Legislative amendments enhance First Nations access to socio-economic benefits through the First Nations Fiscal Management Act

News release

December 13, 2018 — Ottawa, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

Today, Indigenous Services Canada is pleased to announce that the amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act have received Royal Assent through Bill C-86. These amendments enable better delivery of the Act, simplified and clearer provisions, and will extend access to organizations and additional First Nations that will benefit from new socio-economic opportunities.

The First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FNFMA) is opt-in legislation that enables participating First Nations to implement taxation, fiscal management and access long term financing to meet their economic development and infrastructure needs. The First Nations Fiscal Institutions under the FNFMA work directly with participating First Nations, and include:

  • The First Nations Financial Management Board (FNFMB);
  • The First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA): and,
  • The First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC).

New to the Act:

  • Clarification of institutional powers and strengthened liability protections for the First Nations Fiscal Institutions;
  • The need for regulations for taxation on joint reserves has been addressed;
  • First Nations not already scheduled to the Act (non-scheduled First Nations) can now access certain services offered by the Financial Management Board;
  • The First Nations Finance Authority can now provide its investment services to a broader clientele;
  • First Nations now have increased flexibility regarding the replenishment of the debt reserve fund;
  • Indigenous organizations delivering public services, such as health or education services, can now access the regime;
  • Gaps have been addressed affecting:
    • Institutions’ daily operations administering the Act;
    • Taxation provisions for joint reserves, and;
  • First Nations may now access and hold control over their Indian Moneys upon a successful vote by their communities.

Quotes

“I am pleased that the work undertaken with First Nations Fiscal Institutions has brought forward these meaningful amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. The continued collaboration to better First Nations access to economic opportunities is a significant step towards greater self-determination for all participating First Nations and organizations.”
 
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

"These amendments are a strong demonstration of the important relationship between the First Nations Fiscal Institutions and the Government of Canada. They will create more economic opportunities for all First Nations, a key aspect to the shared work of reconciliation.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“The Bill 86 amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act responds to the desire of the Indigenous Community to expand opportunities for the FNFMA Institutions to support all communities, organizations and Tribal Councils as they build a new relationship with Canada.”  
 
Harold Calla
Executive Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board (FNFMB)

“Amendments to the FMA will allow the FNFA to broaden its mandate, allowing First Nations regional/tribal organizations to join First Nations governments in access to low cost, long-term capital for important economic and infrastructure development. Under its current mandate, FNFA has facilitated access to $600 million in financing, resulting in the creation of approx. 6,000 jobs. By consolidating their resources at the regional and provincial levels, First Nations will be able to meaningfully participate in Canada’s economic future.”
 
Ernie Daniels
President CEO, First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA)

"The FMA is one of the most successful First Nation-led legislative frameworks in Canadian history. There are now 266 participating First Nations. These amendments continue to provide a First Nation-led and institutionally supported bridge for interested First Nations to move from the Indian Act to their own jurisdiction. Less Indian Act, less Department of Indigenous Services, and more First Nation jurisdiction is a goal we all share."

C.T. (Manny) Jules
Chief Commissioner, First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC)

Quick facts

  • There are currently 266 First Nations opted-in to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act and the Government has committed extra resources, through Budget 2018, to increase this number to 400 within the next five years.

  • Participation in the act is optional. First Nations communities choose whether they will participate in the taxation and borrowing regimes created under the act and subsequent regulations.

  • Over a third of First Nations across the country have chosen to exercise their fiscal powers through the FNFMA.

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Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
819-934-2796

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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