"Yes" to the Auditor General's review of MPs' expenses

As I noted this afternoon on CTV's Power Play with Tom Clark, I was indeed disappointed in the decision last week by the Board of Internal Economy (an all-party committee of MPs), to refuse the Auditor General's request to do a performance audit of the administration and services of the House of Commons.

I have tremendous respect for Sheila Fraser, our Auditor General, for the work she does, and for the nature of her responsibilities. Our government is better off because of her work, and I would be happy to have her review my books.

I also have respect for the Parliamentary process, and the fact that the Board of Internal Economy has made a decision......but I encourage them to reconsider it.

As Official Opposition Critic for Public Works and Government Services, a big part of my job is to hold the government to account--ALL of government--and to ensure that Canadian taxpayers' money is spent wisely, efficiently and effectively.

Canadians rightly believe that MPs should be held to no less of a standard.

I encourage the Board of Internal Economy to reconsider their decision, and to allow the Auditor General to perform the performance audit she has requested.



  1. David McPhee18.5.10

    I applaud your position. Are the Board's deliberations secret or do they provide a rational of the decision, can the house over turn the decision of the board. How does this square with the idea of accountability. Are the guidelines for MP expenses public.

  2. Great to hear. Will you take that to your Leader? We need to see some leadership on this issue, and so far Michael Ignatieff and other party leaders are rejecting the AG.

  3. Anonymous19.5.10

    I agree with Ken - I gave written two emails to the Liberal party in the last couple of days. The reply to the first email did not satisfy me at all and hence my second email to them which I'll quote below.

    I am sorry, but I do not agree with your excuses. I read most of the national papers as well as Liblogs, CBC, etc. and many feel that MP's are being paranoid. Many people on multiple sites say they would support a party in the next election if they would come out and support the AG looking into the $500 M of parliament's expenses. If Liberals have nothing to hide support the BQ and say yes to the AG. I find it very hyprocritical that the Liberals can on one hand accuse the CRAP party of lack of accountability and transparency, yet will not support the AG's audit. Get with it Libs and do the right thing. You might find that you'll gain lots of supporters. Take the high road.



    And, BTW I'm a card carrying member and supported the Lib party almost to the max the other year. Ignatieff has to take a stance and stop changing his mind on so many issues. It's becoming increasingly difficult to support the Libs. And, choose some really worthwhile concerns of the average Canadians and push those during Question Period. Forget about the gotcha stuff. Stress how the Libs didn't allow the big Bank mergers and the Cons opposed the Sorry for my rant. I have much more to say, but I'll end it here.Libs stance. Yet, the Cons are trying to take credit for our 'so called' great economy. Also, how CMHC has, under the Cons allowed we taxpayers to 'potentially' take the hit by increasing CMHC's indebtedness.

  4. Ken Zwicker21.5.10

    Congratulations Martha! I agree with the other comments to date. I also have emailed Mr. Ignatieff about the importance (and advantage) of doing the right thing and was dissatisfied with the excuses contained in the reply. Here's a rare opportunity to take the high road on an issue that apparently matters more to most Canadians than any other in recent history, one that would finally set the Liberals apart from the Tories and NDP. I just cannot understand how the Party is missing this opportunity!

    I am afraid Mr. Ignatieff better start leading the Party in a meaningful and decisive manner. I am beginning to doubt whether he is the right man for the job, sorry to say.

  5. Anonymous21.5.10


  6. Good instincts, Martha. You're reading the public sentiment bang on.
    But where are the party leaders on this issue? Mike, Jack, Stevie???? Busy gazing your navels? The only leader displaying any leadership these days is Gilles. Bravo!

  7. Anonymous22.5.10

    Secret committee that said no to the Auditor General is made up of 4 Conservatives , 2 Liberals , 1 Liberal chair , 1 NDP and 1 Bloc .

    Time for Liberals to take a stand . Even the Harper appointed Board of Directors of the CBC has the Information Commissioner in Court .

    Caucus next Wed. should send Sheila Fraser an invitation to inspect Liberal M.P. books .

  8. Karen Regular22.5.10

    Congratulations on your stand re openess and accountability. The Auditor General should have complete access to how all our elected officials spend Canadian Taxpayers' money. I urge Parliament to vote to give Ms. Fraser unimpeded access to all accounts.

  9. Anonymous26.5.10

    I realise that the Auditor General is appointed on the approval of all three parties.

    Most auditors are appointed by the people they represent.(i.e. shareholders). Why is gov't any different. The AG can not be objective and must find it difficut to do their job.

    I have no opinion on Ms Fraser but I would like to vote for the AG rather than leave it up to the Parties.