Harper Government Delivers Results to Aboriginal People and All Canadians

Ref. #2-3819

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (June 19, 2013) – Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, welcomed Royal Assent of four key pieces of legislation that clearly demonstrate the Harper Government's commitment to increasing opportunities for Aboriginal people and Northerners in Canada. A fifth bill, Bill C-27, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, received Royal Assent in March.

"Our Government and Aboriginal peoples are aligned in our goal of seeing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people closed when it comes to living standards, quality of life and economic opportunities," said Minister Valcourt. "We are proud of the legislation that received Royal Assent today. These laws are historic achievements that will bring real change and improvements for people living in Canada's Aboriginal and Northern communities."

The five pieces of legislation that have received Royal Assent to date in 2013 are:

  • The Northern Jobs and Growth Act – which brings increased predictability and efficiency to the regulatory and environmental review processes for major northern projects.
  • The First Nations Financial Transparency Act – which strengthens transparency and accountability for community members by requiring First Nation governments to publish the annual audited consolidated financial statements they already prepare, as well as a schedule of chiefs and councillors' salaries and expenses in line with accounting standards and with other levels of government in Canada.
  • The Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act – which aims to enhance the rights and protections offered to First Nations living on-reserve, particularly women and children in the event of a relationship breakdown, divorce or death. Until now, women and children living on-reserve lacked those legal protections enjoyed by all other Canadians.
  • The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act – which will enable safe on reserve drinking water and wastewater treatment by developing much needed regulatory safeguards.
  • Yale First Nation Final Agreement Act – which will bring into effect the Yale First Nation Final Agreement. The Final Agreement includes 1,966 hectares of treaty settlement lands, a capital transfer of $10.7 million, along with greater self-sufficiency and decision-making powers through self-government for the Yale First Nation.

"Our Government is proud to have worked with many Aboriginal leaders and community members to pass these important pieces of legislation," Minister Valcourt added. "I salute all who helped make these laws happen, particularly those who began this journey many years ago. Your hard work, courage and vision have paid off. Today, we can all take pride in what we have accomplished."

Please visit the Parliamentary website to read the legislation:


For more information, please contact:

Minister's Office
Andrea Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit the AANDC Subscriptions page.