OTTAWA, ON – The Trudeau Liberals plan to adjourn the House of Commons early for an extended summer vacation, but the human resources committee still does not have time to review the federal department that spends more than $128 billion per year, the committee’s chair says.
On May 4, 2017, finance committee chair Wayne Easter wrote to the human resources committee to request that they study the parts of the budget that deal with the committee’s mandate – in their case, Employment and Social Development Canada. Responding the following week, human resources committee chair Bryan May told Easter the “short timeline” means the committee has decided not to review its part of the budget.
Conservatives aren’t buying it. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre also wrote to May in support of Easter’s request.
“First, the highest priority of all Members of Parliament is to review the government’s spending,” said Poilievre. “How can the Liberal majority say ‘sorry, we’re too busy,’?”
“Second, the budget has been public for almost two months,” Poilievre said. “These guys are supposed to be on the same team, and it’s no secret that parliamentarians review the budget. For committee chair May to decide ‘the minister cannot attend a meeting, therefore we can’t review the budget’ is irresponsible.”
“Finally, Employment and Social Development Canada oversees more than $128 billion annually, for everything from pensions to seniors’ benefits to job training to student loans,” said Poilievre. “Canadians deserve transparency and need to know where their money is going. Denying Members of Parliament the right to review the budget is unacceptable.”
“We are also seeing the Liberals ram through the $35 billion infrastructure bank with just two hours of debate and no amendments being allowed,” Poilievre said. “I am hearing rumours that the Liberal government intends to break early for the summer, so it is increasingly appearing like this is the Liberals clearing their plate for an early summer,” Poilievre concluded.