The Attawapiskat audit reaction

Politics on TV: Politicians weigh in on the audit and its effect on #IdleNoMore

Message of the day

“This audit release is just a smear campaign against Chief Spence.”

Questions not answered

  • Did the Department of Aboriginal Affairs have any objections to Attawapiskat hiring Chief Theresa Spence’s boyfriend as the co-manager?

The Attawapiskat Audit:

Power & Politics started off with chief correspondent Terry Milewski explaining the Deloitte & Touche audit that showed that that some 80 per cent of financial transactions in the band had insufficient or missing documentation, and that they can’t determine if millions of dollars were spent properly. Evan Solomon then spoke with an MP panel of Chris Alexander, Paul Dewar and Carolyn Bennett about the audit. Alexander said that audits are important and the results speak for themselves. Dewar said that he was looking forward to seeing what Chief Theresa Spence’s response to the audit was going to be, despite her spokesman having called it flawed (and the fact that Spence has had four months to respond and hasn’t). Bennett said that when she visited Attawapiskat, she didn’t see any signs of financial mismanagement and that the leak happened today as a means of distracting from the upcoming First Nations meeting with the Prime Minister.

On Power Play, Don Martin spoke with Ryerson University professor and #IdleNoMore spokesperson Pam Palmeter, who said that the audit isn’t damaging to Spence, and that it shows that there was an improvement in reporting under Spence’s leadership. She also said that one individual First Nation’s financial accounting is irrelevant to the #IdleNoMore movement, which has more to do with getting sections of the omnibus budget bills withdrawn. Palmater said that every year, Attawapiskat’s books are audited by the department and approved, and that people should look to the department if there are problems. Palmater called the release of the audit as part of a smear job.

Solomon hosted an On The Money panel with Carleton University professor Ian Lee and Palmeter about the Deloitte audit. Lee found the audit “devastating,” and said that the band broke their fiduciary responsibility by not keeping proper records. Lee also noted the Auditor General’s report on the increasing problems with the management and administration of funds for many First Nations bands. Palmeter said that the audit’s language has no specifics about what kinds of documents were missing, and that Attawapiskat wouldn’t get any funds from the department if their audits were insufficient. When asked about the co-management agreement with Spence’s boyfriend, Palmeter said that the department would have had to approve the decision.

Martin spoke with Norman Spector, former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney, and to Mark Milke from the Fraser Institute about the audit. Spector said that the department bears its share of responsibility, but that something is amiss, which will be righted with AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo and not with Spence. Spector said the right move by the Prime Minister is to make small, incremental changes that have significant impact. Milke said that Attawapiskat pays out $600,000 in political salaries for such a small community, and that those First Nations that have done well have done so in large part because they are able to lease their lands – a move in the omnibus budget bill that #IdleNoMore is protesting against.

When Martin put the question of whether the audit release was intended as a smear to his strategists panel, Goldy Hyder said that if the government released the audit next week when it was scheduled, they would have been accused of trying to hide something. Hyder added that the release has been a bit of a backfire for Spence, who is getting the attention to her reserve that she demanded. Robin Sears said that it shows the department isn’t able to manage the file with any degree of competence, and that they spend $350 million per year on outside consultants to do this kind of work.

On Power Play’s journalist panel of Mia Rabson and John Ibbitson, Ibbitson said that the audit will be a smoking gun for people who those who criticize the reserve system, as much as Attawapiskat is a smoking gun for those who say that First Nations communities are underfunded. He added that it bears asking what other municipality does as much as Attawapiskat has to for that little money. Rabson said that the problem is that Attawapiskat is not unique in its lack of bookkeeping, but it does provide ammunition for those who wonder why Spence is delivering ultimatums when she has problems managing her own community’s affairs. Rabson added that the optics of intervening in Aboriginal protests are politically difficult.

On P&P’s Power Panel, Chris Hall said that Chief Spence was sent a letter on August 28th about the results of the audit, and that she hasn’t responded to it, and that CMHC didn’t ensure that housing was properly inspected when money was disbursed. Ian Capstick said that Spence’s hunger strike should be separated from the broader #IdleNoMore movement, and that there is already a disconnect between the chiefs and the grassroots in the movement. Capstick added that the justice system will likely be needed to make advances to their cause. Alise Mills said that she doesn’t find the audit to be a red herring because it speaks to credibility, and that people are connecting Spence to the #IdleNoMore movement whether they like it or not. Rob Silver said that even if the audit was leaked to discredit Spence doesn’t mean that it’s not important, and that it reads like any other audit of a government bureaucracy gone wrong.

When the Power Panel looked at next week’s meeting between the Prime Minister and the AFN, Hall said that the government needs to show that they are serious about making changes, and that Atleo and the AFN needs to be able to prove that he is able to get results. Capstick said that there is a problem when so many expectations are heaped upon a single meeting, and that the meeting on Friday will likely be little more than a photo op and a restatement of principles. Mills disputed Capstick’s supposition and said that it wouldn’t be in Harper’s style to simply hold a photo op with no closed-door discussions. Silver said that this meeting will be symbolic of whether or not he cares, and that it may mean the next budget will be focused on First Nations.




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The Attawapiskat audit reaction

  1. Well, I think it’s clear enough that Chief Spence has been completely discredited, what with her constantly moving demands, and now her ineptitude on display for all.

    That said, I don’t believe the INM movement deserves to be tied to Spence. They could yet have some valid contributions to the discussion, as long as they’re not trying to defend Spence’s gross incompetence. And if they get off the railways and roads and come up with some actual solutions to their problems.

    • read the audit, ask how much the audit cost.. and why did the Harper government keep giving the band money year after year if they were so supposedly “corrupt”

      I call that Financial mis management and gross corruption on the Harper government for giving the band money for 6 years

      • Who cares how much the audit costs?! As a society we demand audits so we know that money is well spent, and in this case I’m sure the costs of the audit were considerably less than what’s been mismanaged/stolen by Chief Spence and her merry band.

        As pointed out above, the government tried to send in an independent manager, but they were rebuffed by the courts. Would you rather the government simply cut off all funding and let the band freeze in the dark? Personally, I think it’s much more reasonable to keep the community ALIVE and embarrass the Chief than it would be to starve a bunch of people living in shacks.

    • I’d be willing to bet that if this had happened on the Libs’ watch, you’d be howling about government mismanagement of public funds. Not a word about how it’s been the Cons shoveling money out the door in the last six years?

      • Of course the government needs to do more to hold Chiefs accountable, but last I checked the government tried to send in their own management team and the court’s told them they couldn’t. So what’s the alternative? You think the government should have just cut off all funding and let the community freeze in the dark?

        And just because the government is partially responsible, doesn’t absolve Chief Spence of her incompetence/corruption.

        • All valid points but my question remains: would you have been so charitable in your assessment of the government’s role in this mess if it had been a Liberal one? I somehow still doubt it.

          • Yes, my reaction would have been exactly the same. And my response to a hypothetical question couldn’t possibly be more irrelevant to the topic at hand.

          • How many Indian bands donated to the Liberal Party when Chretien and then Martin were PM??????????

          • I give up.

            And when you supply the answer, perhaps you could take a few keystrokes to explain how that answer justifies this government’s acceptance of such apparently shoddy accounting practices in a transfer-payment organization they continued to fund, year after year.

            Perhaps the Cons are buying aboriginal support, too.

          • What do you think Bill C-27 is for?

          • Is that the answer to your own question?

          • “Perhaps the Cons are buying aboriginal support, too”

            Right………..just say no to drugs.

    • So tony clement stealing $50 million to build gazebos, or Del mastros brother giving employees $50 to write $1000 donations, or penashue getting $25,000 written off for election campaigns does not bother you in the least. yet a band who is audited every year to get funds is bad.

      • Nothing you’ve listed there is illegal. But nice try deflecting from the issue. Going through the process of an audit doesn’t mean the results of the audit are good. It’s the results that matter, not the formality of going through one.

        • Actually, paying people $50 to let you spend more than the individual legal campaign donation limit is illegal, not to mention cheap. If I was an employee of del Mastro, I’d demand a 20% commission to take part in a scheme like that.

          • Don’t forget that taxpayers kicked back the majority of those $1000 sums after the “donors” already been reimbursed the amount +$50.

    • “I think it’s clear enough that Chief Spence has been completely discredited”

      Have you read the report? Here: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/551444-deloitte-audit.html

      Look at page 63, the number of issues with supporting documentation started to drop in 2010, just as Spence became Chief. The issues were consistently much higher before she took charge.

      • So she’s a bit less incompetent than her predecessor? That’s your defence?

        • A more charitable interpretation might be that she made a substantial improvement in a long-standing institutional problem as soon as she took over.

          But you don’t want to hear that, do you? You’re determined to believe that she’s been “completely discredited” and you’ll accept nothing less.

  2. Where is Wherry? He seems to be missing the REAL farce! Should have been good for at least 64 blog posts on this!

    • Wherry may be unable to work under the circumstances.

    • I suspect he’s on vacation. THE FIEND!

    • He’s probably running Chief Spence’s PR campaign as we speak.

  3. For the Hunger Games queen and her flee-bitten boyfriend, all monies to all accounts that they have access to need to be frozen today.

    An RCMP forensic auditor needs to be brought in and if there is any fire where all this smoke is originating from, then the both of them need severe jail-time for forcing the residents to have such a wretched existence.
    No excuses, no mercy. This has been years in the making, and the chapter/story needs to close on this issue and the residents have to be given a chance at a normal life with the wealth that should have been there in the first place.
    This has nothing to do with the Feds, the Anglos, the neighboring communities.

    Spot-light on.

    • Actually we should be asking for a refund from deloitte and touche.. things that they say were undocumented were payments to utility companies, lawyers and banks in MANY case. A simple phone call by this D &T , who by the way have been fined for accounting irregularities in the past, would surely reduce this number by a great deal.

      I guess the Harper government got the report which it paid for.

      • So having a forensic audit to determine the legitimacy of both the report and Jenny Craig is too much to ask for in your world?

        You’ve based your assumption of impropriety on the part of the auditors, on past deeds of how many thousands of audits vs how many fraudulent activities?

        Funny, is that not what the Idle/Occupy base scream daily on these sites as to the opposition’s reference to past deeds on the part of many of the hardest hit bands and their perceived mishandling of band funds? Just because the jails are disproportionately full of native, along with the terror campaign being waged against the kids by negligent parents, is not a harbinger of more of the same by said individuals.

        So the pattern appears to be that deflection from the topic by speculation of potential unproven irregularities, both for yourself and the Idle/Occupy groups that share the same story-line. The main issue is that only the bands with systemic rot can deal with it at the band level. The results can only be achieved if the elders and leaders take meaningful actions on behalf of their people and not be so indifferent and selfish.

        • I have actually read the report, and find it VERY suspect. Any audit is to find something WRONG.. when you have utility bills, legal fees, bank fees etc listed as items “Undocumented” leads me to believe that either D&T were incompetent or were not looking at whether statement were factual.

          Just because i cannot provide a “bill’ for paying my Hydro account.. does not mean my Hydro company does not have a record of me paying that bill.

          My example of Sample #117… why does the report not indicate that “investigator called utility company and cannot find any record of said payment”?? Sloppy audit or an audit created to damage reputations?

          • Well they are undocumented aren’t they? The auditor just notorizes what is wrong with the financial statements. It isn’t up to them to call companies and verify the payments were “real”. D&T do the audit, note what is wrong with the financial papers and make recommendations on how to fix it. It is all about paper trail not the validity of the expense.

          • Obviously you have never been audited by the Canadian Revenue Service. They do not call anybody. If you don’t have the receipts…ie: power bills and you are using power as a business expense deduction….tough luck for you! It is the job of the person keeping the books to have all the receipts not the auditor to phone around and get receipts. What exactly is the book keeper at the reserve getting paid to do? People who run small business keep all the documents for the bills they pay including their utility bills.

            Perhaps you should read an article in the National Post which explains that for three years the auditors have been writing letters to the chief on the reserve asking them to keep better books. Further, the health department has been warning the chief about people living in homes with mold.

            You can spin this anyway you want but there were 6 almost completed brand new houses sitting empty for 2 years on the reserve. People were living in tents in the middle winter and the chief bought a zamboni worth almost 100 thousand dollars and didn’t complete the houses.

  4. Wanna bet that chief Spence went on her timely “hunger strike” to gain national sympathy quickly because she knew the Deloitte report was to be made public soon? Now who to believe… poor chief Spence (who owns a Cadillac Escalade) or the government accountants?

    • Wow how many people would call this much attention to themselves if they were guilty of mismanaging band funds? She saw the report months ago , in fact she was improving the accounting from previous years.

      Ask Harper why he gave money to people who were supposedly incompetent at keeping track of their money every year since he was in office.. hmmm

      • I’m not sure about why a person calls attention to themselves BUT we are talking about Ms. Spence. Ms. Spence is a chief who announced a housing crisis on her reservation when she had six brand new houses very near completion sitting empty for 2 years while people froze in tents. Obviously she didn’t think Adrienne Arseanault and her CBC crew were going to find out about the houses or the boxes of unopened donations of heaters and sleeping bags and warm clothing.
        As for Harper, you will remember that he did stand up and ask where the money was….Charlie Angus and everybody yelled “racism” and demanded he visit the reservation and immediately provide housing. He sent a third party manager (accountant) and that person wasn’t allowed to step foot on the reservation yet shortly after the person arrived, mobile homes are ordered and the recreation centre is up and running.
        Do you really shut off the money and possibly starve people out because the book keeping is atrocious…given the squalor these people are living in? Look want happens when you try to impose some oversight…a judge steps in and says it is unwarranted. You could ask Chretien the same thing as you would ask Harper because he gave money to incompetent people as well. The books have been atrocious for 10 years and Harper has only been PM for six.

  5. Carolyn Bennett and Pam Palmater are my heroes of the day. Let them speak for themselves as they did today and PM Harper will have no problem getting re-elected.

    Thanks Ladies!

    • And to think: all this money apparently being shelled out without accountability by the Cons and not a peep about their financial incompetence as stewards of the public purse.

      • What a load.

        • Really? Surely it isn’t too much of a load for the Cons and their much-vaunted financial management prowess. You’d think they’d be able to carry it.

          • Which parties were threatening a coalition if there wasn’t massive stimulus spending?

            The Lib/NDP/Bloq, that’s who

            Which parties wanted more stimulus spending than was done?

            The Lib/NDP/Bloq.

            Where would we be if that coalition of the left had gained power?

            We’d be just like Greece.

          • Do I gather you’re suggesting that the government who apparently just shoveled a pile of money out the door year after year without any apparent controls is the one to prevent our precipitous decline to Greekenomics?

            I’m not reassured.

          • The government did not just shovel money out of the door, that is just an NDP/Liberal talking point.

            Suck it up buttercup.

          • It’s not for me to suck it up, my friend. It’s the Cons who’ve dropped the ball on the aboriginal file…repeatedly.

          • Chief Spence knew the details of this audit back in August of 2012
            and it was clear to her that there was going to be serious criticism not
            only of how she managed Attawapiskat but of how she had deliberately
            misled the Canadian people when she blamed the government for living
            conditions on the reserve.

            She knew that there were already questions about her driving around
            town in her Cadiallac Escalade while her people lived in shacks. She
            knew there were already questions about the huge amount of money she and
            her boyfriend paid themselves and she knew there was a day of reckoning
            coming.

            And that’s what this is, a reckoning, not the smear campaign she and
            her declining number of supporters have tried to paint the criticism as
            being.

            It’s called accountability and Chief Theresa Spence is accountable
            for the money that has been misspent and unaccounted for at
            Attawapiskat. She is accountable for the misinformation she has fed the
            media and the Canadian tax payer who trusted what she was telling them.

          • You’re not my friend and the Conservatives have not dropped the ball, anything but, see Bill C-27.

          • Sorry, I thought we were friends when you called me buttercup.

            Since the Cons killed the Kelowna Accord in 2006, they have done virtually nothing to address the range of fundamental social and economic issues confronting First Nations in Canada. It’s arguable whether or not they’d have even belatedly attempted to fix the accounting problems in Attawapiskat had it not been for the housing crisis in that community last winter.

            They’ve had the ball for six years…and they dropped it.

          • Wrong again, just saying it won’t make it so.

            Why is it that so many chiefs and band councils are so against proper auditing of expenditures?

            They don’t like Bill C-27 and that’s a good thing, they have plenty to hide from their band members.

            I have to wonder how many skip out of the country in the very near future?

          • Actually this is all good. Now all of you will be on the government to ensure that they are making sure that Ms. Spence and the other chiefs are employing excellent accounting practices and are not wasting any money that should be going toward the care of the people on the reservation.
            Given that it might turn out that Ms. Spence and some other chiefs do not have the expertise to do all that administrative work, you guys will be supporting the notion that she and the other chiefs will require outside help and if they refuse the outside help…their funds will be cut off. That is what you are saying about the government’s failure to do proper oversight isn’t it?

          • Hey, imposing minimal accounting standards on any transfer payment agency is a good thing, IMO. My point is that it took this government years to do that, all the while pouring money in and ignoring fundamental social and economic issues among many First Nations communities.

            Any way they try to spin the facts, the Con government’s record on aboriginal issues is abysmal.

          • This government drafted, introduced and passed Bill C-27 once it got a majority, this bill would have been defeated by the NDP/Lib coalition any time before that.

            The Liberals when in power did absolutely nothing.

            Paul Martin, staring at defeat, wanted to throw more money at the problem, typical Liberal.

          • Ask First Nations’ leadership if the Kelowna Accord was “doing nothing”. The Cons who killed it have had six years to address the issues and a bill to impose accounting accountability is the best they can do?

          • The Kelowna Accord was an $8 Billion dollar throw away meant to by the Liberals votes, it didn’t work.

            C-27 fits the bill.

          • Any way you spin the facts, Ms. Spence’s management of her community is abysmal and now you guys are trying to score political points off of her lousy work instead of just admitting the people on her reservation deserve better.

          • Hey, I’ll concede that there’s good evidence of accounting irregularities and probably outright misappropriation of funds among more than one First Nations communities. Where have I been arguing otherwise?

            That doesn’t absolve the Cons of their neglect of aboriginal issues for the half a dozen years they’ve been in government.

            And don’t use their minority government status as an excuse. This is one issue where they could easily have found all-party support on a plan to address the fundamental issues, including managerial incompetence or evident misappropriation of funds.

            They’ve done nothing. Now they’re responding to fires all over the place and belatedly looking for solutions.

          • That doesn’t absolve the Cons of their neglect of aboriginal issues for the half a dozen years……………………..Total BS and you know it.

            The opposition has been completely obstructionist until the Conservatives got their majority.

          • The opposition has been completely obstructionist until the Conservatives got their majority………………………Total BS and you know it.

            This is one issue where the government could easily have won all-party support on a plan to address the issues. They never bothered to try.

          • In 2008, the Government of Canada started laying the foundation for
            structural reform in education. This involved the launch of two new
            programs – the First Nation Student Success Program and the Education Partnerships Program – building blocks that are helping to put in place the key school-based initiatives common to all high-performing schools.

            The First Nation Student Success Program
            supports educators on-reserve in their efforts to improve student
            results. To date, over 90 percent of students in band-operated schools
            across the country are benefiting from this program.

          • In 2009-10, 76% of First Nation bandoperated
            schools participated in the First Nation Student Success Program (with
            18 projects) In 2010-11, 16 more proposals received funding under the
            First Nation Student Success Program, bringing the number of
            band-operated schools participating in the program to 90%.

            In 2009-10, 3 tripartite agreements (covering 46%
            of eligible First Nation communities) were supported by the Education
            Partnerships Program. In 2011-12, 7 tripartite education agreements
            (covering 58% of eligible First Nation communities) were in place and
            supported by the Education Partnerships Program.

          • On June 21, 2011, the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First
            Nations jointly launched the work of the National Panel on First Nation
            Elementary and Secondary Education. The Panel has crisscrossed the
            country, consulting with First Nation communities, regional and national
            First Nations organizations, provincial governments and the private
            sector on how best to improve elementary and secondary education for
            First Nation boys and girls on-reserve.

            This important step builds on the Government of Canada’s
            commitment made in Budget 2010, to work with First Nations, along with
            other partners, to strengthen and improve First Nations education. The
            Government of Canada is looking forward to reviewing the upcoming report
            of the National Panel and to working with the Assembly of First Nations
            and other First Nation leaders on potential ways to further pursue
            education reforms.

            Investing in Schools

            This Government has made significant investments to
            ensure that children have better places to learn. Between April 2006 and
            April 2011, the Government has invested approximately $1.2 billion in
            school infrastructure projects. This includes the completion of 248
            school projects; ongoing construction of at least 20 schools in
            communities across the country; and, 64 minor repairs which include
            teacher housing, construction or design projects. This is in addition to
            investments made through Canada’s Economic Action Plan and the Gas Tax
            Fund.

          • Yes, isn’t fortunate that Ms. Spence alerted the government to what was going on at Attawapiskat. Luckily a cbc news crew followed and got the real story. If you read the article in the National Post, the accountants have been sending letters to the band council and chief at Attawapiskat for three years warning that their accounting practices are inadequate. Also Health Canada has warned that people on the reserve are living in houses that aren’t fit for human inhabitants. Despite this, a judge ruled that the government had “no right” to impose third party management on the reserve. I think a government agency needs more than a “solid case” before going onto any reserve or stopping any funds. Just remember how everyone, including Charlie Angus yelled “racism” when Harper asked where the money had gone when the housing crisis was brought to light last year.

          • None of which undermines my contention that the Cons have done next to nothing on this file since they deep-sixed the Kelowna Accord.

      • if they were really serious, they’d table a bill to amend the indian act to require more accountability on reserves.

        oh wait…

      • Are you saying that the money to FN reservations should be cut off? Gee, people got really upset when refugees lost their extended health benefits. Now you are saying the government should stop funding FN people because their chiefs are lousy accountants? OR ….are you advocating for some third party to help the chiefs do a better job?

        • No, I’m not saying that.

    • Bennett is my MP, you should see the stuff she sends out in her broadsheet to the community (or Whatever TF she calls the thing.)

      You should also get a look at her junketing off to Africa, or to Attiwapiskat or to gawd knows where, enjoying a freebie on the taxpayer.

      There’s nothing quite like a photograph of the sad sickening wretch peering out of the African jungle from behind a big bunch of green bananas with a goofy grin on her face ……. and a bongo hat on her head.

      She’s as goofy as Chief Fatso.

  6. Take a look at the audit..http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/551444-deloitte-audit.html

    MANY of the items that are labelled as “no supporting documentation” are things such as Sample # 117 Electricity.. which could have been easily verified by such a “prestigious” accounting firm as Delliotte Touche by a simple phone call to the hydro company. How much did we pay this company to do an honest audit, or were they paid by the Harper Government to do a “DAMAGE” audit..

    Somebody should do an ATIR to look at the conditions the harper government set when awarding this contract!!

    • Get a life! Read the report. Numerous entries entitled “other” without any documentation. Numerous consulting payments (some in the millions) without invoices attached.

      Harper is getting a major boost. Finally!

      • And if YOU read the report.. many of the “questionable’ expenses were BEFORE Spence took office. In fact it shows how much she has IMPROVED the accounting.

        And since you seem so disturbed by the consulting payments.. which are dubious.. why did the HARPER government keep giving the band money year after year? Spence has nothing to hide, but Harper does for his INCOMPETANCE and Financial mis management over the last 6 years.

        Yes HARPER gave your money away to people who were taking advantage of the bands.. live with it

        • What utter BS.

        • Are you seriously suggesting that Chief Spence and the rest of the Band’s management hold no responsibility whatsoever for the state of their own books?

        • Are you seriously suggesting that Chief Spence and the rest of the Band’s management hold no responsibility whatsoever for the state of their own books?

      • have you seen Pierre Poilievre Election Filings?
        He OVERSPENT, got only $4000 K in donations but manage to spend over $110,000, gave a “worker” $30,000 in a week.. and somehow managed to ^NOT over spend his campaign by giving back his EDR money?

        30 day election period, 4k in donations, spent over his limit and has yet to be charged.. hmmmmmmm

    • It’s not generally within the mandate of an auditor to track down bills from companies that receive payment (and many of those third parties would refuse to release this information to a person calling claiming to be an auditor, anyway, as it’s a privacy issue). Generally, the auditor will ask the auditee to find any missing documents during the course of the audit (in which case, the band’s accountant should be making those phone calls to fill in information gaps). I doubt that there’s actually large-scale fraud going on here, given that federal funds were continually paid out despite the audits, but it does seem as though the accountant dealing with the band’s finances isn’t wholly trained/competent. Or that the band’s executive resents the auditing process and instructed staff not to cooperate with the requests of the auditors (which is a bit hostile but understandable, given the Conservative’s traditional hostility towards native people).

      That said, auditors will always find something that requires improvement in any organization, whether it’s financial reporting, management processes, or whatever. That’s their job. You’ll never read an audit that says “Fantastic job all around, guys! Nothing to improve here!”.

    • I’ll tell you what Philipo, why don’t you take a shot a verifying my electricity bill. We now have privacy rules hangin out our a******s and you can’t do it.

      In this case the only entity that can go to the Electricity supplier and get the bill, is the Indian Band itself and apparently they would not or could not,

      And since we both think Tony Clement is the most useless thing on two feet. How would you like it if the electricity bills the Indians wouldn’t produce were for supplying heat to Tony’s place or to Fat Chiefy’s place?

      So, this is no “DAMAGE” audit, this is for the failure of that ridiculous Chief to produce backup for millions of dollars of expenditures when the band administrators were asked for it.

      Why didn’t the Chief call the Electricity company and get the damn bills for the band records.

      Deloittes were asked to look at the expenditures and they reported what they found. And what they found is sickening

      It’s not rocket science buddy.

      • “The Indians”? Are they all complicit in whatever you think is happening at Attawapiskat? When you say “Fat Chiefy”, I assume you are referring to Mr. Harper, which confuses me given the context of most of your posts.

        • Well she’s not “Twiggy” is she?
          And no, “all the Indians are not complicit” they’re victims of “Chief Twiggy” and her ilk, the same as I am.

      • Some items in the audit,

        -$303,000 for an unnamed consultant

        -$1.1 million for an undocumented real estate transaction

        Time to call in the RCMP

    • It is not Deloitte’s job to track down verification of how the money was spent. It is the band management’s job to provide evidence of how and why the money was spent. Deloitte is there to confirm the documentation was present. It wasn’t.

  7. So accounting is an issue for Canadians.. Take a look at Pierre Poilievere’s Election Canada filing. It is CLEAR he OVERSPENT his allotted Campaign limits, it is clear a lot of his expenses are vague and questionable. How does a person who only received $4000 in donations, spend over $120K?? Why does one staff member in a 3 day period of a 30 day election campaign receive over $30,000.

    Why does it matter? because in the end taxpayers refunded a lot of this spending..

    • From the G&M;

      The only fall out from “robo calls” has fallen in the lap of the Guelph
      Federal Liberal Association and Liberal MP Frank Valeriote.

      The Liberal riding association in Guelph has been issued a $4,900
      penalty by the federal broadcast regulator for sending out unsolicited
      robo-calls during the 2011 election campaign.

      The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced the finding and penalty Friday.

      It describes its notice of violation as being against the Guelph Federal
      Liberal Association on behalf of Frank Valeriote, who was the Liberal
      candidate who won the election and is currently an MP.

      The CRTC notice says the violations involved a pre-recorded message
      that failed to identify on whose behalf the call was being made, did not
      provide call-back information and did not display the originating
      telephone number.

  8. BTW do a google search of “Deloitte & Touche fined”

    This company has a history of cooking the books..

    • Very good point Fmp! Interesting stuff; a not so credible auditor afterall. Perhaps even one that could fix their audit?

    • Yeah they got fined for not making sure that some honkey’s accounting transactions had the proper back up. I guess they’re not going to do that again are they?

      So do this Charlie, decide which way you want it because you can’t suck and blow at the same time.

  9. This comment was deleted.

    • There’s libel.

    • Every year the bands use local accounting firms to pass their books. I am sure a government drone would probably okay financial papers signed off on by an accounting firm and maybe spot cheque a few for accuracy.

  10. the government clearly does not care-the audit being released is definitely being used to create distraction and allegations of corruption. Maybe the govt should have gotten involved as well as CMHC to ensure that everything was meeting codes. Why did the govt allow the money to be given if the “invoices and bills” were unaccounted for? The chief isnt just doing this to get pity she knew about the audit for months she would put herself in the spotlight if she had took part in fraud. Stop doing the blame game–both parties clearly need to address problems and work together rather than blame

    • The band had its previous audits done by an accounting firm Ross, Pope and Company. This also begs the question of why did Ross, Pope pass the financial statements? These are the financial statements the judge found no issues with last year.

      • Those were financial statements, not audits.

        • That’s what I meant. Trying to type in secret at work.

          • QMI AGENCY

            OTTAWA
            – The protesting chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation brushed aside a
            damning audit as a “distraction” and said the federal government is
            using it to undermine her credibility ahead of a key meeting this week
            with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

            A new audit of the finances
            of the beleaguered Attawapiskat First Nation found little or no
            supporting paperwork for more than $100 million in funds it received
            over a six-year period ending in 2011.

            “There is no evidence of
            due diligence in the use of public funds, including the use of funds for
            housing,” Deloitte partner Serge Desroches wrote in the audit which was
            given to Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and her band last summer.

            Spence
            is the chief who has been protesting the way the way the federal
            government treats First Nations by camping out on an island in the
            Ottawa River near the Parliament buildings and living on nothing but
            fish broth, water and tea since Dec. 11.

          • Time for the RCMP to be called along with FINTRAC.

            There is fraud, embezzlement and theft that’s been going on for years on many reserves across Canada.

          • Hope the RCMP have someone tailing Chief Spence and her life partner just in case they try to make run for it to a country with no extradition treaty.

    • This Indian band has an accumulated surplus of some $60 Million Dollars on the books, where is this money?

  11. The auditors job is to audit NOT to do the work of highly paid band staff! I have a auditor do my company’s books every year and the only questions I will get from her is if there is documentation missing (which doesn’t happen because it is one of the easiest things to staple the utility bill to the cheque requisition form – duh!) will I get it for her. If I can’t come up with it then the auditor notes that in her report. A gain never happens in my company because documentation and board motions authorizing payments are all provided.

    The audit was released on schedule 90 days afterthe minister signed off on it so I guess Harper has some magic way of knowing the Spence was going to be on a diet now.

    And we are not talking about petty cash goingmissing we are talking about $300,000 plus cheques being issued for unknown consulting work.

    • There is also the consulting agreement to her boyfriend’s company that says there is no conflict of interest.

  12. “Bennett said that when she visited Attawapiskat, she didn’t see any signs of financial mismanagement”

    Apparently she missed the dilapidated housing and abject poverty that we’ve been hearing about for years now. Seems strange that she missed it. And I guess she didn’t look under enough rocks and sticks to find the hidden bank accounts.

    Could this Bennett person have possibly said anything more stupid?

    • This is liberal MP Carolyn Bennet – and it was so many years of liberal mismanagement that, in part, led to this mess. You expect her to find something here? She’s playing politics.

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