Mulcair demands PBO act to defend MPs' right to financial information
PBO has responsibility to go back to court after Conservatives fail to hand over financial data
September 19th, 2013 - 3:33pm
Ottawa – Official Opposition leader Tom Mulcair has written to the Parliamentary Budget Officer demanding he defend MPs right, under the law, to financial information about the government’s spending plans.
Mr. Mulcair made the demand in response to a letter from the new PBO Jean-Denis Fréchette saying he will not go to court to get information on proposed cuts in Conservative budgets, even though he has been stonewalled by the government.
“One of your legally mandated roles, as Parliamentary Budget Officer, is to provide independent analysis to help Members of Parliament. In requesting this analysis, I exercised my right under statute as an MP to this financial information. I believe you are misinterpreting my request as something that can be dealt with, and potentially quashed, by the Speakers or by Parliament as a whole,” Mr. Mulcair wrote in his letter.
“I am formally requesting you take this matter back to the Federal Court to defend both your right to this information, and my right to this analysis. This request – an analysis of how Conservative budget cuts will affect Canadians – is too important for us to abandon it,” Mr. Mulcair concludes.