Refusal to give budget details puts Conservatives in contempt of parliament: NDP - InfoNews

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Refusal to give budget details puts Conservatives in contempt of parliament: NDP

June 11, 2012 - 3:13 PM

OTTAWA - The NDP says the Conservative government is again showing contempt for Parliament by refusing to release key information in its latest budget.

MPs are set to begin voting this week on the highly contentious budget implementation bill, but the Harper government won't say how many civil servants or what programs will be cut as a result of the legislation.

NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen is asking the Speaker of the House of Commons to rule that the government has breached MPs' privileges by withholding data requested by the independent parliamentary budget officer.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper created the PBO and appointed Kevin Page as one his government's first acts in 2006, with the express goal of providing independent information to MPs about budgeting issues.

But when Page asked for information on cuts to the civil service that will result from this year's budget, he was flatly refused.

The Harper government was found in contempt of Parliament for withholding information in March 2011 and Cullen argues the latest refusal to provide budget information is a new breach of privilege and again puts the government in contempt.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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