Budget watchdog may sue gov’t over lack of information
Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page speaks to CTV News on Feb. 8, 2012.
Published Friday, September 28, 2012 10:09PM EDT
Fed up with what he calls a lack of transparency about federal budget cuts, parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says he will give the Conservative government one more chance to explain the cutbacks, or he may sue.
Page told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife late Friday he will send one more letter to the government asking officials to explain billions of dollars in cuts. If he doesn’t get a response, Page said he may consider suing for information.
Page said Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has deliberately kept Canadians in the dark on reductions in various departments, including food inspection, border security and airline safety.
Earlier this month, Page said he plans to publish his own analysis of the impacts of budget cuts because the government has not been forthcoming with information.
He said he would release quarterly reports on the effects of billions of dollars in cutbacks using data collected by the receiver general and federal organizations.
Although the government tables financial reports in Parliament on a regular basis, Page has said they are often lacking in details. He also said many of those reports are issued months after MPs vote on a related issue.
Page has repeatedly accused the Harper government of failing to provide him with data he needs to do his job.
He also often disagrees with government policies, drawing the ire of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty earlier this year by calling the old age security program sustainable, contrary to Flaherty’s assessment.