July 30 could be a day to remember for chiefs and councils across Canada.
Officials with Aboriginal Affairs say that’s the latest date they have to publish their financial information for the public to see.
It’s all part of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act which reached royal assent earlier this year.
Along with salaries the government is demanding bands also release commissions, bonuses, fees, honorariums, dividends and any other monetary or non-monetary benefits that elected officials are receiving.
Transportation, accommodations, meals and incidentals are also included.
At this point the government says band-owned businesses are not required to publish their own detailed financial statements.
That had been a bone of contention for several business leaders who addressed the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples earlier this year.
They worried that disclosing that information could harms the band’s ability to stay competitive.
If bands don’t publish their information the government has laid out a series of potential consequences.
– A requirement for the band to develop an appropriate action plan.
– The withholding of funds payable as a grant or contribution to the First Nations under an agreement, an example of his would be the Aboriginal Business Development Program.
– The Minister could also terminate active grant and contribution agreements as a last resort.
The government has said it can publish the information for bands that don’t have their own website.