Sunday, July 14, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
(CP / Sean Kilpatrick)
When the Conservative government established the Parliamentary Budget Office and filled the post with Kevin Page, it was seen as the proof of the Conservatives' commitment to improve transparency and accountability.
But in his tenure as Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Page found himself repeatedly at loggerheads with the government.
A key pledge in Stephen Harper's 2006 election platform was to "create an independent Parliamentary Budget Authority to provide objective analysis directly to Parliament about the state of the nation's finances and trends in the national economy."
The Prime Minister did just that, quickly establishing the post of Parliamentary Budget Officer and appointing Kevin Page to the job. It was viewed by many as one of the smartest and most effective moves the Prime Minister made in his time in office.
But it's not clear that the government still thinks it was such a great idea. The Conservative government and Mr. Page often found themselves at loggerheads over all manner of matters of account ... from the real cost of the F-35 fighter jets to whether the government was headed for a long-term deficit.
Kevin Page's term ended in March. The government has yet to hire a permanent replacement.
It also defeated an NDP private member's bill that would have given the Parliamentary Budget Office more independence.