A First Nations activist and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation are taking their fight to have First Nations be more transparent with its finances to the Prime Minister.
Charmaine Stick and CTF Prairie Director Todd MacKay claim to have a petition with over 30,000 signatures requesting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enforce the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.
“Today me and 30,000 of my friends came to ask the prime minister a simple question: why aren’t you standing up for grassroots band members when they’re looking for accountability?” asked Stick, who is a member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation.
“The prime minister likes to talk about sunny ways bringing Canadians together so he needs to join us and support openness and transparency.”
Stick has been legally battling the Onion Lake Cree Nation for years to release certain court documents. She was successful in obtaining 2015 and 2016 records.
Last month, the Court Of Queen’s Bench ruled the First Nation was in contempt of court for not continuing to release its financials.
The First Nation was fined $10,000.
“Charmaine Stick deserves to know what her leaders are doing with her community’s money,” said MacKay.
MacKay says a majority of First Nations are transparent and do publish financials.
“It’s inspiring to see people like Charmaine Stick stand up and take a courageous stand,” MacKay explained.
MacKay said Ottawa has abandoned enforcement of the legislation, offering to replace it, yet has failed to do so.
The Onion Lake Cree Nation has until August 24 to release certain documents to purge the contempt charge and fine.