March 25th, 2013

NDP calls for investigation into budget leaks

The NDP sent the following letter this morning to the RCMP:

March 25, 2013

Mr. Robert Paulson, Commissioner of the RCMP

RCMP National Headquarters
1200 Vanier Parkway
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0R2

Dear Mr. Paulson,

I am writing to you about potentially criminal actions related to a breach of budget secrecy. Details appeared in the media of new tariff cuts on hockey equipment, details which were officially released in the budget document at 4:00 pm on March 21, 2013.

The information released was outlined in a Globe and Mail article by Steven Chase and Bill Curry on March 20, 2013. The article described the tariff cut as part of “a pilot project to see whether the money the government loses in customs revenue is recouped in sales tax.”

The leak and availability of this information, prior to it being made public in the budget, gave those with this information an opportunity for personal financial gain.

This is not the first time a call has been made to investigate the illegal release of budget documents. In 1989 when finance documents were released, the Minister responsible was forced to resign. The specific leak of the documents to the reporter Doug Small was followed by an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, treating the leak as theft of government property.

We are requesting that the office of the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police commence an investigation into the tariff leak, and any other information about the budget leaked before 4:00 pm on March 21, in order to ensure the reputation of our democratic institutions is maintained.

I welcome your assistance in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Guy Caron
Official Opposition Deputy Finance Critic