Ministerial accountability

St. Boniface - Thursday, December 5, 2002 - by: Mike Reilly


Can we finally put an end to the myth of the Liberals as good financial managers? Combine Paul Martin's budgets which offloaded debt to the provinces with the missing one billion Human Resources Development Corporation dollars, Industry Canada loans with only 3% repayments of billions of dollars and Canadians get an image of a government with no idea how to plan responsible spending of the public dollars. In every instance of overspending, the government kept increased costs away from the scrutiny of Parliament.




This week the Attorney General lambasted the Justice Ministry for its lack of management of the gun registration program. Under the direction of Alan Rock, Anne McLellan and Martin Cauchon, this initiative has swelled from an estimated cost of $119 million in 1995 to over $660 million with only 50% of the program objectives met. The program is estimated to cost Canadians as much as $1 billion by the end of 2005. Worse still has been the lack of accountability for the reasons for such tremendous overruns.




Regardless of your opinion of the gun registry program, the government has a responsibility to complete an $119 million program for $119 million and, if they don't, to explain the reasons for the variance. If the scope of the program has increased, the Ministers, and Paul Martin who approved budgets for the program while he was Finance Minister, must account for the spending. Canadians cannot have any patience for a single wasted dollar when we have so many programs in need of money. How many times does the Auditor General have to release reports condemning flagrant government incompetence and disregard for ethical financial practices before Canadians get the message?




Mike Reilly

  Liberals withdraw request for more gun control funding, December 5, 2002, Ottawa, CBC News
  Audito general takes aim at gun registry's $1-billion price tag, December 4, 2002, Ottawa, CBC News


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