Shubenacadie Band holds first ever public meeting
Meeting allows for more financial accountability within band
Chief and council of the Shubenacadie Band unveiled the band's current financial picture at a public meeting in Indian Brook Tuesday night.
It's the first time band members have had a chance to quiz their leaders about the band's annual audit.
The meeting comes after current band Coun. Michael Patrick Sack and former band financial manager Jeffery Cecil Hayes were both been charged with possession of funds allegedly defrauded from the Shubenacadie Band.
Prosecutors allege as much as $170,000 was siphoned away from band coffers.
Rufus Copage, the new chief, said during the meeting that $69,000 in missing funds has been recovered. He said it was related to MRJJ Management Inc., a company which Sack is a shareholder, but Copage wouldn't provide any more information.
He said Sack would stay on Shubenacadie Band council despite the charges against him. Copage said there will be no action taken against Sack unless the allegations are proven in court.
He said a councillor would have to be convicted of an indictable offence to be automatically dismissed.
The latest audit of the band presented at the meeting shows them slipping another $1.3 million into the red. The audit concluded that fishery losses, gas bar losses and higher expenses contributed to the deficit. Their total debt now stands at more than $10.5 million.
Copage and council are holding the public meeting so band members can ask questions about the financial status of the band in an effort to be more open and accountable.