Chief of small First Nation Band made $267,000 in 2014

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Flickr/Province of British Columbia

Chief Willard Cook with the small 93 member First Nation Band Semiahmoo in Surrey took home $267,309 for his salary in the 2014 fiscal year.

Cook’s renumeration was made public under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. Councillor Joanne Charles made $187,138 and Councillor Roxanne Charles made just $4,725.

Net financial assets for 2014 for the entire band was $3.3 million, yet some members say living conditions on the reserve don’t reflect that.

Member Darren Dollan told CTV that “we simply can’t get what we need.”

Some parts of the reserve don’t even have city water, high speed internet or garbage collection. Dollan gets his water delivered to a plastic bin in his backyard twice a month, which costs $110 per visit. He uses the water to shower and do other household chores, but has a constant problem with algae growth in the container.

“You get sick off of this stuff,” he said.

Dollan told CTV he was shocked to learn how much Cook made in the last fiscal year while he does not have running water and a band meeting has not happened in a decade.

Vancity Buzz has reached out to the Semiahmoo First Nation for a comment.

Of the 93 members of the Semiahmoo First Nation, only 60 live on reserves.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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