Penticton Indian Band wants fairness in financial transparency
By Meaghan Archer
Chief Jonathan Kruger.
(SHANNON QUESNEL / iNFOnews.ca)
August 21, 2014 - 1:41 PM
PENTICTON - The Chief of the Penticton Indian Band says he doesn't mind releasing his band's financial statements so long as the federal government treats band politicians and government politicians equally in terms of salary and pensions.
The band posted its audited financial statements for 2013-2014 on its official website Wednesday, allowing anyone to see chief and council salaries, government funding, band-generated income and spendings.
Band Chief Jonathan Kruger opted to post his salary on the band’s website last year, before any regulations were in place. This is the first year Native bands across Canada are required to submit financial statements that outline how much money the band generates and spends.
While Kruger says he doesn’t have a problem with transparency, he does have a problem with chiefs and councillors not getting salaries and pensions like government leaders.
“If Canada wants us to be transparent it should be fair across the board,” he said.
Kruger earned just over $60,000 plus $21,525 in expenses over the last year. Coun. Travis Kruger and Coun. Joseph Pierre had the second largest paycheques, both earning close to $47,000. Travis Kruger had the highest expenses out of the eight councillors at $8,760.
The Penticton Indian Band spent $228,314.52 in regular earnings for chief and councillors plus $48,216.74 in expenses. They govern approximately 1,000 band members, 500 who live on the reserve and 500 who live elsewhere.
In comparison, City of Penticton leaders govern more than 33,000 people but spent nearly $205,000 on mayor and councillors as of Dec. 2013—roughly $68,500 less than the Band council.
Mayor Garry Litke had the highest salary and expenses, earning a combined total of nearly $47,000. Coun. Helena Konanz had the second highest combined earnings of just over $28,000.
That means roughly $6 of from every Penticton resident goes towards the salaries of elected officials. For the Band officials, it works out to roughly $276 per band member.
Band council has two more councillors than the city.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014