The Current

Former budget watchdog Kevin Page says office was set up to fail

Kevin Page was Canada's first budget watchdog. His job was to follow the money. But his calculations exposed an uncomfortable bottom line in Ottawa and resulted in a tense relationship with the Conservative government. Today he talks about his new book on the high cost of identifying high costs.
Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released a new book this week about his time as Canada's top budget watchdog. (CHRISTOPHER PIKE/Reuters)

It was Kevin Page's job, as the country's first ever Parliamentary Budget Officer, to take a hard look at how the government spent public dollars. His appointment fulfilled a Conservative campaign promise.

But it wasn't long before he was being vilified by that same Conservative government. 

Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page questions the government's commitment to accountability in his new book.

It's been more than two years since Kevin Page completed his term and now he's telling the inside story of being in frequent public conflict with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Kevin Page spoke with Anna Maria Tremonti about his new book, Unaccountable: Truth, Lies and Numbers on Parliament Hill, and his concerns about the state of Canada's democracy. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.