Saturday, September 20, 2014
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First Nations politicians' wages not the full story

Jim Erkiletian / Daily News

Letter to the editor

Nanaimo - Re: 'Snuneymuxw First Nation complies with new act; releases key financial information' (Daily News, Aug. 1)

It's probably good to make the chiefs declare their incomes.


A publicized few get large salaries, but the vast majority, it turns out, are paid less than a Nanaimo city councillor.

The intention of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation was that First Nations should be taxed like the rest of us. Except they are. Natives who work for government or industry pay the same income tax as anyone else. Those living off reserve pay the same property taxes.

In spite of governments having privatized huge areas of the commons in their 200-year drive to gain control of First Nations lands and resources, natives don't yet have to pay property taxes on reserve lands, or for band work. This is a right they've fought hard for over the years. Those private lands have then ended up in the hands of banks and corporations.

Instead of rewarding banks and corporations for keeping Canadians poor, we should have taxation that allows all Canadians more freedom. Making First Nations suffer the same inequalities as the rest of us is not progress.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has it exactly backwards.

Jim Erkiletian


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