Parliament’s new budget watchdog says he’s out of options – already

It seems the newly-appointed federal budget watchdog believes he’s out of options when it comes to getting information about last year’s budget cuts.

In a letter to NDP leader Tom Mulcair, Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette – who got the job last Friday – says he has “exhausted the apparent avenues” for obtaining data from the government. (…)

Budget watchdog complains of government stonewalling

Canada's federal budget watchdog says she isn't getting what she wants from a number of government departments and agencies that have now missed two deadlines to hand over information.

Sonia L'Heureux, the interim parliamentary budget officer, issued a press release Monday saying that in April she sought information to do an analysis of last year's federal budget, at the request of a parliamentarian. (...)

Bring Canada’s Parliament under Access to Information Act

The simmering scandal over the spending habits of Canada’s senators and the broader public debate over government accountability have exposed a significant flaw in Canada’s once world-leading Access to Information Act — its limited coverage. (...)

Public servants need to stand up to government: Page

Photo by Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

(...) The former Parliamentary Budget Officer slammed the country’s top bureaucrats for weak leadership that has allowed paralyzing fear to spread throughout the public service and may leave Canada with irreversible scars.

With nearly three decades of public service under his belt, Page said he has never seen people so afraid – a fear that stops them from doing research that may contradict the current government’s ideology. (...)

New in the Documentation Project: Scott Vaughan

Scott Vaughan

" On April 1 2013, Scott Vaughan is to resign two years before the end of his term as Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Throughout Vaughan’s tenure, he repeatedly stressed the need for government policies that would increase the government’s capacity to reduce environmental and sustainable development problems. However, the 2012 federal budget ignored Commissioner Vaughan’s recommendations and reduced the government's assessments of possible environmental and development issues. (...) "

New in the Documentation Project: FAIR


On October 15 2012, David Hutton, FAIR’s representative on the Federal Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC) advisory committee, was removed from his position by the Commission’s head, Mario Dion. The PSIC investigates allegations of wrongdoing brought forward by whistleblowers, and attempts to protect them from workplace reprisals.

This removal follows the publication of a critical letter by David Hutton in the Ottawa Citizen where he denounced the PSIC for never having properly investigated a complaint or protecting a whistleblower since its creation in 2007. FAIR’s removal was protested by Democracy Watch and Canadians for Accountability, both of which were members of the PSIC’s advisory committee. They resigned amidst a slurry of critical remarks concerning the PSIC’s effectiveness, fairness and transparency. (....)

‘Muzzling’ of federal scientists called a threat to democracy

Photo by Postmedia News

Federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault has been asked to investigate the way the Harper government has been “muzzling” federal scientists.

The request, accompanied by a report on the government’s “systematic efforts” to obstruct access to researchers, was made jointly on Wednesday by the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and Democracy Watch, a national non-profit group. (…)

NWAC shocked with recent RCMP comments on CBC

The Native Women's Association of Canada

In a response to a posting on the CBC News website stating that the, “The RCMP questions claim of 600 missing aboriginal women”, Michèle Audette, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) states that, “it is incredible that the RCMP is publicly doubting the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls that has been documented in the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s Database!..." (...)

Federal government ordered to hand over millions of residential school documents


The federal government has been ordered to hand over millions of documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that is trying to determine the depth of the church-run Indian Residential schools that removed children from their families for more than a 100 years. (…)

The government shouldn’t play politics all the time

Photo from the Toronto Star

International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino made the mistake of dragging us into hispolitical skirmishes when a letter he penned against the NDP appeared on the government website of the Canadian International Development Agency.

“Dear NDP: CIDA Does Not Need Your Economic Advice,” the headline on the letter read. (...)