WINNIPEG — A Manitoba First Nation accused of not paying its teachers and keeping their insurance premiums, government contributions and pension payments said it doesn’t need the federal government to step in and manage its books.
Sandy Bay Chief Russell Beaulieu said a previous band council racked up at least $19 million of debt and the First Nation is working to repay creditors.
Beaulieu concedes insurance premiums, pension contributions and government deductions are being taken off each cheque, but added he doesn’t know where that money has gone or where it is going now. He said the band can’t afford a forensic audit, which might get to the bottom of it.
“We have hardly any money,” he said. “We’re finding out as much as we can.”
Beaulieu said teachers continue to pay for health benefits that they aren’t receiving because their insurance company is among the creditors.
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