Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What PBO?

In 2006, the Harper government created the Parliamentary Budget Office. It was necessary, the Conservatives said, to ensure government accountability. Yesterday, the man who runs that office, Kevin Page, threatened to sue the government because it was purposely withholding information:

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page is warning the federal government that 64 departments and agencies have broken the law by refusing to hand over information about upcoming budget cuts.

In a June 18 letter to the Clerk of the Privy Council Wayne Wouters, Page says he has obtained a legal opinion that confirms his right to request and receive information about the effects of $5.2 billion in cuts.

"Whether legal action will be taken going forward will depend on a myriad of factors, not the least of which is whether the information is provided or valid legal grounds are advanced by the Clerk or deputy heads for failing to provide the information," Page told The Huffington Post Canada in an email.

When asked yesterday about its battle with the PBO, John Baird -- the clown Prince of the Harper regime -- acted as the government's spokesman:

Baird replied that during the last election, the Conservatives ran on a plan for growth and job creation and, quoting that magical 750,000 net new jobs number, it seems to be working. And though he didn’t name-check the PBO at all, Baird did note the creation of its Federal Accountability Act — the one that gives the PBO its power.

It was invented to clean up the mess left by the Liberals, Baird said. “Thank goodness”, he told the House, that we’ve come a long way since the very dark days under the Liberal government.

Really? While Baird responded with a non answer, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso responded to Stephen Harper's latest lecture to the Europeans:

"We are not complacent about the difficulties. We are extremely open. I wish that all our partners were so open about their own difficulties. We are extremely open and we are engaging our partners but we are certainly not coming here to receive lessons from nobody," he said.

One wonders when Canadians will rise, en masse, and deliver the same message to the Prime Minister.


Mogs said...


I read in more than one place that the harper government lost more jobs than gained.

"When the Harper government proclaims that it is “creating” jobs, it does not mention that it is also “destroying” just as many jobs. Furthermore, the jobs being lost are “value added” jobs, which are always more important to a country’s welfare and productivity than primary resource extraction jobs."

From:'Harper Government Destroying More Good Jobs Than It Is Creating'
Posted on June 17, 2012
By Mark Taliano'

Found here:


How is it that the main stream media endlessly quote the hot bag of air Baird when the facts tell me he is lying? Along with Del Maestro "I did nothing wrong" well mr except break laws to get elected, or so it has been widely reported.

Owen Gray said...

And the jobs the Harper government has created pay less than the ones that have been lost, Mogs.

The Harper government is shameless. Its refusal to give information to Page is just one example of its hypocrisy. Baird defends that hypocrisy and does not blush.

Mogs said...

Lizards can't blush:)

Owen Gray said...

And they supposedly can't survive in a northern climate:)

karen said...

I am up for rising up, but I am not much of a 'masse.'

Honestly, if I could think of what exactly to do, I would do it. I can't see what I have to lose. My job? My home? My life? What is the point in any of those things when they are going to poison our air and water and earth and make existence nasty and brutish?

Owen Gray said...

It seems to me, Karen, that eventually Canadians will do a Howard Beale and declare, "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore!"

Mogs said...


I feel the same. And in light of that the only way I have seen as a pacifist; is cut off the supply of money to these tyrants. IE: buy from them and don’t work for them.

Seems hard lady but it ain’t, excuse my grammar here Owen, you former teacher!

Listen if you can grow a garden in the summer months and can some of it for the winter months, you are taking a huge chunk out of their collective pockets!

Permaculture is the way to fly these days; you will enhance the earth and your pocket book as well as your nutritional intake! This is the kind of gardening that is fun and the 60% majority will accept. (No weeding or pesticides or herbicides or hard work involved, only fun!) Using heirloom seeds that predate the modern military industrial society!

Look up the Permaculture society of Canada or North America here:



And get interested and dig in!

I Love the earth,

Owen Gray said...

E.F. Schumacher was recommending the same strategy fifty years ago, Mogs. Unfortunately, not enough people were listening.

In fact, I wonder if anyone in the Harper government is familiar with Small Is Beautiful.

karen said...

Mogs found my place through yours, Owen, and we shall continue this over there I am sure, but in the meantime, I also want to say that I think that there is actually much appetite for this. I know a lot of people who are not consumers, but growers of food and makers of their own stuff.

Owen Gray said...

Shades of back to the land, Karen. My wife and I grew up in Montreal. But I spent my teaching career in rural Canada.

We've learned that there's much to be said for producing the necessities of life, not just consuming them.

Mogs said...

IE: buy from them and don’t work for them.

Meant to read IE: Don't buy from them and don’t work for them.

Its the only ammo we got left!

Owen Gray said...

Correction posted, Mogs.