Saskatoon

Federal Court will hear First Nations case to halt Transparency Act

The Onion Lake Cree Nation's application against the federal government will be heard in Federal Court today in Saskatoon.

Onion Lake Cree Nation will ask Federal Court to end a proceeding against 8 First Nations

Chief Wallace Fox, of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, said the band is taking the federal government to court over a new law that requires First Nations bands to post their audited financial statements online. (CBC News)

The Onion Lake Cree Nation's case against the federal government will be heard in Federal Court today in Saskatoon. 

The federal government has taken eight First Nations, including Onion Lake, to court to force them to comply with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).

The FNFTA requires First Nations to submit audited financial statements, along with the salaries of the chief and councillors. That information is posted publicly on the internet.


CBC's Dan Zakreski was tweeting live from court. Read the tweets below. 


So far, 570 of 582 First Nations have complied, and four others are working co-operatively with the federal government to meet the requirements.

The government has filed applications in Federal Court to force the remaining eight bands to submit financial information for the 2013-14 fiscal year. It has suspended funding to to these bands except for that which covers essential services, such as health and education.

The Onion Lake band, which covers territory in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, is asking the court to halt those proceedings.

Their application questions the legality of the FNFTA on the basis that it violates treaty and aboriginal rights as well as sections of the Constitution that ban discrimination and entrench the rights of aboriginal people.

The government cannot take any action against the bands until the application is heard by the court.

The hearing is set to run two days. 

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