'Our objective is to ensure parliamentarians have timely access to relevant analysis' - Macleans.ca

‘Our objective is to ensure parliamentarians have timely access to relevant analysis’


The Parliamentary Budget Officer intends to keep working, with or without Parliament.


‘Our objective is to ensure parliamentarians have timely access to relevant analysis’

  1. A broken Harper promise comes back to bite him.

    (Harper had promised to make the Budget Office responsible to Parliament and all MPs, then flip flopped on this as soon as he was in power.)

  2. Alternately, if the PBO can keep doing his job just fine at the moment, it's another brick in the wall for "You know, maybe proroguing Parliament isn't the apocalypse after all."

  3. I dislike Page's attraction to the limelight, although to be fair in this case it is not clear whether he sought out the publicity or Bill Curry just showed some initiative in tracking down some details. (where is KO'M when you need her) However, it would make sense if Page and the Officers of Parliament simply had a semi-regular slate of reports to deliver in addition to special requests from Parliament.

  4. Does he get his timely access to relevant analysis from Facebook?

  5. Maybe its because of the governing party's aversion to unfavourable answers that can't be quashed.

  6. I said yesterday that future governments can prevent reports from being tabled, simply by proroguing, so I may have to rethink my own opinion that the budget officer be made an independent officer. But I have to say once again, I like this guy!

  7. The PBO is one of the few offices that report to Parliament that can continue to work while Parliament is prorogued. The others, like Auditor General, Privacy commish. etc. cannot. And this is probably only because the rules governing the PBO conduct were thrown together so hastily.

  8. Well, that's certainly the single-minded kind of opposition that we've been getting for four years, and might explain their continuing ineffectiveness.

  9. This is exactly how the Liberal Party felt about the Auditor General when they were in power and that office was putting forward so many critical reports: Independent officer of Parliament criticises government, appears to be hogging limelight and giving Opposition advantage. What is the same? Partisans in government hate it; non-partisans who want good governance applaud.

    I hope Page manages to outlive governments of many stripes to be able to prove to the partisans that his concern is with governance and not politics.

  10. Does it have to be either: acceptable or an "apocalypse" – ie. black or white?
    While I agree that SH is entitled to prorogue, and that the option has been abused by previous governments, including the Liberals, can I still think it's a self serving pantload?

    Also, isn't KP a civil servant. Did anyone honestly think they got sent home too?

  11. Two things. First, I, too, would be interested to see if Page would be as vociferous in voicing his opinions if another party was in power. It's unfortunate, however, that I don't think we'll get a chance to test that theory any time soon, unless Page keeps at it! lol

    Second, even if Page were to do the same regardless of party in power, doesn't he risk at least the appearance of being consumed with the importance of his own position? Doesn't he have an obligation to put the importance of the office he holds above his own personal publicity?

    Take the Congressional Budget Office in the US as an example. It has certainly inserted itself in the debate over healthcare reform, issuing reports about how much certain proposals will cost. This has often gotten in the way of Obama's agenda, yet I challenge anyone to tell us who the head of the CBO is. And isn't that the way it should be?

    On the other hand, Page seems to want to be a rock star.

  12. Douglas Elmendorf …. and he is a rock star to anyone following the health
    care improvisations through the elected collection agency to our south.

  13. I agree with this. Page has an unusual ability to appear as though he's doing the bidding of the opposition parties. Maybe that's because the opposition parties are so bad at it themselves. Not sure.

  14. Yes. Facts.

    The Bank of Canada is cited quite a lot. Far more often than Page unless the only news you're following is opinion columns and blogs.

  15. All this talk about independence and bidding and effective opposition is leading me to the following hypothesis:

    In order to be an effective government, there must be an effective opposition, and vice-versa.


  16. I might also add that Mr. Page's forecasts have often been at odds with those of the Bank of Canada, which is a distinctly independent body of the government in its own right. Yet the latter never seems to get cited much, especially when the former gets all the media's attention. Or am I missing something with this brief observation?