PBCN TLE Trustee Breaks Silence About Missing Cash

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 13:34



One of the men responsible for overseeing treaty land entitlement money for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation feels he and his colleagues are being unfairly criticized.


Tom Bird is the head of the trustees responsible for a band TLE account — an account that had almost $4 million before it was emptied without authorization earlier this year.


Bird says some band members have accused him of stealing the money, but says he and the other trustees don’t have signing authority on the account — and certainly didn’t approve all the transactions that are now under scrutiny.


He says the preliminary investigation indicates some spare authorization forms were available at the TLE office and were being used.


Bird admits he’s constantly pressured by band members to take the matter to the RCMP, but says that would be premature right now.


Bird says recovering the money is the first priority for the trustees, but notes court action and an RCMP investigation likely can’t be avoided.