last week, but adds nothing was decided.
Some band members have expressed concerns that the council might try to sell band property or businesses to repay the debt to the TLE account.
Bird says the trustees aren’t in a position to block any repayment plan by the band council.
Having said that, Bird says he will resign if the repayment plan includes taking over $800,000 in interest from the band’s long-term TLE account.
Almost $4 million was taken from the PBCN’s TLE trust account in a four-month period from December to March.
Most of those withdrawals were unauthorized.