MP Viersen questions minister

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen questioned the federal government about First Nations financial transparency during debates in the House of Commons on April 6.
“Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced that the Liberals would no longer be enforcing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act,” stated the Conservative MP during debates, recorded in Hansard.
“She also promised that she would work in full partnership with First Nations leaders and organizations to increase accountability and transparency.
“Now we have learned that the Liberals have done nothing for six months, except to consider a plan for consultation and that consultation has never taken place.”
Then came the question to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett.
“Will the minister stop betraying First Nations band members like Charmaine Stick and empower these men and women in their fight for transparency?”
Then he listened to the minister respond.
“Mr. Speaker, everyone, including First Nations governments, supports transparency and accountability,” Bennett said.
“Since last summer, we have been working with indigenous organizations, including the AFN (Assembly of First Nations) special committee and the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, on ways to enhance mutual accountability.
“The government is also reaching out to community members and leadership through comprehensive online engagement and is planning in-person sessions across the country over the coming months.”
Bennett said the government will continue to work in full partnership with First Nations to improve mutual accountability and transparency.

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