The House of Commons will spend the day debating the following NDP motion, tabled by Peggy Nash.
“That this House: (a) reaffirm the essential role of the Parliamentary Budget Officer in providing independent analysis to Parliamentarians on the state of the nation’s finances, trends in the Canadian economy, and the estimates process; and (b) call on the government to: (i) extend the mandate of current Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page until his replacement is named; and (ii) support legislation to make the Parliamentary Budget Officer a full, independent officer of Parliament.”
Kevin Page’s term ends March 25. Tony Clement was asked about the NDP motion after QP yesterday.
Reporter: So can I ask you about Peggy Nash’s motion to get the PBO’s term extended and what you think. Is that appropriate?
Clement: Well, look, there’s a search committee that has already been struck by the Library – Librarian of Parliament. Let me just state for the record of course that the Library of Parliament has been a parliamentary institution for well over a hundred years so they are connected to Parliament. It is entirely appropriate that they start the search and we are looking forward to recommendations from the search and from the Librarian of Parliament for a nonpartisan and competent individual who will do the job of Parliament.
Reporter: What if there’s nobody there in time for the budget or for the appropriations bill?
Clement: Well, I think we have to follow a process and the process has been commenced and I’m not here to judge that process or to shortchange that process. They have to find obviously … the way search committees go in my experience in life has been they find a range of candidates that they then make recommendations pursuant to those range of candidates and that’s the job they’ve got to do.