Re: “Grievances persist as chief ends fast,” Jan. 24.
Although she has ended her hunger strike, Chief Theresa Spence has clearly sought nationwide publicity for more than a month. She is hardly in a position to expect people not to make some inquiries into her circumstances.
Consider her income: Although her official salary as band chief is only $70,000 a year, it should be remembered this is tax-free, and so is worth a lot more. More important, however, is that her band has hired her common-law husband, Clayton Kennedy, for $850 per day, also tax-free. If he takes generous unpaid holidays, he will still get at least $250,000 a year.
So Spence’s family gets paid at least $320,000 a year, tax-free. This is considerably more than the salary of the premier of Ontario, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada or even the prime minister. And this for administering a band with about 300 families.
And by the way, when she returns to her job at Attawapiskat, she gets to drive around the reserve in a 6.2-litre Cadillac Escalade. Because the band’s expenditures are largely undocumented, I have been unable to find out who paid for this vehicle, but I hope she paid for it (no GST of course), from her own income.
And don’t forget that all these funds are supplied by the Canadian taxpayer.
Is it any wonder that there is a lack of funds for housing on the reserve?
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