Now openly scoffing at the Parliamentary Budget Officer

by Aaron Wherry

The opening exchange from this afternoon’s QP.

Thomas Mulcair: Mr. Speaker, Conservatives are withholding information from Canadians about cuts to their vital public services. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, 85% of Conservative cuts are aimed directly at front-line services, but the PBO cannot measure the full impact of these cuts because Conservative ministers are hiding key financial data. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has now been forced to take the extraordinary step of asking the Federal Court to intervene. Why are Conservatives obstructing the very office they created to provide objective financial information to Parliament? What do they have to hide?

Stephen Harper: Well, of course, nothing, Mr. Speaker. The government has made available to Parliament and to all Canadians all relevant information whenever it is available and we will continue to do so. We created the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Office so he could do his non-partisan work and we will continue to supply information for that.

Various laughs were heard from the government side at the Prime Minister’s use of the phrase “non-partisan.”




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Now openly scoffing at the Parliamentary Budget Officer

  1. So, at least Harper is acknowledging, in his usual elliptical way, that he’s disappointed that the PBO hasn’t turned out to be the same kind of doormat and yes person many of his other Parliamentary officers have turned out to be.

  2. Here’s to hoping Page will take it to the courts. He will loose and then that will be settled. Can’t wait to witness those court proceedings.

    • And what if he doesn’t “loose” but is “let loose”?

      • I’d say: let him loose!

        • I agree completely: let him loose with unfettered access to government forecasts and estimates.

          • No, you do not agree completely: you agree partially to what I’ve said.

            We may agree on ‘letting him loose’ but that’s about the end of our agreement. Or are you trying to tell me that I should just ignore such differences just like Page likes to ignore the fact that he isn’t an elected official?

          • His status as an appointed rather than an elected official is rather irrelevant to the consideration of his terms of reference. If that were a relevant factor, the ELECTED members of the opposition would have more right to access to public accounts than the frat boys in the PMO.

          • Not when an unelected official’s motivation is to feed the opposition’s demands. If Page wants to dish out the subjective, he should stand for elected office.

            Oh, I am soo looking forward to this court case.

          • Can you actually point out one partisan report he has made to Parliament?

          • I trust the courts to point that out for us. Why do you think I’m so looking forward to the court case…..? Can’t wait.

          • Didn’t think you could. Thanks.

          • What? I’ve just said that the courts are there to figure that out. That’s why it’s going to court, apparently, to figure things out. Now you are blaming me for not telling you in advance of how the courts may rule?

            I always thought we collectively held the courts to be independent bodies. Sorry if we’re not on the same page……

          • Waydaminit! Who’s commenting in advance on how the courts may rule? You’re the one who just said above that the PBO’s “motivation is to feed the opposition’s demands”.

            I merely asked for examples of such allegedly-partisan motivation. (BTW, how do you even know what his motivation is?)

          • Sorry, my bad. I know damn well that trying to influence the courts is wrong. Won’t happen again.

            You are right, the courts should rule on this, motivation included. You think the courts have the guts…….sorry, sorry, didn’t mean to insult the court, honestly.

            Still looking forward to the courtcase. Can’t wait!

          • I think on that point we can agree. Let the Federal Court decide.

          • “Not when an unelected official’s motivation is to feed the opposition’s demands.”
            “I trust the courts to point that out for us.”

            Hahahahaha!

    • Even if he did lose, it’s true, the court proceedings could be fascinating. The amount of time that could be taken up just with the reading of transcripts of Tory cabinet ministers insisting vociferously that this sort of thing was EXACTLY why we needed a PBO in the first place could be weeks.

      To my mind, politically, all that Page losing in court would do would be to make it crystal clear to EVERYONE that on the PBO file the Tories still haven’t fulfilled an election promise they made repeatedly TWO ELECTIONS AGO, and that the Tories have been pretending they fulfilled ever since appointing Page.

      • What can I say, dear Lord: “I enjoy a good court case.” And that is the truth.

  3. I’d love to hear the PM’s definition of “relevant” and “available”. His argument that nothing’s being hidden would seem to hinge on the interpretation of those two words.

    • Things are only relevant and available if they can be spun for Economic Action Plan ads.

  4. Too bad Macleans doesn’t have a wannabe parliamentarian of the year award….Page could have won that easily

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