September 3rd, 2013
NDP leader Mulcair asks the Parliamentary Budget Officer for action
PBO must defend MPs’ right to budget cut information
OTTAWA – Official Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair has written to Jean-Denis Fréchette, the new Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), for an update on his request for information about how planned Conservative budget cuts will affect the services and programs Canadians rely on.
“We have been waiting a year and a half for this information but the Conservatives have stonewalled,” said Mulcair. “But with the PBO’s help, we can improve fiscal accountability in Ottawa. The first step is for Mr. Fréchette to carry on Mr. Page’s good work and fight for MPs right to information on planned Conservative budget cuts.”
As Mr. Mulcair notes in his letter: “The Federal Court of Canada's reference decision in Page v Mulcair made it explicitly clear that parliamentarians are legally entitled to the PBO’s analysis, which must be timely if it is to be effective.”
Mr. Mulcair initially made his request to the PBO after the 2012 Budget but, despite the fact they were legally required to hand over this information, the Conservative government refused to cooperate.