Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Transparency on Reserves Desperately Needed

FED: Transparency on Reserves Desperately Needed | Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Full Disclosure: I'm not aboriginal.

There, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about accountability.

If you've spent any time reading and understanding my writings in the past, you will know that I oppose many things about the Aboriginal situation in Canada, but specifically what I oppose is throwing money at the Aboriginal population through the institutions currently set up, knowing that there will be a lot of leakage before the money gets to where it is supposed to go.

I have mentioned that income testing should mean income testing when it comes to the various benefits dished out by our government (ie, GST Rebates, Child Tax benefits, clawbacks). I have decried that an aboriginal parent receiving more than $100,000 of tax exempt income will also receive their full Child Tax Benefit when a non-aboriginal parent would long have lost the benefits altogether. There is an inherent unfairness in the tax system as it is currently set up, and it would be political suicide to attempt to make changes.

Having said this, there is a greater unfairness in the system that Aboriginals are currently forced to live under. For an Aboriginal living on many reserves, it is an invitation to bullying and virtual suicide to merely question how much money is going to band administration and chief and council. There is a decided lack of accountability on many reserves which force band members to live in abject poverty while their chief and council pull in six figure salaries.

For these reasons, it would be appropriate, albeit political suicide, to dismantle the reserve system as they currently exist under the Indian Act and create a new covenant with the Aboriginal peoples, one that brings a measure of accountability - both personal and societal - back to The People. They deserve it.

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