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Accountability Chief & Council Release

Council continues record of debt reduction, posts surplus in 2016/2017 Audit

For Immediate Release

September 28, 2017

Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – The 2016/2017 Consolidated Financial Statements report significant improvement in the Nation’s financial position” explains Juliano Tupone, the Chief Financial Officer for the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation.

Those numbers paint a promising picture.

The Nation’s overall net debt was reduced by $3M from the last fiscal year to this year; the Nation posted a $2.8M surplus; and according to auditing firm MNP, the Nation’s audit was “unqualified” meaning ‘the financial statements present fairly, in all material aspects the financial position of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation’.

The Nation’s leadership and senior administration have taken significant steps to improve the financial management of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation. Working together, we will continue to improve our financial position” added Tupone.

We have worked diligently to manage our financial affairs” said Chief Roy Petit, “our financial success can only continue with the recent adoption and implementation of the Financial Management Act. Our Council remains committed to prosperity and understand that getting there requires strong, and effective financial controls.

The 2016/2017 Fiscal Year Audit documents are available to the public at the Nation’s Band Office, and on the Nation’s website. A Members’ Assembly has been called for October 16th to review the audit findings.
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For more information, please contact:
Chief & Council Communications
306-467-4523 ext 237
communications@beardysband.com
Categories
Blog Chief & Council Economic Development

Blackhawks Esso Site Development Update

Tansi everyone,

Well the first month of 2017 has been very exciting – with significant new developments and initiatives on my plate, I wanted to provide you with an update on some of my progress thus far.

Since leaving Blackhawks Esso in a management capacity, I have been very fortunate to provide valuable input and insight into the redevelopment of Blackhawks Esso to meet the needs of our people and surrounding communities now and into the future.

Here’s our goal:

esso-station-about-us-body-xl

And we’re almost there.

Since working on the site re-development, I have:

  1. Worked with our partners at Urban Systems to adjust the proposed layout of the re-developed site. The new layout ensures that our new build will be just as accessible as the current site, ensures maximum marketability of the new store which in-turn, increases traffic and produces higher revenues, and incorporates driving lanes for the new drive-thru.
  2. Worked with our partners at Parkland Fuels to enter into an agreement for an “On the Run” franchise. We are currently awaiting the Disclosure Document which details the costs and requirements of the franchise.
  3. esso-on-the-run-12 Submitted the application to Tim Hortons to enter into a franchise agreement as part of the re-developed site (which would include an in-store, full-menu Tim Hortons kiosk (pictured) and a drive-thru)
  4. Met with the Town of Duck Lake and begun the negotiating process for a Municipal Services Agreement (MSA) for water, sewer, and fire and protective services for the site. I was very encouraged from our meeting on Wednesday, January 25th where their Council indicated their enthusiastic support for the project and their willingness to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to begin the drafting process for the Municipal Services Agreement.

Now what?

  • Upon receiving the Disclosure Document from Parkland Fuels, we will review the submission and provide the document to our legal counsel for further scrutiny.
  • otr_thIf there is nothing unexpected in the Disclosure Document, we will proceed with formalizing the Franchise Agreement and pay the franchise fee of $30,000.00 to Parkland Fuels.
  • We also must work with Tim Hortons in the approval of our application for a franchise. This process may take a bit of extra time as Tim Hortons has undergone a major corporate restructuring as a result of their purchase by Burger King. Little Black Bear First Nation has had success in opening a Tim Hortons franchise. I hope to contact them to gain their insight on how to work with Tim Hortons in expediting and approving our application. If approved, the Franchise Fee process would work similar to the process for the On the Run franchise.
  • We will also need to finalize the Municipal Services Agreement with the Town of Duck Lake. In order for our operation to be successful, we need access to a quality, reliable water supply and sewer service. We also need to have ready-access to fire and protective services. The MSA with the Town of Duck Lake – if approved – will provide those services.
  • Once we’re successful in pulling all the pieces of the puzzle together, we will work toward finalizing the financing options for the project which includes securing a loan of approximately $3.5 million for the entire site re-development which includes: a new build for the On the Run Convenience Store (with Tim Hortons kiosk and drive thru) and all applicable interior infrastructure and security systems, 4 new pumps (to accommodate 8 vehicles at a time) and a specifically dedicated diesel pump for heavy equipment, a canopy (as pictured), and all required infrastructure which includes water, sewer, electrical, internet, etc).
  • Complete the tender process and awarding of contracts (with an emphasis on local hiring for skilled workers)
  • Build the site.

While this list is not exhaustive, it does paint an accurate picture of how we envision this process proceeding in the next few months.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the hard and diligent work of the following:

  • Blackhawks Gas Board of Directors – who have supported and assisted in guiding this process and have navigated significant challenges over the past year.
  • Our Chief Financial Officer, Juliano Tupone and Councillor Jeremy Seeseequsis who have provided sound advice and are working carefully to secure the financing options for this endeavor
  • The management and staff at Blackhawks Esso who have tackled significant challenges head-on and have adapted to tremendous changes over the last year. Their hard work and dedication ensures that our business is successful.

If you have any questions or concerns about this report or project, please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest possible convenience.

Kininaskomitinawaw,

Councillor Kevin Seesequasis
Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation
306-467-4523 ext 237
communications@beardysband.com

Categories
Chief & Council

Report: Public Works & Housing

The Operations and Maintenance (O&M) portion of AANDC funding for Public Works & Housing is based on a formula that was created in 1992, was capped in 1996, and hasn’t seen an increase in funding since 1986.

Here’s how I understand this formula works: AANDC takes an R.M./town approximately the same size as our First Nation (same number of buildings, homes, population, machinery, infrastructure and employees). Based on these numbers they calculate how much that R.M./town should receive in funding and/or taxes collected, to operate efficiently – whatever that amount is, we as a Band receive 20% of that total to put towards our operations and maintenance; this means we have to come up with 80% of operational dollars on our own.

Example: if it is calculated that it will cost $100,000/yr. to operate a Water Treatment Plant then we receive $20,000 of funding; this means that we are already starting with an $80,000 deficit.

It has always been an expectation of AANDC that this shortfall should come from the membership in the form of a ‘user fee’. It is my understanding that not so long ago an agreement to implement this fee was passed at a Band Meeting; unfortunately nothing has been done to ensure that this ‘fee for service’ was fully implemented.

Naturally, because we are a close knit community this is a touchy subject to discuss, but still needs to be addressed and implemented if we are to come out of this deficit that is being created partially by our own inaction.

As mentioned in the newsletter, we receive $1,016,770/yr. but in order for us to operate effectively we should be working with at the very least 2 times this amount.

Think of it, if we were to re-implement the $100 User Fee to each and every household, Public Works would have an approximate $400,000 a year extra to assist with all of the issues that our community faces in regards to building and road maintenance, purchasing new, or repairing existing machinery, hiring another f/t maintenance person, build a home, there are many things we could do…

We hope to have another information meeting in March to discuss this, and the CMHC program to follow up on the December 2nd meeting.

Thank you,

C. Roy Petit, Councillor i/c Public Works & Housing
Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation