Anaham misses financial transparency deadline but plans to comply chief says

Anaham misses financial transparency act deadline but plans to comply, Chief Joe Alphonse said.

Anaham (Tl’etinqox) First Nation one hour west of Williams Lake did not meet the Nov. 26 deadline to publish its audited financial information, however, Chief Joe Alphonse told the Tribune Wednesday they will be submitted, hopefully within the next few days.

So far 529 of 582 First Nations have published financial documents under the act, including all other Tsilhqot’in and Shuswap communities in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Under the First Nations Transparency Act, approved by parliament in March 2013, First Nations to whom the act applies, are required to make audited consolidated financial statements and the Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses available to their community members.

They must post and publish the financial documents on a website of their own and make them available on the Aboriginal Affairs website.

Anaham has had delays in reporting its financials this year because of staff members leaving for family reasons, Alphonse said.

Efforts by the band to hire an accountant have not been successful so as a last resort Anaham recently submitted its books to an accounting firm in Williams Lake.

Despite the delay in meeting the deadline, Alphonse said he believes every elected person should have to disclose all salaries and expenses.

“I strongly support the act, but think it should happen even without the transparency act,” he added.

Anaham is one of the larger Tsilhqot’in communities with an annual budget hovering around $12 million.

Alphonse said the community requires a full-time accountant and assistant bookkeepers.

On Thursday the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Bernard Valcourt, under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA), publishing the financial documents provides First Nations community members with more transparent and accountable governance and in turn helps to ensure band revenues are being used for their benefit.

“The Act applies the same principles of transparency and accountability to First Nation governments that already exist for other governments in Canada and also helps to empower any person, including First Nation members, to hold governments accountable by seeking a Court Order for the publication of documents if the requirements of the Act are not fulfilled,” Valcourt said in an issued statement.

With regards to non-compliant First Nations, Valcourt said at this time government will be taking action according to the provisions of the law which will include: withholding funding for non-essential programs, services and activities; withholding of new or proposal-based non-essential program funding, publishing the names of all non-compliant First Nations on the AANDC website and in the case of those First Nations who have indicated they have no intention of complying, seeking court orders to require publication.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
OUR HOMETOWN: Lifelong learner

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe got his first teaching job in Williams Lake

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Most Read