VANCOUVER, May 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Seven British Columbia First Nations are
calling on the Provincial Government and political leaders to commit to
providing equal access to low-cost financing for public infrastructure
The seven First Nations (Huu-ay-aht, Ka:'yu:'k't'h/Chek'tles7et'h',
Toquaht, Uchucklesaht and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, Tsawwassen, and Tla'Amin) have
completed, or virtually completed, the Treaty process establishing them
as First Nation Governments.
"Our challenge is that we, as self-governing First Nations, don't have
access to low-cost public infrastructure financing for our
communities. Indian Act First Nations can access the First Nations
Finance Authority (FNFA), and municipalities in BC can access the
Municipal Finance Authority (MFA)" said Clint Williams, Chief of the
Tla'amin First Nation. "But we don't have access to either one, and it
is impeding our ability to build important services for our
"As new governments with new laws, regulations and development plans
coming into place to grow our economies, we need supporting
infrastructure such as water, sewer, transportation and power," said
Chief Williams. "All we're asking for is the same access non-Treaty
First Nations and BC municipalities are getting."
For access to FNFA funding, changes would need to be made to the BC
Treaty First Nation Taxation Act. Amendments to the First Nation-BC
taxing agreements, known as "Real Property Tax Co-ordination
Agreements" would also be required.
For access to the Municipal Finance Authority funding, the BC Government
would need to authorize membership in the MFA and amend any required
laws and agreements.
"We're not asking for a free ride," said Chief Williams. "We are
committed to operating as governments with all of the finance, service
and tax requirements that go with that. Our Nations are committed to
become joint and severally liable with either borrowing group. We
recognize that we need to provide financial oversight and intervention
mechanisms as a function of joining a borrowing pool."
"We are currently in the process of seeking commitment of the leaders of
the major parties in BC during this election period, and look forward
to working with the BC Government after the election is over in May."
SOURCE: Tsawwassen First Nation
For further information:
Tom McCarthy: Office - (604) 948-5220; Cell - (778) 990-8622