Conservatives on Parliament Hill pronounced themselves “stunned” after the surprise passage of a private members’ bill that is seeking to improve accountability on First Nations reserves.Quote has been trimmed
“Every indication was that the bill was going down in flames,” said one Tory in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The government originally had high hopes for the private members’ bill by Saskatchewan MP, Kelly Block, but expectations were lowered after it became clear that the Liberal leadership opposed the bill and would urge Grit MPs to vote against it. But private members’ bills are free votes and so it only required a handful of Liberals to support the Conservatives — and overrule the NDP and Bloc who voted against it unanimously — to send it into committee and then on to third reading.
The bill would force all First Nations bands to make public the salaries of chiefs and councillors, many of whom don’t tell their band members how much they earn.
It was introduced after the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation claimed that scores of chiefs and council members earn more than the Prime Minister. One tiny reserve in rural Nova Scotia called Glooscap was revealed to be home to three of the highest paid politicians in Canada, with one band councillor earning almost $1-million tax-free.
The Liberals had suggested its MPs vote against the bill on the basis that it was imposed on First Nations without consultation — a rubric the Assembly of First...
I'm pleasantly stunned too!
with one band councillor earning almost $1-million tax-free