Interview: Kevin Page on accountability in Ottawa

Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page discusses his new book, Unaccountable: Truth, Lies and Numbers on Parliament Hill

Canada's Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page speaks to journalists after testifying at the Commons finance committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 26, 2012. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Kevin Page (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

In Unaccountable: Truth, Lies and Numbers on Parliament Hill, Kevin Page recounts his eventful and historic time as the first parliamentary budget officer, explaining how he came to the post and what happened when he tried to assert the office’s potential to bring unprecedented scrutiny to the way the federal government spends public funds.

Page and I spoke last week and here is the audio of that conversation.

I’ve written at length about Page and his former office: for a sampling see here, here, here and here. My 2013 exit interview with Page is here. NDP MP Pat Martin commended Page in a 2013 speech at an OECD conference. And David McLaughlin considered the post-Page PBO in a piece for this magazine that same year.

Stephen Tapp, a former analyst in the PBO who has previously written about the office, offers some quibbles with Page’s prescriptions in a new piece for Maclean’s here.

Both the New Democrats and Liberals are promising to better-empower and better-fund the PBO. The Liberals are also committed to expanding the PBO’s mandate to cover party election platforms.

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