This Thursday saw a long-anticipated decision being announced, as the gambling revenue of the British Columbia field is going to be shared with the Indigenous communities in the province. The change is going to take place starting next year, as it has been confirmed by Premier John Horgan at the fifth annual meeting at which leaders of First Nations came together to discuss various topics.
The prospect of gaming revenue sharing has been on the table for the past 20 years but up until this moment, not much has been done in this direction. In this sense, this Thursday was a special day for the British Columbia province as it brought the change and the official promise of the local government that the communities are going to be boosted by the gaming revenue generated through casino operation.
Revenue Sharing Arrangement on the Way
For the fifth consecutive time tribe leaders and the British Columbia government meet in order to discuss important subjects and move ahead with various projects. This time the discussion was especially productive, as come next year the province is going to see significant improvement in its gaming revenue distribution.
This move will be in alignment with existing policies in other provinces across Canada, as they have been providing their First Nations with a fair share of the revenue generated via gaming. February 2019 will see more details on the subject being released in the new budget presented by Finance Minister Carole James. With the help of this decision, tribal communities are going to significantly benefit and be able to utilize the allocated payments for various projects and planned renovations.
Furthermore, the Premier stated that the government seeks to work on a new legislation which is set to bring to life the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. The idea exists in the public space ever since 2017 when the New Democratic Party made the promise it is going to introduce such in order to provide the First Nations with more control when it comes to development in their lands.
British Columbia Government Aims to Bring More
What needs to be done before February next year is more work on the promised declaration aiming to improve the tribal life within a community in general. The double announcement comes at a time when the province is struggling with money laundering investigations linking casino venues with illegal gambling rings stretching all the way to Mainland China and high-roller players.
First Nations will benefit immensely from the gaming revenue payments, as the support is going to be utilized for various improvements such as boosting the social services, schools across the nations, improvement of the roads, as well as funding the health sector. With the help of this two steps, the region is going to dedicate the year 2019 to strengthen the links between local government and the Indigenous communities within the borders of British Columbia.
British Columbia’s Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the Assembly of First Nations expressed his personal position on the matter, saying that this move is a crucial one for the region and it shows quite the progress in the right direction. With the said changes, the province is going to feature a set of rules which keeps a close eye on the First Nations and their intrinsic rights. On the other hand, the tribes themselves have been hoping for this change ever since the idea was first proposed 20 years ago.