The Federal Court dismisses Kevin Page’s case

Former PBO suffers setback


A ruling just in from the Federal Court on Kevin Page’s appeal.

The Court concludes, notwithstanding parliamentary privilege, that it has jurisdiction to answer the questions, but declines to answer them on the grounds of non-justiciability. The Court finds that the questions posed are hypothetical and that no refusal to provide data is contained in the record before it as the Parliamentary Budget Officer has never actually requested data from any department at the instance of the Leader of the Opposition.

The reasons for judgment are here.

Update 5:33pm. Speaking with reporters after QP this afternoon, Thomas Mulcair commented on the decision.

If you read paragraphs 5 and 28 of the decision on the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s prerogatives, you’ll read a decision that comforts us in the position we’ve been taking all along, that Kevin Page had the right to demand those documents. The so-called privilege that existed of Parliament that the government was trying to set up as a barricade for him getting that information was false. That whole argument fell flat and the judge didn’t accept it. The judge did say that, however, the request should have been made for those specific documents and it wasn’t. So he said that part became a bit theoretical. But on the most fundamental aspects of the case, paragraphs 5 and 28 proved conclusively that we were right to take the case to court. It has reaffirmed the right of the Parliamentary Budget Officer to demand that information and we’re very happy with the decision we got today…

I think that this decision is so solid and so categorical that the Conservatives can’t play their game of continuing to try to shut down the Parliamentary Budget Officer, that any future Parliamentary Budget Officer will be able to use that judgment to demand the documents and everything will be fine with that. I don’t think that any further litigation is required. I think that the judgment is crystal clear in that regard.


The Federal Court dismisses Kevin Page’s case

  1. I’m no lawyer, but reading the decision… couldn’t a half-decent lawyer have predicted this outcome? Seems like a pretty basic reason to throw the case out. How did it get this far?

    • Also not a lawyer; but I don’t understand how this ruling would not equally apply to the government’s request that the SCC rule on the constitutionality of various hypothetical changes to the senate.

      • In the case of the senate, I believe it’s advice; in the case of the PBO, it’s a ruling. That might be the difference there.

        (Again, not a lawyer!)

        • You’re right, the Senate case was officially framed as a so-called “reference” case; I don’t believe this case was. I’m pretty sure that only government can initiate a reference case.

          • It certainly wasn’t the case — it was Page and Mulcair who brought the case to the court, not the government… what I still don’t understand is how they could have proceeded with the case when they didn’t even have the ‘ingredients’ to make a case, ie. an actual dispute. I must be missing something somewhere.

    • I am no lawyer either but I tried to warn people here.

      I have said that I was looking forward to Mr.Page going to court to plead his case (you can sift through my previous postings if you’d like), and here we are.

      No one took me serious at the time. Why not?

      • If you can find the post where you say, ‘the judge is going to throw this out because it’s not something on which he can rule,’ I’ll be the first to apologize. I know you don’t like Kevin Page, that you think he’s too political. He might be. But the judge didn’t echo those sentiments. He dismissed it on “procedural grounds”; and because it was hypothetical. Many of the questions surrounding the case remain unanswered. I invite you to read the judgement, [62] in particular.

        (You’ll notice I’ve never made any predictions regarding this case, but I was curious to see how it would turn out. Sadly, it’s largely unresolved.)

        • I knew you would not look back over my past postings in regards to Page.

          “However, questions can not be answered in a factual vacuum.”

          That, and what is written down next in that paragraph is worth reading over for you. It may make you see the point of my valid Page criticism.

          • Of course I wouldn’t! I wouldn’t ask you to read over my old posts… I assume you have much better things to do with your time.

            And, yeah… even after this ruling, I’m still no closer to understanding what a PBO can and can’t do, or should or shouldn’t do, or what he is or isn’t entitled to look at. The ruling doesn’t get into it. The judge says he might be able to rule on something like this, but what was presented to him wasn’t something he could adjudicate. I’m no lawyer, but that’s what I take from it.

            Now, if we want to discuss the wisdom (or lack thereof) of trying to bring this case before the courts such as it was, well…

          • I tried advising you to go look at the ruling from the court. Start with the paragraph which starts with:

            “However, questions can not be answered in a factual vacuum.” THAT is what the PBO cannot do!…. and go from there.

            Still don’t remember my train of thought as to why Page was out of bound during his PBO position?

          • The judge is referring to himself, not Page. The judge can’t answer questions in a factual vacuum — a vacuum left by the fact that there isn’t an actual dispute for him to rule on.

          • Of course the judge (or courts) cannot answer questions in a vacuum. Exactly!

            Now tell me: Who can??

          • Certainly not the PBO… which is why this became an issue that wound up in the courts to begin with…

          • Exactly! Kevin Page tried to answer questions in a vacuum on an ongoing basis.

            PS: did you notice today that on CBC P&P, it was announced, in writing, that the “Federal court dismisses case by budget watchdog”.

            Can you imagine: no mention of Page or Kevin at all. Did the CBC not like to mention Kevin Page by name when Kevin was doing the questioning in a vacuum? :))

          • The “vacuum” in question was caused by the government’s refusal to cooperate because Page wasn’t the lapdog they wanted.

          • God. Only God. Because nothing can breathe in a vacuum. except dust mites.

          • you. are. babbling.

          • An you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, offer any sort of counter argument. You are the man of the one-line empty liners, and you are proud of it! Tjseesh.

          • The PBO, from what I understand from their counterparts in the UK and the US, is supposed to verify the governments figures at a high level. In other words, if the government claimed a program would cost $X, the PBO would verify that figure or put forth its own projections in such a way that the government would have faith that it was getting a fair hearing. Unfortunately, Mr. Page decided that it was his job to challenge the government rather than help and he was aided and abetted by the Liberals. Mr. Page then decided that his job was to monitor department budgets down to the last pencil which was not in his mandate. He receives a high level budget from the departments. The other uncomfortable fact is that he now heads the OECD’s Association of Parliamentary Budget Officials. So who is he actually reporting to? And who’s agenda is he following? Could be another reason Harper won’t be sorry to see him go.

          • “verify the governments figures at a high level”

            Umm, the ‘facts’ were not forthcoming. Thus, the ‘factual vacuum’ cited in the ruling, no?

          • As I pointed out, the facts were not forthcoming because Page burned his bridges with the government.

          • That’s irrelevant. The whole thing turned on the concept of ‘justiciability’ ((48) onwards).

            In [57] the Justice states “I dislike dismissing applications on procedural grounds, but there are times when it is necessary to do so. This is one of those cases, as there is no live controversy”.

            Followed by:
            “…given the studious refusal of the respondents in opposition to Mr. Page to take any position, there is simply no live controversy to be ruled upon”.


            “[63] Mr. Page’s application shall be dismissed, not on the grounds of parliamentary privilege, not on the grounds of statutory interpretation, but on the grounds of non-justiciability.”

            Because the executive was not forthcoming with the facts, there were no issues to judge.

            Nothing about bridges burning, Nor about the government (unless you accept that the executive is the government). It’s pure, if technical, law.

    • Once again the inferior ruling classes have undone themselves.

      Thank God they are not in power because they always ruin Canada.

      God bless the Prime Minister and Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

      • Must be ‘ask a decent question, get a clown answer’ day. I musta missed the memo.

        • What must be is not what exists.
          It is what must be.
          There exists a vast difference between what must be and what must not be.
          Without this idea the road to actuality is very long indeed.
          Because it is not the case that ultimate reality is unknowable.
          And therefore it is certainly not the case that ultimate reality must be unknowable.

  2. there ius entir3ely too much hero worship by the left given to this man – why this ruling is surprising is quite beyond me – the man had a persoanl political agenda from day one and more ofthen that not was not interested in doing his job instead he tried to drive his won perceived agenda irrespective of his duties. His numbers were not accurate depsite the pablum being fed out the public byu the left and I can prove his agenda = just watch within 2 years he will be running for a seat – wait and see if I am right then thumb me down

    • Party above country forever and always CPC supporters.

      • Yes, whereas when the Liberals stole money from taxpayers and gave it to themselves, that was clearly an example of putting country ahead of party. Oh wait, scratch that . . .

        • investigating themselves when wrongdoing by SOME members came to light was certainly head and shoulders above teh guys we got now.

          try not to trip over yourself so hard next time.

          • Spin spin spin

          • Isn’t that nice. Partisan liberal hacks are now spinning the Sponsorship Scandal as a shining example of Liberal virtue and civic-mindedness.

            In other developments, Eurasia has always been at war with Eastasia.

  3. Ouch!!!

  4. So it’s settled. The Kevin Page Show comes to the most anti-climactic end possible.

    Funny, nobody in the media ever asked Kevin Page if he’d actually requested information from any departments. I guess King Kevin was just grumpy that every department in Ottawa didn’t come and shower him praise the way his political allies in the media did.

    But I do feel sorry for Wherry. All that righteous indignation, month after month, and it turns out he was just being played for a sucker the entire time.

    • Yep. It was a big fraud and somehow our vaunted media and our crack journalist Wherry failed to notice.

      • That is not bad.
        Why, is missing.

  5. Hahahahaha, pwned.

    • Harper and the CPC sure screwed Canada on this one, so I agree with you. Scream up and down that they’ll never get the documents, then when they go to a hearing to determine if you can get the documents, rely on the fact there was not an official request for the documents BECAUSE YOU KEPT SCREAMING THEY’D NEVER GET THE DOCUMENTS.

      Way to stand up for Canada, Stevie. *puke*

      • Papa Harper is wonderful.
        He threw organised crime out of Ottawa.
        Now they whine all day on the web.
        Because they have no balls.
        At least Musso’s boys had balls.
        God bless Conservatism.

  6. Sad trombone sound…..

  7. Now Harper might as well go all the way and turn out the lights on the PBO. He’ll certainly be careful to never again appoint anyone to it with any independence or courage, so it’s now a waste of public dollars anyway.

    • Why? All Harper needs to do is find a PBO who understands the description of the job and work within those parameters. It really is that simple. Page had made the mandate of the office into a very complicated affair. There was never any need for that.

      • Yes, someone who understands full well that gazebos built 200 km from the border are an essential part of our border security arrangements.

  8. Say what you want about Kevin Page, but if he were running for the Conservatives in my riding, I’d vote for him

    • Maybe if he were head of the party. What would be the point in having him as a Harper lackey?

  9. Is Kevin Page nuts?
    I have no clue.
    He looks like somebody from skid row.

    • I haven’t seen Kevin Page naked, but if you say you’ve seen a similar scrotum on skid row, I’ll take your word for it. And hey, whatever you do in the privacy of your cardboard box is your business.

      • Sir, obviously you have substandard reading skills or you are a sophist.

        • Sophist? No sir! I couldn’t even build an armchair!
          I am merely a nefarious barber, which makes me uneasy given your combative nature.

          • In that case you have my sincerest apologies.

  10. Once again the inferior ruling classes screwed themselves.

    Thank God they are not in power because they have always screwed Canada.

    God bless the Prime Minister and Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

  11. If you read paragraphs 5 and 28 of the decision


    Which is I bet more than Harper had done by 5:33 today.

  12. You gotta love Mulcair’s manner of reasoning:

    “I don’t think that any further litigation is required. I think that the judgment is crystal clear in that regard.”

    He says the case is won! But he won’t put forward the question needed for making this a won case!

    A few months ago, Mulcair was preaching in similar style of reasoning by insisting Canadians don’t want the Keystone pipeline approved because we want to create more jobs!:

    Oh, my: Mulcair can be such a clown!

  13. Kevin Page: I need information in order to do my job to provide important financial information to Canadians.

    Harper Government: You’re not allowed to have information! Keep him away from the information!

    Kevin Page: Well, let’s get this sorted out then and ask the court.

    Harper Government: He never REALLY asked for the information! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA! GOTCHA CANADA!!! TAKE THAT!