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QUESTION PERIOD — Privy Council Office

Agents of Parliament

May 21, 2024

My question is for the Leader of the Government.

Leader, my question has to do with budget cuts to the Office of the Information Commissioner. The Trudeau government has not kept its promises on access to information. On the contrary, the situation is getting worse every year, to the point where the Information Commissioner has spoken about the Trudeau government’s culture of secrecy. The commissioner announced last week that the government was cutting her office’s budget by 5%. Is this your government’s way of punishing a commissioner who takes her job too seriously?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

That is absolutely not the case. The government appreciates Ms. Maynard’s work and it is committed to ensuring that her office has access to the funding she needs to be able to continue her important work.

According to the information that I have, a standard form is used to adjust the budgets of all public service organizations, while taking into account things like salary changes in collective agreements. This system has been in place for many years.

A few months ago, the Auditor General also complained about the fact that the government is stubbornly refusing to give her enough funding to do her work. Does this government have a general policy of muzzling officers of Parliament and prevent them from doing their job properly?

Senator Gold [ + ]

No. As I just mentioned, a standard approach has been in place for a long time, and it applies to 90 government organizations. This approach is set out in Schedules I, IV and V of the Financial Administration Act. More funding was allocated in the Main Estimates to ensure that she can continue to do her important work.

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