Government cancels First Nation tax and gaming deals
Oromocto First Nation fears it will lose out under a new provincial formula for funding and tax rebates
CBC News has learned the provincial government is cancelling a tax and gaming revenue-sharing agreement with First Nations across New Brunswick.
The agreement allocates funding and determines tax rebates, but the province says it unevenly distributes government resources, when considering factors such as population, location and social and economic conditions.
"It's almost like it will divide us when we're trying to come together as a community," said Chief Joe Sacobie of Oromocto First Nation.
Sacobie said members of his community have recently been coming together more often to celebrate their growth and prosperity.
He said their livelihood could now be in jeopardy.
"It's becoming pretty strong lately. But with the taxation situation, it's kind of like a hit below the belt," said Sacobie.
The government makes the case that a new deal would be benefit businesses off reserve.
Sacobie said the province should abandon the plan.
St. Mary's First Nation is also against the cancellation of the deal.
"I'm hoping we can sit down and have negotiations and talks go all well and something will be resolved before Nov. 9," Sacobie said.
The government said change is necessary and the plan will be carried through if the Progressive Conservatives are still in office after the election.