Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Province of British Columbia
Summary -- Fiscal Arrangements for Treaty Negotiations in B.C.
The fiscal arrangements for treaties include both the financial envelopes
(land, cash and resources) for treaty settlements, funding arrangements between
governments and compensation arrangements with third parties. Fiscal
arrangements will define a major part of the ongoing relationships between
governments and will ensure comparable treatment of all people in British
Columbia. The Province will negotiate with respect to fiscal arrangements on the
basis of the following:
- Treaties must be affordable to British Columbia taxpayers, and must result
in a fair federal/provincial/First Nation sharing of financial
- The Province has politically recognized aboriginal rights and the inherent
right to self-government, and has agreed to negotiate treaties to define those
- Treaties must balance aboriginal rights with the rights and interests of
all British Columbians, and provide the basis for sustainable economic and
- First Nations people will continue to be citizens of Canada and British
Columbia, and the Canadian Constitution including the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms will continue to apply to all citizens.
- Canada's primary constitutional and financial responsibility for treaties
must be preserved.
- Any provincial revenues reduced as a result of treaties should eventually
be offset by savings, either from the transfer of expenditure responsibilities
to First Nations, or from reduced demands on social programs as a result of
the improved socio-economic circumstances of First Nations
- FINANCIAL CONTROLSTreaties must be affordable to British Columbians.
The Province will develop guidelines to ensure it stays within its overall
financial planning envelope for treaties, as outlined in the KPMG Report.
These guidelines will set out the method of allocating benefits across
treaties, and will also address the manner in which the components of treaty
settlements (land, cash and resources) can be interchanged, within the total
envelope for each treaty.
- FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS AMONG GOVERNMENTSThe fiscal arrangements among
Canada, British Columbia and each First Nation will identify the
responsibilities of the First Nation government, its costs for carrying out
its governance responsibilities, and will determine whether and to what extent
Canada and British Columbia will contribute to those revenues. The First
Nation's own ability to fund its operations will be considered before any
funding is provided by the senior governments.
First Nation Revenue SourcesTaxation Revenues
to raise revenues by taxation is an integral element of First Nation
self-government and is expected to be a component of every treaty. In addition
to their existing powers of property taxation, First Nations will be able to
levy other taxes on their own members on their own lands. The section 87 tax
exemption will be phased out, and the revenues collected will be used to help
fund First Nation governments. Eventually, all First Nations people will pay
taxes to Canada and the Province.
First Nations will own the resources on and
under treaty settlement lands and the royalties from those resources will
belong to First Nation governments. The Province will not enter into resource
revenue sharing arrangements outside treaty settlement lands and will
therefore continue to collect all resource revenues from Crown lands.
Program Funding Transfer
Treaties will transfer decision-making
powers over agreed-upon programs and services. Program funding transfer
arrangements must balance the goal of aboriginal communities for more
autonomy, with the Province's goal of providing a basic standard of services
for all residents of British Columbia, and with the Province's concerns for
affordability and efficiency.
Financial Transfer Arrangements
The financial transfer
arrangement provides the framework for measuring the potential revenue
capacity of First Nation governments and the cost of negotiated service
responsibilities being assumed by them, to determine the funding required from
other governments. It will define the fiscal relationships under which the
parties to treaties will operate after treaties are signed.
Economic Development Opportunities
The land, cash and natural
resources components of treaty settlements will provide First Nations with
economic opportunities which will result in increased fiscal capacity for the
First Nation government. Every treaty negotiation will consider the
opportunities available to enable the First Nation to establish a sustainable
government and a healthy community.
- FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH THIRD PARTIESThe treatment of third-party
interests in lands which become the subject of treaties will be based on two
of the guiding principles for treaty negotiations: private land is not on the
table and disruption of private interests in Crown land will be avoided
wherever possible. Negotiators will work with First Nations and third parties
to reach solutions that are satisfactory to all. In those cases where an
existing interest will be affected, consistent province-wide principles for
compensation will apply.
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Last Update: 1996 Dec 10