SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
For Immediate Release
OTTAWA – Vancouver MP Joyce Murray led off Question Period today in the House of Commons by confronting the Prime Minister about the government’s continued refusal to be transparent with Canadians. Murray demanded, in both official languages, to know why the government has refused to be open with Canadians about budget cuts, procurement spending, and the percentage of foreign ownership the government will permit in Canada’s natural resources sector.
“The Conservative government’s track record of concealing information and spurning public oversight extends to all levels of public policy. Controversies surrounding the true cost of the F-35 fighter jets and the content of the proposed Nexen deal are simply the most recent in the government’s long history of disrespect for accountability,” said Murray. “Why is the Prime Minister refusing this access to Canadians, who have the right to know what their elected representatives are doing with taxpayer money?”
Murray’s comments came during Canada’s Right to Know Week, which aims to raise awareness about how public access to government information is a fundamental principle of democratic governance.
The transcript of Ms. Murray’s questions to the government is below.
Office of Joyce Murray
Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is Right to Know Week and we are supposed to be focusing on the benefits of transparency and accountability. Do members remember those words?
However the Conservative government is marking it by hiding cuts from the Parliamentary Budget Officer and by hiding the true cost of the F-35. Now the Prime Minister has a secret cabinet committee on cuts that is chaired by the minister of gazebos himself.
When will Canadians get access to the information that they have paid for with their tax dollars?
Ms. Joyce Murray: Mr. Speaker, the minister obviously did not understand the first time.
C’est la Semaine du droit à l’information gouvernementale, c’est-à-dire, la transparence. Toutefois, le gouvernement a plutôt choisi de marquer cette semaine par le secret. Il refuse de fournir de l’information sur les compressions au directeur du budget parlementaire et il refuse de fournir les vrais coûts du F-35.
Quand les Canadiens auront-ils accès aux informations auxquelles leurs taxes leur donnent droit?
Ms. Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, talking about being kept in the dark, Canadians are being kept in the dark about the Nexen deal. We need to know exactly what is being considered in the proposed deal and what percentage of foreign ownership the government will allow in Canada’s resource sector. Canadians want to know.
Why has the Prime Minister not been answering these questions? Why is the Prime Minister refusing to be transparent to taxpayers?