C-27: Aboriginal financial transparency bill becomes law

Tease the day: Nary a protest greeted the legislation hated by Idle No More protesters earlier this year


Chris Wattie/Reuters

Way back in January, Idle No More dominated a national conversation about aboriginal treaty rights and the federal government’s duty to respect Canada’s first people. You might recall that, at the time, Idle No More’s practitioners regularly railed against a suite of federal legislation that, if you believed their argument, only contributed to the ongoing degradation of aboriginal rights. For its part, the government says the bills on the table were, and are, meant to enhance accountability on reserves.

Among those bills was  C-27, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which would demand of aboriginal bands a certain level of financial transparency and disclosure. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation loves the bill. The Assembly of First Nations does not love the bill. The two sides have a long-standing disagreement about these things, and the aboriginal affairs committee heard all about it.

Why is this important? Yesterday, the CTF scored a victory at the expense of Idle No More and the AFN. C-27 received Royal Assent, and the government quietly checked aboriginal financial transparency off its to-do list. No demonstrations outside Parliament, apart from the universally adored Nishiyuu walkers, greeted politicians this week. Clearly, the government is in this for the long haul.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s message to his caucus that he won’t reopen the abortion debate. The National Post fronts allegedly shoddy legal documents prepared by Quebec authorities for Ontario courts. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with moves to expose police dishonesty on the Toronto force. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Elections Canada recommendations of harsher penalties for people who impersonate Elections Canada officials. iPolitics fronts NDP MP Pat Martin’s complaint that Conservatives are mailing partisan letters into his riding. CBC.ca leads with the growing seizure of so-called date-rape drugs coming to Canada from China. National Newswatch showcases the Globe‘s story about Harper’s message to caucus.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Aboriginal transparency. One of the bills protested by the Idle No More movement, C-27, quietly received Royal Assent. The law enforces financial transparency on reserves. 2. Charbonneau. Bernard Trepanier, the man known as Mr. Three Per Cent, testified at Quebec’s inquiry into collusion. He denied any wrongdoing, but his testimony was inconsistent.
3. Duceppe. The Quebec government was slammed by opposition parties for appointing former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe to investigate the impact of federal EI reform. 4. Anti-drought. Canada has withdrawn from a UN convention that fights drought in Africa—and includes every other UN member—because it was costly and showed few results.

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C-27: Aboriginal financial transparency bill becomes law

  1. ” The Canadian Taxpayers Federation loves the bill. The Assembly of First Nations does not love the bill.”

    We Aren’t The World – Feb 2013:

    IN THE SUMMER of 1995, a young graduate student in anthropology at UCLA named Joe Henrich traveled to Peru to carry out some fieldwork among the Machiguenga, an indigenous people who live north of Machu Picchu in the Amazon basin ….. In doing so, Henrich expected to confirm one of the foundational assumptions underlying such experiments, and indeed underpinning the entire fields of economics and psychology: that humans all share the same cognitive machinery—the same evolved rational and psychological hardwiring.

    Henrich had thought he would be adding a small branch to an established tree of knowledge. It turned out he was sawing at the very trunk. He began to wonder: What other certainties about “human nature” in social science research would need to be reconsidered when tested across diverse populations?


    • Well hester, you’re free to reconstruct the idea of money and repackage it into Aboriginal Spirit Gift. Ottawa has none of the latter, so you’re on your own.

    • Are you suggesting Western society is rational?

    • Since Canadians continue to allow economy to define their social institutions, and in turn define themselves too, in what other terms then to portray the identity of others than in terms of money too, eh?

    • Thank you for the link!

  2. Chief Spence and many others are going to be a little upset

  3. Well, with that bit of tedium out of the way perhaps we can
    move right along to the CTF Financial Transparency Act .. yes?

  4. Setting it up as AFN vs. the CTF elevates the latter far beyond what they’re worth.

  5. I’m looking forward to the Harper Govenment TM financial transparency act. Must be somewhere in the pipe.

  6. There is nothing wrong with Canadian reserves being accountable to the federal government as to where their monies are spent! That is not a lot to ask for. Canadian stakeholders demand it so why do first nations feel that they do not have to be accountable??? Hiding something maybe? Feeling guilty maybe??? Money frittered away and can’t be accountable?? Something smells fishy …….

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