Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page says the Harper government is deliberately keeping Parliament and the Canadian public in the dark about the effect of new spending cuts, the Toronto Star reports. The cuts, outlined in the most recent budget, will reduce services across the country, and Page says this could affect everything from food inspections to airline safety.
The budget introduced in March, 2012, called for the elimination of 19,000 federal jobs as an attempt to tighten Ottawa’s belt and control Canada’s debt. The cuts, however, could have dangerous consequences, according to Page. He insists the Harper government is simply not sharing enough information about the cuts—and that Parliament will only learn about the government’s proposed changes after they have already been implemented.
Page says this backwards process makes a mockery of an elected official’s most important role; to control the use of taxpayers’ money.
Treasury Board President Tony Clement, once a vocal supporter of “open government,” says the details of the March 29 budget are being implemented gradually and that his government is following the usual practices.