How will Kevin Page ever stay quiet?

Tease the day: After five years of fierce government criticism, what happens next?

Chris Wattie/Reuters

Jack Layton will always be remembered as the permanent politician, a man who was always on the clock—even as he penned a final letter to Canadians on his deathbed. Kevin Page may be remembered as the consummate public servant, a man who drove his career into a wall for the sake of budgetary transparency and accountability. Page, the former parliamentary budget officer, has spent the week since he left his post opening up—even more than usual—about his almost obsessive commitment to his job as government watchdog.

In this morning’s Toronto Star, Page pens an op-ed (not available online, yet) that contains a few talking points you’ve probably heard from him during past weeks: that Canada requires a legislative budget officer; that his office never received the mandate it deserved; that the government’s dragging its heels on finding a replacement; and that the interim PBO chief, the parliamentary librarian, is “nice,” but not a numbers person.

Page reveals something intensely personal: how the death of his 20-year-old son in 2006 changed his approach to public service. When the PBO position was eventually developed, such as it was, Page took the job knowing he was in for five years of pain—and no future in the public service, if he did the job properly. He decided that pain, which paled in comparison to losing a son, was worth the effort.

Five years on, Page’s legacy is made of solid gold. He’s a folk hero in Ottawa circles, save for some Conservative circles. And now we learn that his own son’s death is what drove him to pursue the defining years of his public life—even if they were his last as a public servant. Now, Page the private citizen resumes his life. How will he ever stay quiet?

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with stolen Palestinian money that ended up in Canada. The National Post fronts North Korea’s political leaders meeting, as tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with claims that Ontario is paying more than its fair share to the federal government. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a tentative agreement between the province and its high school teachers. iPolitics fronts Canadian mining controversy in Mexico. leads with North Korea’s legislative leadership meeting for a spring session. National Newswatch showcases a Hill Times story that digs into last week’s apparent Conservative caucus unrest.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Airplane safety. Small, private air carriers are subject to far fewer hands-on inspections than in past years, a result of shifting approaches at the Transportation Safety Board. 2. Guard training. Canada’s correctional services officers don’t receive uniform training about how to treat inmates with respect, according to an internal departmental survey.
3. Drug bust. The HMCS Toronto recovered 500 kilograms of heroin from a ship in the Indian Ocean, a bust worth over $500 million—one of the largest of its kind at sea. 4. Business visa. The feds are launching a new visa that will allow foreign entrepreneurs to enter Canada and work with Canadian firms to create jobs and drive innovation.

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