First Nations activist wins important court victory for financial transparency

Ottawa (June 16, 2017): Cathy McLeod, Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous Affairs and Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, today congratulated Charmaine Stick for her victory in the fight for First Nations financial transparency.

Yesterday, the Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan ruled that Ms. Stick’s band, Onion Cree Lake Nation in Saskatchewan, has 30 days to comply with the rules set out in the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. The Act compels to bands to publicly share the salaries and expenses for chief and council, as well as audited financial statements.

In November 2016, Charmaine launched a court application to compel her band leadership to be financially accountable to their people.

“This is an important victory for Charmaine and all band members across the country that are asking for the same tools to hold their leadership financially accountable that all other Canadians enjoy,” MP McLeod said.

“It is unacceptable that just one month after taking office, the federal Liberal government decided to stop enforcing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act,” stated McLeod. “Band members across Canada deserve to know how funds are being spent in their communities.”

“Despite continued talk from the federal Liberals about accountability and transparency, they have failed to improve financial transparency for First Nations,” McLeod said. “I will continue to call on the federal government to enforce the Financial Transparency Act so that no other band member has to go to court for access to basic financial information.”