Breaking News

Toronto Load More

OntarioLoad More

CanadaLoad More



Friday, March 22, 2013

Tell Harper government: Keep the Parliamentary Budget Officer.



Keep Kevin Page

The Harper Conservatives are just about to release another secretive budget bill with deep cuts to services Canadians rely on. The cuts, which come on the heels of a wave of spending scandals, are going to be unpopular, so they’re silencing the only man who has shown himself to be truly capable of exposing this government’s fiscal mismanagement.
Kevin Page, Canada’s federal budget watchdog, is the man who showed Canadians that Harper’s plan to buy F-35 fighter jets would cost $29 billion – not the $9 billion he promised. Now, just as Harper is trying to ram another secretive budget through Parliament, he’s replacing Kevin Page and quietly destroying the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).
The Harper Conservatives came to power in 2006 after the Sponsorship Scandal brought down a government and shook Canadians’ confidence in our parliament. Harper created the Parliamentary Budget Office after an election promise to clean up Ottawa.
Harper’s power depends on Canadians believing that he's a good economic manager. Harper has the ability to extend Page's term so he can oversee this budget, and Page is willing to serve. If thousands of us speak out right now, we can force Harper to extend Kevin Page’s term, or risk proving to Canadians that his economic management cannot stand up to strong independent scrutiny.
The Harper Conservatives came to power in 2006 after the Sponsorship Scandal brought down a government and shook Canadians’ confidence in our parliament. Harper created the Parliamentary Budget Office after an election promise to clean up Ottawa, and brought in Kevin Page after an eight-month search.
Page proved himself to be the independent budget watchdog Canadians need, but apparently that’s not what the government wanted:
  • When the government refused to put a pricetag on the war in Afghanistan, the PBO told us the inconvenient truth: instead of $8-billion as the Department of Defence estimated, Page said it could be as high as $18-billion.
  • When Harper released his Omnibus Crime Bill, the PBO showed that the government hadn’t included its initial $2.7 billion cost in any federal budget of the past two years, and that it would cost our provinces an extra $500 million each year.
  • Page poured cold water on Harper’s plans to gut Old Age Security by proving that the program was not only sustainable, but that the government could even increase the returns for hard-working Canadians.
  • For the last year, the Harper government has been trying to stop Page from doing his job by refusing to hand over government documents and spending plans. That’s why Page is taking the government to court right now – to make sure Canadians know what our government is doing with our money.
For the last year, the Harper government has been trying to stop Page from doing his job by refusing to hand over government documents and spending plans. That’s why Page is taking the government to court right now.
Prime Minister Harper knows he can’t control Page, and observers believe that’s why he’s trying to seize control of PBO, mismantle it and stop the lawsuit – without the political fallout the his government would face if he simply scrapped it outright.
Now extending Page’s term through the budget is the bare minimum necessary. The PBO should be empowered to report directly to Parliament, and Page’s successor should be picked through an open process that includes equal representation for the opposition parties. Anything less, and you’re letting the fox guard the henhouse. 
Canadians from across the political spectrum can agree that government spending must be open and accountable.  Now, the 2015 federal election is starting to loom over Ottawa, and the government is looking to expand its base. If our pro-democracy community can reach a broad range of Canadians and inspire them to demand accountability, we’ll be able to put enormous pressure on Harper. 
Can you take a moment to send a message to Ottawa? Click here to send a message and save our federal budget watchdog.
We’re in this together. Thanks for all you do.
With hope and respect,
Emma, Matthew, Jamie, Julia, Maggie, and Ryan on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team

About Leadnow.ca


Leadnow.ca is an independent advocacy 

organization that brings generations of 

Canadians together to achieve progress 

through democracy.
Share This
Blogger
Facebook
Disqus

comments powered by Disqus

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe
Stay Connected
Featured

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

© The Toronto Post All rights reserved