Talks Fail To Produce Deal On Revenue-Sharing

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 14:39



The chief of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council is urging the provincial government to be more flexible when it comes to the issue of resource revenue-sharing.


Chief Helen Ben says, at this point, she is disappointed with Premier Brad Wall’s position on the issue.


Both she and Prince Albert Grand Council Chief Ron Michel talked with Wall in Regina yesterday about the duty to consult topic and the development of future policy.


The two sides are working to draft a policy by the end of this year.


Ben says progress is being made on certain fronts — but she says First Nations leaders have yet to hear the premier’s stance on whether or not he’s willing to split the resource pie.


The minister of First Nations and Metis relations says she’s convinced the two sides can come to an agreement on the issue.


However, June Draude says boosts to education and economic development would be viewed by government as a form of resource revenue-sharing.


Draude won’t say if the government is actually prepared to carve up a percentage of the resource revenues that First Nations could allocate by themselves.


Ben says her hope was that the roundtable discussions over the last several weeks would have taken northern bands farther by now.


But Ben notes more meetings are planned in the future.