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‘4,476 pages of contempt’


 

Kevin Page has apparently asked the government if it might turn over the electric version of the paper data it dumped in boxes on his doorstep last week. The NDP’s Thomas Mulcair appeared after QP on Friday with one of the boxes to unleash the following.

J’ai été, les trois boîtes, ça c’est les boîtes elles-mêmes qui ont été donné hier à Kevin Page.  Celui-ci, le 2 of 3 est marqué Ontario complete.  En réponse à une demande légalement formulée par le directeur parlementaire du budget, Kevin Page a reçu la réponse suivante du ministre Baird.  Il a reçu trois boîtes, 4,476 pages de documents, aucun résumé, aucune version électronique.

This is one of three boxes that Minister Baird sent to Kevin Page, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer in response to his legally formulated request for information.  If you look at the Act that constitutes the Parliamentary Budget Officer, he has the right to ask for all information required to allow him to do his job.  There was no summary, no synopsis, no spreadsheet, there wasn’t even an electronic version, 4,476 pages of contempt from John Baird to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.  This one is marked Box 2 of 3, Ontario complete.  These are the actual boxes, although you’ll understand that the documents are no longer in them because every document and we have copies for you of one of the pages, every document is marked Protected A.  So these documents were sent to Kevin Page’s office.

I was at his office today.  I was able to see them.  It’s just a stack of information.  It’s an old lawyer trick.  When you want to bury your opponent, you simply provide them with so much written information, they can’t do anything with it.  But what’s interesting to notice that there two aspects here that are, that are very galling.  One, Kevin Page has the right to get that information.  Two, under the, under the Accountability Act, there are two things that have to be done under Section 16.4.  One is that every time you give out money from the Canadian government, it has to be on the receiving end in compliance with government policies and procedures and the Deputy Minister has to sign off on that.  Now that’s important because the information we have so far is that a lot of the receivers of this money have not complied with those policies.

The other thing is you have to have, in the exact words of the statute, effective systems of internal control.  In other words, the electronic version of this of course exists.  The only thing that he’s been encouraging is the pulp and paper industry by printing up so many papers.  But it simply begs the question by calling it protected, even though it’s public information about public money, what indeed is Minister Baird trying to protect with his schoolboy prank of sending at the very last minute, by the way, it was exactly at the same second that he was to appear before Parliamentary Committee that Kevin Page’s office received those documents.

We find it unacceptable that an institution that was created to protect the public, it’s to help parliamentarians come to correct decisions on government spending, is being treated with such contempt.


 

‘4,476 pages of contempt’

  1. I couldn't agree more. Good for Mr Mulcair. The government is indeed a contemptuous one.

    • What is Mr. Mulcair doing with Kevin Page's boxes? What is he doing in his office?

      I thought the budget officer was supposed to be NON-PARTISAN.

      Clearly he is not. He needs to go NOW.

      • The Parliamentary Budget Officer is an officer of parliament you dunce. That means he works for all parliamentarians and meets with members from all parties. It doesn't mean he lives in some kind of bubble.

        • He's supposed to supply them with analysis, not props.

          Its a clear violation of his role.

          You thought logos on cheques were a big deal? Well then this IS a big deal too.

          • you just accused the PBO of "a clear violation of his role" that in no way shape or form can you prove to be factually accurate.

          • I want to know how that box left Page's office and ended up in Mulcair's hands.

            I want to know exactly how. Was a request made? Why did Page agree? Why were they speaking about something that clearly has nothing to do with his job.

      • Those are my tax dollars. Frankly, i could not even care less who brings it up since they appears to be very legitimate questions about how they are being spent.

  2. People should be outraged over this. All Page is asking for is information to help evaluate the stimulus program. It's in the interests of every Canadian taxpayer that he be able to do this job.

    Why is the govt making this difficult for him? How is this being accountable? It's not just Kevin Page that they're showing contempt towards, it's all Canadians.

    Why is this govt hiding information?

    • Kevin Page is supposed to be non-partisan, clearly he is not.

      Nobody is interested in his fame seeking. His analysis has been flawed from the get go.

      Time for him to go!

      • But you Cons were in such a lather to have greater accountability and daylight back when you were asking Canadians to turf out the Liberals and vote you guys in instead.

        Now you want him to shut up and go away. Gee if he was investigating the sponsorship scandal would you want similar discretion? No?

        • I'd rather he investigated the 40 million that went missing after adscam…

          • That's not his job, Jesse…

            I'd rather the garbage man come around and rake my lawn too.

      • How on earth do you infer his partisan leanings from this? He wants to do his job.

        Or is *that* the problem? A truly non-partisan PBO wouldn't do his job?

        • You're right.

          Its possible he has no politics whatsoever and is just a fame hound.

          Either way I view it as unnacceptable that he's providing props to the opposition and complaining about his treatment to the media.

          This is not the manner in which one would expect someone in his position to behave.

          • So your only problem is that a confidential box was released into the hands of a partisan? And he will now know what, the net weight of the former contents? Which side is up? Okay, busted, let's censure Kevin Page for supplying this box to the NDP.

            We'll get right on with slapping his wrist after the minister responsible for Infrastructure resigns for refusing to provide information about that spending to an officer of parliament, to a parliamentary commitee and to Canadians in general.

          • Why can't Kevin Page just be quietly marginalized like every Conservative MP? It's almost as if he were independent or something. FAMEWHORE!

  3. old maxim – be careful what you ask for as you might just get it!

  4. Those… those Conservative dogs! When asked to provide documents they did so!

    • They were asked to provide information so Kevin Page could do his job.

      They provided boxes of pieces of paper that made his job more difficult when they did not need to.

      The only explanation is that they are trying to avoid accountability on the stimulus funding. Especially since he has been asking for this information for half a year and they only partially respond now.

    • Hilarious. Truly.

      Those are our tax dollars being wasted by Baird’s childishness. Now Page and his staff will have to waste weeks either transferring the data over from hardcopy back into a spreadsheet or else chasing after Baird to have someone in his office press “send” on an e-mail. Time that could be used to do actual analysis…you know the kind of analysis that the Cons thought would be so worthwhile back when they were in opposition.

      But I’m glad you’re having a good laugh.

    • "Those… those Conservative dogs! When asked to provide documents they did so! "

      Did you not read the post?

      • I read Thomas Mulcair whining again.

  5. Transparent and accountable government at its finest.

  6. Its a budget issue. Page doesnt have a big budget and therefore doesnt have the staff to do the work of transfer, at least within the time he would like.

    As for why isnt there one spreadsheet….maybe the bureacracy isnt managing it this way, it is multiple programs over multiple ministries. I think they could do a better job of it, but if it really is in that state then from a taxpayer perspective, it is no difference if Page's group coallates the inforamtion or if the bureaucracy does. The cost is the same. Now, Sheila F has the budget and will probably do a better job measuring it. More experience, better staff and clearer mandate. Maybe Kevin should work with her team? Dont assume it is the governing party alone that isnt a fan of Mr Page and his band of Merry accountants. I suspect there is resistance to be found within the bureaucrats at PCO, treasury, Finance (in particular) and even the Aud Gen. ITs an or[han and an Americanism that isnt intergrated well in the system, let alone having a head that doesnt appear to work and play well with others.

    • "Its a budget issue. Page doesnt have a big budget and therefore doesnt have the staff to do the work of transfer, at least within the time he would like."

      ————–

      No, no, it's a transparency issue. It doesn't matter how much staff Page has. He shouldn't have to waste a second on this nonsense when Baird has a perfectly useable electronic database readily available.

      I will agree with your point that the bureaucracy may be equally motivated to keep things as obtuse as possible but that's no excuse for Baird's behaviour. Again, THIS IS OUR MONEY. It's an excellent idea to have someone independent assessing how well it is being spent. Now maybe the Cons could…oh I don't know…respect the office they created. But I guess they'll treat the PBO with the same respect they treated their own law on election timing. Or their principaled stand on senate appointments. Or their philosophcal opposition to govt bailouts…

      • Anon Lib,

        you really trust Baird's spreadsheet ? You don't want Page to go back and check the math ? Add up his own numbers and make his own spreasheet ?

        It seems to me like that is Page's JOB. And he is complaining about having to do it.

        I guess basic accounting isn't as exciting for a publicity hound like Page.

        • Jesse, are you suggesting that, just because the software does the adding and subtracting, no spreadsheet is capable of being analyzed or items questioned? Are you seriously taking the position that the contents of the spreadsheet, once they are in a spreadsheet, automatically become somehow off limits? Like its only in the addition that any problems could occur?

          • Jenn, i'm saying he should check the math himself by creating his own spreedsheet.

            Once he has done so he will have a spreedsheet to work with. Done and done.

            If he starts where he is supposed to, checking the gov't math, then his problem solves itself.

          • Jesse, you might be even worse with numbers than I am. It isn't the MATH. It might be the assumptions underlying the estimates, it might be when a project is considered "in progress" or "completed", it might be a misallocation between funds, it might be a completely bogus contract. And if he had the spreadsheet in electronic form, he could double check the formulas in the cells to be certain it is performing the equations on the proper cells. The LEAST efficient thing to do would be to start all over again with a new spreadsheet.

        • No we trust the printouts from the same spreadsheets much more than the electronic file. And re-entering data is usually the best best way to ensure accuracy. Maybe we could have monks replicate it in calligraphy to get the best use of our tax dollars.

          To the Abacus room, I say!

      • Waste a second? Isnt the bureacracy supposed to be "getting the money out the door"?

        Is baird playing silly buggers by fulfilling the letter of the request and not the spirit…I think you can make a good case for that. But I would still question whether the PBO is going about things in a manner consistent with its mandate and its capabilities.

        • You make a good point about the fulfilling the letter but not the spirit of the law. There is only one reason why the Cons won't provide the electronic version – they want to make the role of the PBO too difficult to to perform. This is the same, PBO, mind you, that Harper in opposition wanted to give all sorts of power and independance to provide a check on the government's own estimates (cuz' Harper hated those big surpluses so much).
          It's an old lawyer's trick. They're trying to hide howe they're spending your money.

          • You are correct that this was the genesis of it all.

            Like most Parliamentary reform I think this stuff is done piecemeal and never thought through. The PBO, a noble goal, is one part of the answer. The PBO produces product for someone, that probably means better staffed and funded committees. You also need to define its role vis a vis Finance, Treausry etc. That is not clear. And the current stuff also an issue. Is the PBO forward looking, a monitoring agency or an auditor or all three….I am not sure if the PBO knows what it really wants.

            The CBO is well thought of, but it earned its reputation and it operates anonymously, ie it is an org not a personality. I would love to see a PBO that works well with all the elements of government. But it just isnt working that way.

          • What's the role of the CBO in assessing the US stimulus package? That seems more like a GAO task. I suspect a look at the CBO-GAO division of labour on this would strengthen your point.

  7. Page's actual request, as posted on Macleans:

    ''In addition to the above progress reports, we would like to request any database(s) content tracking infrastructure projects under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.''

    Database content….
    that to me is a request for back up documents,
    yes or no??

    • No, it is a request for a database tracking the raw data – something any government department should, and does, use.

      • Hmmm, so with some digging I did find out the why the feds did it this way.
        posted below

    • A database isnt necessarily electronic…..as I indicated the opposition to Page isnt necessarily solely within political side it is well embedded within the bureacracy.

      Maybe next time Page would be smart enough to ask for things in the media form he wants it in.

  8. He wanted the information, he got it. Where is the problem?

    • If you walk into a butcher shop and ask for a sirloin, you'd expect not to be handed the entire cow.

      Nonetheless, I'm impressed at how little Page has spoken up about being the Parliamentary recycling depot.

      • When you ask for information from a multi billion dollar program that encompasses thousands of projects do you really expect it to come in a nice little red folder?

        4476 pages seems a little light if anything, maybe that's why he's not complaining.

        • Don't bother Dakota.

          If Baird gave them a nice little red folder they'd be howling at him for trusting the gov'ts accounting. They'd say Baird's numbers weren't right and need to be double checked.

          They'd say he needs to back and make his own spreadsheet.

          You can't win with these guys. Give them the summary they'd say they don't trust you. Ok so give them the data, they say they want the summary.

          • Any reason why they couldn't have supplied BOTH the summary and the data? Only non-venal reason I can think of, is that there is no summary, which means NOBODY knows what they're spending the money on.

          • John K just hit the nail on the head. The government can't give the PBO a simple explanation of how much is being spent on what because they've got precious little idea themselves.

          • Or it's an old embezzler's trick; handwrite seven messy rows in the leftjand column and six messy rows in the righthand column and hope no one notices the discrepancy.

          • BOTH?

            So Page could complain about being buried in numbers ?? The basic information he needs to do his job already is too much for him. Why throw in computer databases.

            Then he'll be complaining about how he needs a bigger budget to hire new tech guys.

  9. Nothing new here. Since it suits the NDP to jump up and down about a Conservative cover-up they will do so, however they will continue to support the Conservative government anyway because that is all the Jack has to protect himself from an election he does not want.

    Remember the NDP stance on Income Trusts 3 years ago? Its another Conservative cover-up supported by the NDP: http://www.caiti.info/resources/fla_docs.pdf

  10. The Conservative trolls are are trying to ruin another discussion, I see.

    • All I see is one Liberal Troll posting the same thing on every blog.

      • Truth hurts, don't it?

        Ha ha ha. Zing! I win.

    • Almost as if they thought it their duty.

      • It's almost as if you think this is Liblogs and not a national media.
        Until otherwise advised,
        this is a public forum,
        by a national media,
        not owned by the LPC.

        • I have no problem with diversity of opnion – in fact i welcome it. I recomend you offer some. No matter what issue arises you refuse to offer any sort of criticism of your team. Your endless 'yea go team' go posts are tiresome.

          • It's not just the mindless boosterism. A lot his comments are completely off-topic.

        • Fer crissakes, some of us aren't Liberals, or even liberals, and we have critical opinions of the Conservative government. You two groups are so bloody self-centred that you cannot do aught but argue and contend with one another that one orbits the other and not the opposite.

  11. So, the Conservatives should just be left alone to do their thing?

    • Let me be less glib for once.

      4,474 pages. That's an impossible amount if you're one guy trying to get through some summer reading on your porch. But that's not a whitewash for a parliamentary department. It's not like if they don't get these digested, filed, and completely analyzed by Wednesday the Third World War is going to start.

      Thomas Mulcair is treating a fairly pedestrian data dump as the worst thing the Conservatives have done since the last massive unbelievable scandal he treated as the worst thing the Conservatives have ever done. He has one setting and that is "sheer outrage at the unbelievable effrontery of those hidden-agenda baby-killing bastards". It's more than tired, it's actively counter-productive because I now assume that Mulcair is full of it until Kevin Page phones me and explains how screwed he is.

      • That's more persuasive!

        Obviously Mulclair was going for sound bites. But I'd still say this is a more substantive critique of the Harper gang than some of the other stimulus-related things we've seen in recent months. One does wonder why the Conservatives simply provided a detailed and transparent report on spending, directly to the people, in order to stop the charges of incompetence/trickery in their tracks.

        • Don't we want Page to check the math ???

          It seems ridiculous that the Conservatives would just hand over a spreadsheet and that would be that.

          One would actually expect Page to go through, project by project, and add up his own totals and create his own spreadsheet.

          Why is he complaining about having to do his job ?

          • You don't really think the opposition wants Page to check the math, do you? All they want to do is yell about how their ridings are being screwed in the stimulus funding distribution. What if the facts dictate otherwise? At least if the Conservatives handed over a summary they could still accuse them of hiding the "real" data.

          • Yes, Jesse – because I'm sure that the PBO would simply accept an electronic copy of the data without any thoughtful review or analysis.

            Sheesh.

          • Nobody's saying they should just hand over a spreadsheet. But to simply hand over raw data, without any summaries or organisation (which I trust the Conservatives have employed) amounts to a fit of passive aggression at best, and an attempt to obfuscate at worst.

            If were getting audited by Revenue Canada, would you toss a few boxes of receipts their way and tell them go pound salt up their arses?

          • The boxes do appear to have some organization involved. Mulcair was holding up "Ontario complete" for instance. One would assume that is every project in Ontario.

            The pages were also numbered.

            And its his job to deal with raw data. He's supposed to check the math of the government. That's the hard work part. The boring part the media doesn't pay attention to.

            He wants to skip ahead to analyzing partisan distribution so he can make some bombshell headlines and get attention. Its really quite disturbing.

          • Data entry is not job – data analysis is. Taking the time to re-create a spreadsheet that already exists is a waste of government resources.

          • No, he should also be checking for errors in the data entry become it impacts his entire analysis.

            Obviously.

          • Then the PBO should have funding for a staff of data-entry-clerks.

          • Ok. Then he should do his job at the start, data entry, and if he finds he's run out of money make a request for more.

          • Then he should do his job at the start, data entry, and if he finds he's run out of money make a request for more.
            ———————————–

            That should keep him busy and out of Stephen Harper's hair for a year eh Jesse? Excellent use of taxpayer money. You're Cabinet material I can tell!

        • That's a very good question. I only wish the opposition had asked it.

      • "It's more than tired,"

        As is your rationalization. It's the standard response to every instance of Conservative perfidy: "Jeeze, what's the big deal? These histrionics on the part of the Opposition just make them look bad. Yawn. Next."

        • I believe you're implying that I'm a Conservative stoolie who defends the boys in blue whenever they're called onto the carpet. I've got to object to that characterization, but since you apparently see this in terms of "us" vs. "them" I'm not sure why I'm bothering.

          • My apologies. It is indeed offensive to be accused of Conservative partisanship.

            Generally though, that *is* a standard response to events these days, which is why we end up with problems that are ultimately, too complex to figure out and resolve. "Too big to fail" is the latest incarnation of that.

  12. If the Harper government doesn't have this information in electronic form, how do they manage to locate specific information for their propaganda and to answer questions in the House? This is OUR money and OUR credit card the government is using – I want to know where it's going, how, and why.

  13. Good point. But it's our children's and grandchildren's credit card. We really need to stay clear about where the money's coming from.

    • Point taken. I stand corrected. And of course, all the more reason why I want to know.

      • Sorry knick, i'm fine with knowing this in three or four years when Frasier looks into it.

        Right now i'm concerned about jobs, the economy, and getting things moving again.

        That's priority number 1. Or at least it is for everybody living in the real world.

        • right, because knowing how the money is spent totally precludes having it be effective… oh wait no it doesn't and it likely even would make the impact of the spending more effective.

  14. If it had been delivered in an electronic format, the opposition and PBO would be claiming they need official government documents to back it up. This was a lose/lose situation for Baird.

    • Baird doesn't do anything without putting politics first.

    • ''Experts'' are already saying the figures are not enough,
      they want to know HOW the decisions of project selection was made…..

      The Experts should be asking the muni/prov governments that question.

  15. Yeah, you win. Idiot of the day!

    • Don't worry Dakota, they give out more than one ribbon a day.

  16. So the reason for hard copy vs database info was provided to Page:

    (it took some digging, but I finally found the government answer;
    something well informed media persons should, and likely do know but choose not to tell)

    ''…Mr. Baird said that the amount of pages is large because there are 7,600 projects underway.
    Mr. Day said that the reason why these files were hard copies was because of the nature of the documents, information gathered as part of the application process,
    some of which can be confidential commercial information that could not be released without the consent of third parties.

    • So, it can't be all that sensitive and project-specific, since we have on average a half-page of paper per project. (You'd think sensitive detailled info on a project would need it's own sheet…)
      Oh, and what, again, is the difference between sharing hardcopy info and the electronic version of same?

      • That is one crappy excuse.

    • Wow, who would have guessed that there was a perfectly legitimate and reasonable reason for this?

      • Its an answer, whether it is legitimate and reasonable is another question. But at there is some truth to the answer…privacy is a legitimate concern on some of this.

        Maybe if the PBO was a little more skilled he could have negotiated the type of content, the media etc. But hey Kevin wants a different job than he has.

        • When did Page ask for this information, why wasn't he warned of the possible result of his request, and why did he receive it at the last possible second?

          To me those three questions are at the core of Mulclair's comment and I haven't seen anyone here addressing it.

          • why wasnt he warned?

            1) Its not their job to warn him
            2) They, the bureacrcy, might if they liked and respected Page…..they don't

            And point 2 is increasingly what the story is. There is an assumption that Page is Sheila fraser, and he isnt, there is an assumption that Page is the Deputy Minister of Finance or the Governor of the Bank of Canada, he isnt. There is also a assumption that a PBO just works in seemlessly with the other functions of the government when it is an "americanism" that has been tacked on….It cannot work the way Page wants it to work, like the CBO, without additional reforms and clarification. And it certianly will never work like the CBO if Page continues to run it the way he does. The CBO built a reputation for solid ANONYMOUS work often as a helper to the bureuecracy as much as a pain. Neither Page nor his office have earned anything like that. Page just burns bridge after bridge….look up lone wolf in the dictionary and you will find Mr Page's picture there. Opportunity wasted.

          • "1) Its not their job to warn him "

            How do you know that?

            "2) They, the bureacrcy, might if they liked and respected Page…..they don't"

            Since when is it the bureaucracy's prerogative to operate on the basis of their like/dislike of particular individuals? Especially officers of Parliament?

            That's very lame.

          • they fulfill requests, they dont "manage clients". Thats why they ask for precise language, and Page got pwned on this one with his wording.

            Minimum requirements apply to everyone, going above and beyond happens for those who have respect or "relationship captial". Why you cant see there are two sides to this is a bit of a mystery.

          • "Page got pwned"

            No kidding. I guess some people are just not as proud of their jobs as I expect.

    • None of those privacy concerns you stated have anything to do with why Page wasn't given electronic copies of the information requested.

    • Except that if one actually looks at the law governing disclosure to Page, it doesn't provide any valid reason for the delay. Which makes sense, since it would be utterly useless to put in place a parliamentary budget officer whose work could be stymied by third parties refusing to allow relevant information to be provided.

      (And as noted by Douglass, privacy concerns wouldn't explain the format even if they did have some basis in the law.)

    • How would municipalities be able to get away with designating a winning bid as confidential information? Don't they have an obligation to tell taxpayers in their municipality how their tax dollars are spent? Is stimulus money handled any differently?

  17. cont…
    "We would have to go through and get consent and permission from every single one of our proponents and we're bound by privacy laws," said Mr. Day.

    "We provided [the Parliamentary Budget Officer] with the data, some of it is sensitive information, it may include some financial statements, budgets, board information and all that stuff.
    We've got thousands of pages worth of documents to him and his staff can go through it and do their due diligence, do the financial analysis."

    http://hilltimes.com/page/view/stimulus-11-2-2009

  18. "i'm fine with knowing this in three or four years when Frasier looks into it.

    Right now i'm concerned about jobs, the economy, and getting things moving again. "

    Sincerely,
    Jean Chretien

  19. You don't have to wait any longer than next fall.
    That is when Sheila Fraser is slated to give her report on the stimulus funds,
    her staff is already monitoring.

  20. This is beyond the pale. I don’t understand how Harper cheerleaders try (and fail) to justify this waste. We are dealing with taxpayer money here, and Baird is showing contempt towards accountability.

  21. Page should suck it up and get out his calculator. I work with a lot of data, and it isn't always in the format I want it. I mean if the data does exist in a convenient handy-dandy spreadsheet (which we can release and face no legal ramifications, etc.), why do we need a parliamentary budget officer anyway? We can just release the spreadsheet. Are people honestly saying that they would rather have the government deal in less-than-complete documentation so it can be more easily tabulated?

    • Thank you!

      I'm shocked that Page is out there complaining about having to do his job. What a media attention grabber this guy is. Totally unproffesional.

      When I think of a non-partisan budgetary officer I think of someone who doesn't talk to the media, doesn't get involved in politics, and does boring math projections.

      He basically wants Sheila Frasier's profile.

      • So because the Government of Harper is too lazy and too stupid to keep track of its own spending of taxpayers' money, it expects him to do its job, while of course refusing to pay for enough staff to do it?

        You Conservatives are sooooo stupid about numbers, and about databases, for that matter.

  22. Confidential commerical information Phooey!
    I thought these projects were all doling out money to municipalities.
    Smell smelly smelliest!
    If commercial operatons got ANY of these funds – I personally want a Gomery phase 2 to nail Mr. Baird and all his slithery colleagues an especially the Conservative friends who got the funds.
    And if Minister Baird stalls and bobs and weaves as much as he typically does in Question Period – I want his head instead!

    • I should think commercial operations overwhelmingly got the funds and rightfully so. I can't imagine cheques being issued to private individuals but rather to businesses (i.e. commercial operations) who presented the winning bids to tendered government projects. It's these businesses that will pay their employees who will then buy goods and services from other commercial operations. I may have misunderstood your comments but I don't quite follow what you were getting at unless you were thinking the stimulus money was to be handed out like welfare cheques. I don't believe that's ever the way it works.

  23. or i will huff and i will puff and i will blow your house down!!!

    uhmm have you ever heard of a recycling container dude?

    • So Mulcair was dumpster diving in Page's office?

      We're supposed to find that believable? Is it common practice for the NDP to sort through the recycling containers of various gov't officials?

      Is that a privacy violation ? How did the conversation come about after Mulcair picked up the box ?

      Like it or not we have a "box scandal" or "box gate" on our hands that rivals the CPC logo problem.

      • do you foam at the mouth when you write your posts?

        you don't think parties have gone as far as going through people's trash to to get info/props/etc etc?

        also a privacy violation? from a supporter of a party that listened into and taped and explicitly private conference call (yeah i know he was invited right?)…. you better be careful, you could choke a horse with that kinda hypocrisy.

        • I honestly doubt it was in the trash.

          My guess is that the opposition has been in there every working hour, distracting Page from his job, and trying to find dirt/props to use against the gov't.

          Do you have any information to back up the fact that Mulcair got the box from recycling??

          If not it appears that the box was in fact given to him by Page or Mulcair took it from the office without permission.

          • i am confused. you are saying it is a fact that muclair got it from the recycle? i though that you thought page gave it to muclair?

            you are the one that was on here all foaming at the mouth accusing page of contravening the standards of his office. do you have any information to back up the claims you are making?

            all i am trying to do is let you know that their are possibilities of how this could have occurred that include no party acting inappropriately.

  24. Page's complaint would resonate a whole lot better if he had been a little less emphatic about needing all of the information, now!

    It shows a profound lack of judgment to let Mulcair show up with one of his boxes, that just screams partisanship.

  25. I'm alarmed that a single person would think it is reasonable that a government who has selectively posted electronic data on BLOODY GOOGLE MAPS refuses to release a soft copy of the stimulus data.

    Is there not just one Conservative supporter out there who believes in accountability any more?

    • Get real. Page has been incredibly ambitious with his expectations. No matter what form the government gave the records in, there was room for complaint. The only possible way to remove the possibility of complaint, was to give him everything. I think they were sending a clear message that if you complain that you are not getting everything, and complain that it would be simple to get everything, then you should expect everything. Page under-estimated the scale of the project, which is reflected in his past criticisms. Complaints have been raised here that the government didn't give him 'the spreadsheet', like there is 'a spreadsheet'. Similarly, complaints were raised that the government was not providing the specific information Page wanted, yet there was no previously defined specification of the data. I think that Page would do well, to make his appeals reasonable, or face being held to the same standard that he is demanding.

  26. I guess based on the ridiculous comments of Jesse, Dakota, and a few others, that the PBO should just be happy that the information wasn't provided in cunieform on 4,476 clay tablets.

    I mean really, why should anyone expect this government to communicate in a form consistent with the 21st century?

    • I fully expect the government will be sending page all of the documentation in electronic form any minute now.

      In binary.

    • The Liberals were hoping it would arrive on oversized cardboard spreadsheets stamped with the conservative logo…

      • Rimshot!

  27. It's pretty tiring to hear conservatives play dumb on this one. We live in the information age. They could have given him the information in an Excel spreadsheet. Even if they were half-assed about it and gave it in several different Excel spreadsheets from different government documents instead of collating them, it would have been far more useful than thousands of pages of printed paper.

    It's pretty darn clear that they're being purposefully obstructionist. Conservatives: please give Canadians credit for having brains.

    • Try to take a minute and think about that. No matter what format the information was summarized in, there would have been a complaint that the government was hiding something, or massaging the data to make themselves look better. Page was very clear that he wanted all the information in real haste.

  28. If the Conservatives were spending simulus money fairly, they would be boasting loudly about it. They're not, so they're not.

    And it's important to remember that the Conservatives are still a minority government. How would they behave if they had a majority? Would they just eliminate the PBO position entirely?

  29. I always figure it will be a good day when the conbots are so over the top that I just have to laugh.

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