Who is helping to select the next PBO? And how did we get an interim PBO? - Macleans.ca

Who is helping to select the next PBO? And how did we get an interim PBO?

More questions about the parliamentary budget officer


Kevin Page is concerned that, as noted here earlier, the membership of the committee that will help select the next parliamentary budget officer is being kept secret.

When I asked the Library of Parliament about this issue earlier this week, the response from a spokeswoman was as follows.

As is the case with any Governor-In-Council appointment process, and for that matter most personnel competitions, the work and deliberations of the selection committee are confidential until the process has been completed.

The New Democrats are pointing, by comparison, to the selection of the next governor of the Bank of Canada. Here were Thomas Mulcair’s comments to reporters after QP this afternoon.

We know who’s on the selection committee to replace the Governor of the Bank of Canada. It is a bit surprising that the Library of Parliament finds that its appointments process is a notch higher and the public isn’t allowed to know. It’s quite a big concern for us because the Parliamentary Budget Officer of course came in as part of the much ballyhooed Accountability Act. They’ve gutted every other part of the Accountability Act since they actually formed government so we’re quite concerned about the PBO.

I was consulted on the PBO. I was the NDP’s Finance Critic when Kevin Page came in. Not only was I consulted, I got to interview Kevin Page. He insisted on it. The government wanted to make sure that everybody was onside and our party got to interview him and I thought that he was a sterling choice. It turned out that that was a good evaluation. 

So it’s quite clear to us that they’re not taking it very seriously. The date for the announced holding of the competition is actually after the end of Kevin Page’s mandate. We’re really concerned. We’re really concerned. 

Meanwhile, Government House leader Peter Van Loan has just announced—via a news release that arrived at 6:02pm—that the Parliamentary Librarian, Sonia L’Heureux, will take over as the interim parliamentary budget officer when Kevin Page’s term expires on March 25.

A month ago, the government was reported to have claimed that appointing an interim PBO was not an option.


Who is helping to select the next PBO? And how did we get an interim PBO?

  1. The Harper CONservative “government” does everything in secret. Think about it… They’re the first ones to tell Canadians that if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. Well… they hide everything – so – what do they fear?

  2. “They’ve gutted every other part of the Accountability Act since they actually formed government”

    Here is the text of the Accountability Act: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-5.5/index.html

    Your homework, Maclean’s commentrolls, is to find a single part of the Act which has been “gutted” by the Harper government. You have 24 hours. I’ll give you a hint: Mulcair is lying, as usual, and a credulous media is colluding with him in selling his lies, as usual.

    It turns out that the Harper government has been more accurate in fiscal predictions than Page’s PBO has been, so in the interregnum we can rely on the Harper government’s better, more accurate, less partisan forecasts and everybody wins.

    • Even if your claim was true, which it isn’t, the reality is that this batch of Conservatives doesn’t even follow their own accountability rules. Witness Tony Clement, the Minister for Gazebos in Muskoka.

    • Frank Ernest!!….now that has to be a pseudonym eh.

      • And not even as amusing as the old comic strip…

        • Thinking of changing my handle to – Really, Truly , or No! Really!

  3. The hiring of the new PBO should have been in place before Page ended his term, so that the transition was seamless. An interim PBO, just before a budget? This is shameful.

    How can anyone consider this to be good management?

    • Hang on; the defenders and apologists will be along shortly: they are just picking up their talking points.

  4. The PBO has a history of differing with the fable of the day presented by the PMO — so the PBO has to go — obviously an easy decision which now has only to be buried in the usual bulls*** storm.