Government being dishonest with First Nations

UOI OFFICES, March 3 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation leaders say the federal government is being dishonest when it says there will be no negative impact on residents of Ontario from the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax.

"A major independent study clearly established that First Nations would suffer the full impact of paying 13 cents more on every dollar they spend after July 1st," says Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. "So not only is the Harper government breaching our human and treaty rights by trying to impose a tax on another Nation, they are being dishonest in what they are telling the public about their plan."

Madahbee was referring to an analysis released by the Canadian Centre on Policy Alternatives which said: "First Nations will be subject to the full impact of the HST without any of the offsetting benefits."

The study, released in December, also suggests that the government must devise measure to protect "vulnerable groups", including First Nations citizens and the homeless.

"We estimate that this illegal imposition of the HST would cost the average Anishinabek Nation household -- on or off reserve -- an average $100 more per week," said Madahbee. "Our families will now be paying 13 per cent more for such essentials as heating and utilities, clothing, and many supermarket items."

Ontario New Democrats have released documents obtained under freedom of access legislation showing the HST will add an extra $225 a year to the cost of home heating and electricity. They have accused the Ontario government of deliberately misleading people about the impact of the harmonized sales tax.

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

SOURCE Anishinabek Nation

For further information: For further information: Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290), Cell: (705) 494-0735, E-mail: becmar@anishinabek.ca, www.facebook.com - add Anishinabek Nation as a "friend"

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Anishinabek Nation

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