‘We are doing our job’

by Aaron Wherry

Kevin Page talks to the West Block.

Tom Clark: Your term runs until March of next year. You can be fired before then. That brings up an interesting question, why hasn’t the prime minister fired so far? You’ve drawn the wrath and ire of his ministers.

Kevin Page: Well I think our work you know for the most…has been of relatively high quality and I think people they see that we actually are doing our job. So, you know if I was to get fired and I do work at pleasure of the prime minister and if it was for doing our job, for doing our job, I wouldn’t be upset personally if that was the case. But again, we are doing our job. This is what the government wanted when they were in opposition and I think you know there was a lot of political support for us over the course of this week in the House of Commons. And I get emails, literally hundreds of emails since we released legal opinion on Monday from Canadians who are concerned about it so again, if we don’t have public engagement on this issue, if there is just disengagement or cynicism then I think we all suffer.

In the latest issue of Canadian Parliamentary Review, the editors reprint Mr. Page’s opening statement to the government operations and estimates committee on the topic of reforming the estimates review process.

One of the key principles underlying responsible parliamentary government is that the House of Commons holds the “power of the purse”. The House must be able to satisfy itself, as the confidence chamber, that all spending and taxation is consistent with legislation, Parliament›s intentions, and the principles of parliamentary control. When this is accomplished, Parliament is serving Canadians. In my view, this is rarely accomplished.




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