How the oil patch pays off for Alberta chiefs –

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How the oil patch pays off for Alberta chiefs –

by pmnationtalk on December 5, 2014458 Views

December 4, 2014

And why own-source revenue makes such a big difference

A new disclosure law that’s revealed the salaries of aboriginal leaders across Canada has critics wondering if chiefs and their councillors take home more than their fair share of taxpayer funding. That criticism wrongly assumes that band leaders’ salaries only draw on federal funding—a falsehood revealed by a deeper look at Alberta’s disclosures.

The average Albertan chief’s annual salary far outpaces any other province, and it’s no secret why. The oil patch that pads everyone else’s bank accounts showers money on reserves with the right investments. The highest-paid chiefs often benefit from what’s called own-source revenue—in other words, income from band-owned businesses and investments that can’t be sourced to federal funding arrangements. Darcy Bear, the chief of southern Saskatchewan’s Whitecap Dakota First Nation, told parliamentarians in 2012 that own-source revenue allows his band to “top up” salaries in order to remain competitive. Pay less, he said, and good people search for greener pastures.

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