Democracy costs money

Conservative MP Brian Jean is apparently concerned about the money spent to answer order paper questions submitted by MPs. (This would seem to be a standing concern of his.)

Since the ability of MPs to hold the government to account is paramount in our system of democratic governance, it would seem odd to turn this into a question about whether MPs should be able to pose questions or to suggest that ability should be somehow limited. Rather, if one is truly concerned about cost, one might explore what is entailed in these costs and how the practice of finding answers might be made more efficient.

Mind you, Dean Del Mastro would probably point out that, in the grand scheme of things, $1.2 million isn’t a lot of money.

Update 12:28pm. Via Twitter, Brian Jean suggests he’s “looking out for taxpayers by holding the opposition accountable for the money spent on written questions.” For the sake of comparison, Mr. Jean might use his next order paper question to ask how much the government of the day spent responding to the questions listed here, here, here, here and here.

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