Opinion: Political salaries on First Nations should stay public
"If Canadians suspect there's a good case for the disclosure of political salaries on First Nations reserves, that hunch should be reinforced by examples of such compensation leaked to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation over the past year.

Thanks to brown envelopes, the salary of the chief of Manitoba's Peguis band became public; he earned $221,642 in 2007-08. For Chief Glenn Hudson, that dipped slightly in the following year to $174,230. Given that such compensation is tax-free, the Taxpayers Federation calculated that over two years, Hudson earned the taxable equivalent of $678,000.

Four other Peguis councillors made similar amounts. Not bad work for heading up the reserve equivalent of a small town; the Peguis First Nation has 7,200 members according to its website.

In other involuntary disclosures courtesy of the brown envelope brigade, it was revealed that councillors for Manitoba's Crane River band made between $87,500 and $113,400 in tax-free compensation in 2008-09. Crane River's population was 432 people according to the 2006 census.

In Alberta this spring, another mysterious envelope revealed that a former Enoch Cree Nation chief earned $327,712 in tax-free compensation in 2006-07; a more recent chief earned a tax-free salary of $250,000 until he voluntarily reduced it last November to $180,000. That's still the taxable equivalent of a $388,000 salary reduced to $274,000. Enoch Cree has 1,628 residents."

Get the Story:
Mark Mllke: Transparency the remedy for high First Nations chiefs' salaries (The Calgary Herald 10/10)