Mr. Speaker, before I begin my formal response to the member's intervention, I listened very carefully to his words and I noticed he mentioned he is very concerned about aboriginal children suffering on reserve and that he is concerned about an apparent 80% rate of unemployment for some reserves which he quoted from the
Globe and Mail
Only a few moments ago he voted against Bill C-49 on land management which would allow first nations even in his own riding to provide access to resources and land and to bring investment into the community. This was in defiance even of the chief who was here today in the House observing these debates. So I question the legitimacy of these interventions in light of his comments on Bill C-49.
I will address in a more particular form some of his concerns with respect to audits. First nations prepare annual financial statements and have them audited by an independent and qualified auditor. Those are independent audits. Over the past 10 years we have made considerable progress in this whole process meeting auditing standards that are acceptable to associations of accountants across Canada. We abide by their accepted standards for auditing and we are addressing those problems on reserve.
I am pleased to report that those who are meeting the standards have risen recently from 57% to 82%. We have marginally around 16% to 18% of bands where there are some difficulties in the auditing practices. It is not, as the Reform Party would have the House and Canadians believe, a generalized problem sweeping the nation of Indian members misusing the money. In those cases where it does occur it is properly investigated.