Unaccountable: Truth and Lies on Parliament Hill

Category: Book
By (author): Page, Kevin
Subject:  HISTORY / Canada / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Canadian
Awards: Axiom Business Book Awards ¿¿ Business Ethics ¿¿ Silver (2016) Winner
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Published: September 2016
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 8.00in x 5.18in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A unique insider's account of the Harper government so damning that it cannot be ignored.

Kevin Page was appointed by the federal Conservatives to be the country's first parliamentary budget officer in March 2008. The move fulfilled a Tory campaign promise to deliver greater government transparency and accountability. He was later denounced by the same people who had appointed him to scrutinize their spending. When he challenged the government on several issues--most notably about the true costs of the F-35 fighter planes--and publicly claimed the government was misleading Canadians, Page was vilified. Later, he was called "unbelievable, unreliable and incredible" by then-Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Page's term was not extended.
     Page's assessment of the F-35 procurement was proven right, a major embarrassment to the Harper government. But his overriding concern is that Parliament does not get the information and analysis it needs to hold the executive--the prime minister and cabinet--to account. Parliament, he argues, is broken, with power centralized in the PMO. The civil service appears cowed, and members of parliament almost never see enough financial analysis to support the policy decisions they make. That was true of the tough-on-crime legislation and military procurement as well as recent changes to the Canada Health Transfer and Old Age Security.
     In this shocking insider's account, Page argues forcefully that elected officials need accurate, independently verified data to support the implementation of policies and programs. Unaccountable is an urgent call to action for all Canadians.
Review Quote* • "Helps shine a light on an important part of the history of institution-building in Canada and shouldn't be ignored. . . . A call to action." --Maclean's
 • "A scathing critique of the federal public service."--Ottawa Citizen
Biographical NoteKEVIN PAGE was the first ever Parliamentary Budget Officer, appointed to the position in March 2008. Previous to that position, he was a civil servant for the Canadian Government for over twenty-seven years. Currently, he is based in Ottawa, where he holds the Jean Luc Pepin Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. The author lives in Ottawa, ON.