Tuesday, January 08, 2013

More On Attawapiskat Finances And Chief Spence's Diet

From an APTN interview with Clayton Kennedy, the band's former co-manager.  Looks like yesterday's outrage was a tad overblown.  A couple of interesting facts re some of the "controversy" around the band's financial arrangements.

Firstly, as most people seem to have figured out by now, much of the inadequate documentation of expenses took place before Theresa Spence became chief.  In fact, I would also say it occurred after the time Mr. Kennedy first worked for the band (2001-2004) and before the time he returned to it (2010).

About Mr. Kennedy's salary:

Kennedy said the band was previously co-managed by BDO Canada from November 2009 to April 2010, but the band council decided to not continue with them after the firm asked for $400,000 a year over five years to do the job. Kennedy said he earned about $140,000 by comparison.

About fundraising for Chief Spence:

Clayton Kennedy, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s life partner, said he wants to allay concerns raised in the media about a savings account he set up to for donations to support Spence’s hunger strike.

So far, the account has received about $31,000 in donations and spent about $20,400 on expenses like hotels for support staff at the site and Spence’s family along with food, stoves, gasoline and the rental of a car, he said.

Kennedy said he has kept all the receipts and will be providing a detailed breakdown of the spending to the major donors.

According Kennedy, Chief Spence is not staying in a hotel and is not collecting a per diem from the band.  Also, from another source, re her diet:

Speaking to Postmedia in late December, Dr. Yoni Freedoff, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, estimated that Chief Spence is probably getting between 200 to 400 calories a day — a quarter of the 1,200 an average person requires.

So there you have it.


Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...


A free pass to a First Nation government who spends over $20,000 per year per citizen - yet still has children living in homes infested with black mold, without plumbing?

Why is it that we show so little concern for how indigenous groups are governed, yet devote un-ending attention to our own politicians - Alison Redford, Rob Ford, who exhibit nothing close to the incompetence displayed by poeple like Theresa Spence.

Is it acceptable to look the other way because they are ONLY aboriginal people, so what would be expect?

Seems like the apologists for Theresa Spence are displaying their own form of disrespect for native peoples.

Charles said...

Spence was vice-chief from 2007 onwards - it's disingenuous to pretend she wasn't responsible for anything before 2010.

As for Clayton Kennedy, how can anything he says be trusted, when he's directly implicated in everything?

Dr.Dawg said...

"As for Clayton Kennedy, how can anything he says be trusted, when he's directly implicated in everything?"

Hilarious. Better we should have Jeff Simpson, Andrew Coyne and Terry Glavin and other nervous white men pronounce from afar than some Injun directly on the scene.

Holly Stick said...

Rob, document that $20,000 per person and explain exactly what it is expected to pays for such as health, education, etc and then compare it to government expenditures on non-Indians.

Or is that just another goddamn lying talking point from another goddamn Conservative shill?

Holly Stick said...

Also read this: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/04/brett-hodnett-the-real-math-behind-attawapiskats-90-million/

Koby said...

I see the soft bigotry of small expectations is alive and well. Not only natives permitted to trout one ethnic essentialism after another, but when it comes to managing public monies they also get a mulligan. Yes the Department Northern and Indian Affairs has mismanaged the file and yes only 8% of a monies were targeting for housing, but come on now. Embracing Spence is an idiot move and it takes a willful blindness to pretend that she ran a tight ship.

Attawapiskat elected Band council salaries and expenses $600,605 population 1549

North Vancouver district council salaries and expenses $359,779 population 84,412

bigcitylib said...

Links, Koby, or quit it. And Robert G; this is your standard generic FN rant, even though my post was about a number of very specific issues. You disappoint me even more than usual.

Charles said...

@Dr Dawg: Actually, Clayton Kennedy is a blue-eyed white man.

But his ethnicity doesn't really come into it. It's his failure to do the financial management job he was being paid for that's at issue.

bigcitylib said...

Actually, the worst you can say about C Kennedy is he has not entirely got hold of the financial mess he inherited. Which he admits in the APTN interview.

Charles said...

Did he let his employers know when he moved in with the woman whose financial accounts he was supposed to be monitoring?

bigcitylib said...

Charles, as a matter of fact yes. Everything Kennedy did was signed off on by the Canadian gov., as he says in the interview through the link. Didn't you bother to read? Why not? You ignorant or something?

Charles said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Koby said...

ha ha

Defending Spence, favorably referencing that idiot Palmater, I expected better.


It is not that the elected band council members are paid outrageous amounts it is that there is an absurd number of them.

As for North Vancouver district, I over shot. Expenses were down last year. $350, 695 for the most recent year.


double nickel said...

I love the smell of Con-trolls getting burned.

bigcitylib said...

Koby,Thanks for the link, but North Vancouver District has at least one extra layer of government over-top the district layer. Start adding those salaries and see what you get.

Charles said...

So, bigcitylib, you delete questions and comments you don't like?

Koby said...

You are mixing up bureaucrats with elected officials Big City Lib. Attawapiskat has an MP and MLA too. What it has that other communities does not have is ridiculous number of elected officials for a community its size.

As for total number bureaucrats, given that the band is in charge of dispensing more services than a municipality, yes you would think that they might have slightly higher pay roll than non native communities of comparable size. However, even when this is factored in Attawapiskat has a monstrously high pay roll for a community of 1500 people. I will again compare it to North Vancouver District. Attawapiskat pays out $11.2 million in salaries and benefits. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/09/mark-milke-crunching-attawapiskats-numbers/ North Vancouver pays out $42, 960, 250. The district of North Vancouver's has 56 times more people than Attawapiskat. What is more, I can assure you that the quality of the service in North Vancouver is a lot better than what is available in Attawapiskat.

Now as for the issue of whether or not there is corruption, I will leave that issue alone for the time being save for one thing. The fact that the owner of Moo Shum Enterprises, which the band pays $850 a day to, is also Spence's common law husband is tad suspicious.

Finally there is issue of the record keeping. It stinks and heads should roll not only in Attawapiskat, but also department Northern and Indian Affairs. That this is so is so blindly obvious it hardly merits comment.

Koby said...

The fact that the owner of Moo Shum Enterprises, which the band pays $850 a day to, is also Spence's common law husband is tad suspicious.


Gayle said...

Isn't that $850.00/day his pay for being the co-manager?

There are some people here who are suggesting that Theresa Spence is hiding money or spending it inappropriately. May I respectfully point out that the government has been unable to prove either allegation. Yes, the audit showed inappropriate accounting - which no doubt the government knew would be the result since they have been APPROVING this type of accounting. Instead of forking out tax dollars for an audit perhaps they could have told the band that they would have to start adhering to better accounting practices. That said, lack of receipts does not equate to theft or misappropriation of funds. There is NO evidence of that.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

The point is entirely UNRACIST.

That government, in general, is failing the citizens of Attawapiskat.. and that "government" is not limited to Federal and Provincial government, it INCLUDES in a big way, First Nations government.

By ignoring the reality of the "third arm" abuse, we do a disservice to the children of Attawapiskat.. and, in a not-so-subtle way, we treat aboriginal peoples as if "it's as good as THOSE people can do."

Well it isn't.

Whether the person mishandling money for the people of Attawapiskat is white, native, or whatever is irrelevant. And to be fair - they are not the only band with massive financial mismanagement.


I am aware of the problem of raising this issue.

Because it does allow for other forms of racism to creep in an allow the dominant society to ignore the problem as "THEIR" problem, not OURS.

I sat at a table during a Alberta PC Party policy meeting, and when I was asked what I felt the number one policy issue was, I said, "I think it's tragic how many of our poeple live on reserves and that should be a priority."

The response?

A women sneered across the table and said, "We give the Indians enough already."

So I get it. But that still doesn't mean we give band leaders a free pass to do the same from the other perspective. Shift blame away from themselves under a sort of reverse racism that suggests to their people that the only abuse possible is from non-natives.

We need to stop with the politically correct and racist bullshit already and deal with the issue.

Ok. Rant over.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...


And source of numbers:


Holly Stick said...

Your source is the Fraser Institute? Sorry, their numbers are crap. Milke is comparing the expenditures of a reserve to those of a municipal government without noting that the municipal government is also backed up by provincial and federal spending. Two different things.

Holly Stick said...

See MichaelPat's comment under the Milke travesty, and don't be such a sucker for that kind of dishonesty.