Government Handouts Equal Inevitable Corruption

https://grantcoulson.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/incentiveseverywherepicturecorrect1.jpg?w=444&h=288

   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

   Sometimes these things just fall into one’s lap. This is a perfect example of incentives structured the wrong way. When people spend other people’s money there is no accountability. Look at history.

By John Ivi son
National Post jivison@nationalpost.com

MILLION-DOLLAR CHIEF PROMPTS CONCERN

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    By “concern”, they mean, “We were caught, let’s pretend we’re outraged.”

Reported salary ‘very troubling’: Ministry

It’s good to be the chief. Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the 80-member Kwikwetlem First Nation in B.C., earned a salary of $914,219 tax free last year and a further $16,574 in expenses.

That’s the equivalent of $1.6-million for someone who pays tax on income.

The band’s accountants, Richmond-based Reid Hurst Nagy, confirmed the salary figure released as part of the government’s new First Nation Financial Transparency Act is accurate.

The million-dollar chief is listed on Linked In social media as chief and economic development officer. He has been chief for more than five years and lists his interests as “fishing, aboriginal culture, golfing, photography and sitting on the beach.”

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    All supported by taxpayers.

The band’s most recent financial statements reveal that it had net financial assets of $8.8-million, up from $2.7-million, largely as a result of an $8.2-million payment from the province of British Columbia earmarked for economic development and a $1.2-million payment by Quantum Murray, an environmental services company. A spokesman for the province said that the $8.2-million was payment as part of an economic benefit agreement related to land sales.

Colin Craig, Prairies director for the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, said he is waiting to hear the full circumstances of the remuneration package before commenting definitively. “But if that’s all pay, it’s pretty egregious and one of the worst cases we’ve ever seen.”

Andrea Richer, communications director for Aboriginal Affairs minister Bernard Valcourt, said the government expects band councils to use taxpayers’ dollars responsibly and for the benefit of all community members.

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    “Expect” is the government’s version of responsibility.

“The First Nations Financial Transparency Act applies the same principles and requirements that already exist for all other elected officials in Canada,” she said. “The reported salary of the chief is very troubling and his community members deserve an explanation.” The band received $673,000 from the department of Aboriginal Affairs last year and a further $298,000 from CMHC, the Crown housing corporation.

On Thursday the band released a statement acknowledging the “large number” was disconcerting, but attributed it to the fact the chief also holds the job of the band’s economic development officer.

The salary for that job is $80,000 but pays a 10% bonus for development on the gross profit from “capital projects and business opportunities secured.” The chief ’s bonus worked out to be $800,000, the statement said.

The band said Mr. Giesbrecht’s contract was negotiated in April. The bonus clause was removed and his chief ’s salary reduced to $4,800.

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   This reduction will result in less or more beach sitting?

The federal government’s legislation came into being after an outcry four years ago, when a taxpayers’ federation survey revealed 82 aboriginal reserve politicians were paid a tax-free equivalent higher than Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s $315,462 salary.

The survey also said 222 First Nations politicians earned more than the premier of their province and 700 took home more than the equivalent of $100,000 in off-reserve income.

One band chief in Atlantic Canada earned $216,130 in salary, $34,000 in per diem travel expenses and other income totalling $978,468, including contracts for work by his construction company — all for running a band of 300 people.

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    Is any other comment needed? At least the money was wasted.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies

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