Federal Court dismisses former PBO Kevin Page’s application

Share on twitter Tweet
Share on facebook Share

Federal Court dismisses former PBO Kevin Page’s application

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Apr 22, 2013

PBO Kevin Page. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

PBO Kevin Page. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a request by former Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, to clarify the office’s mandate.

In his application, Page had also sought “judgment affirming he has the jurisdiction to seek the information” relating to the $5.2 billion in fiscal savings outlined in the 2012 federal budget. Page had in vain asked federal departments and agencies to supply him with detailed information on proposed cuts, staff reductions and the budget’s impact on social services.

In a ruling released Monday (PDF), Justice Sean Harrington said:

The Court finds that the questions posed are hypothetical and that no refusal to provide data is contained in the record before it as the Parliamentary Budget Officer has never actually requested data from any department at the instance of the Leader of the Opposition.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair had supported Page’s application. The attorney general and the Speakers of the House of Commons and Senate opposed it.

As I asserted earlier, Page’s petition sought to make Canadian democratic institutions and government agencies accountable. A recent report by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates revealed that even MPs are in the dark about the billions in Conservative government spending. It also says “arcane rules are keeping MPs in the dark about the billions in government spending they should be scrutinizing.”

Why the court’s decision sucks? Page’s court action was part of an effort to save the soul of Canadian democracy.

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist, progressive political blogger, and activist. He’s the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive blog.
, , , , , , ,
One comment on “Federal Court dismisses former PBO Kevin Page’s application
  1. Well not exactly, Mulcair then looked to the future.

    “I think that this decision is so solid and so categorical that the Conservatives can’t play their game of continuing to try to shut down the Parliamentary Budget Officer, that any future (PBO) will be able to use that judgment to demand the documents and everything will be fine with that,” he said. “I don’t think that any further litigation is required. I think that the judgment is crystal clear in that regard.”.

    The judge also noted that the part of the Act of Parliament that outlines the PBO’s mandate (79.2) is, in his view, designed “to shield any given member of either House of Parliament from the will of the majority.” If that majority wants to change the mandate or abolish the PBO altogether, “so be it!” the judge said in his ruling. “However, it must do so by legislation. Having made that law by statute, it must unmake it by statute. In the meantime, Parliament has no right to ignore its own legislation.” http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/04/22/scrums-a-question-of-difference-between-mulcair-and-trudeau/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>