Statement by David Christopherson on leaked G8 Report
April 12th, 2011 - 3:37pm
I sit on the Public Accounts Committee and, if I'm fortunate enough to be returned as Member of Parliament by the voters in Hamilton Centre, I hope to do so again.
I believe the work we do on that Committee, providing oversight for government spending, is very important.
I believe the work done by the Office of the Auditor General is very important.
Parliamentary oversight and an independent auditor is a cornerstone of our democracy.
I've been distressed lately by how little respect the current government shows for our democratic institutions.
We saw an example of this just yesterday, when quotes from the Auditor General were used out of context, and drafts of a confidential report were leaked not once but twice.
Shortly before this election, some MPs on the Public Accounts committee sought to suddenly change the rules so the Auditor General would be obligated to release her next report in the middle of an election campaign.
There was no notice given or time to study the implications. Or ask the Auditor General her views on this change.
Of course I realized there was some partisan advantage for me, and other MPs, if I allowed this this to happen.
But it was not in keeping with the democratic traditions of Parliament nor was it respectful of the Office of the Auditor.
The hypocrisy of the move was too much.
Political parties have done their fair share of sitting on Auditor General Reports in the past.
Too often they seem to see Parliamentary Committees as a place to play partisan games.
Talking about respect for Parliament while railroading changes through without notice or consultation with the Auditor General I thought was wrong.
How could I ever attack the Prime Minister for not respecting Parliament, for playing partisan political games, if I pulled a stunt like this?
Knowing the answer, I voted accordingly.
There's something very broken with politics in Canada today.
Canadians are losing faith in their elected representatives.
I'm not going to apologize for doing what I thought was right.
If re-elected by the good people of Hamilton, I look forward to returning to Parliament with a large team of New Democrats all with the same mandate: to finally fix Ottawa for good.