FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Letter to Editor – June 10, 2020
Since the beginning of this crisis, our entire Conservative Caucus has been calling for more oversight and accountability through increased in-person sessions in Parliament. We have been focused on ensuring families, seniors, and small businesses get the help they need.
But earlier this month, with the help of the NDP, the Liberals shamefully shut down Parliament until the fall and continue to limit questioning to the Covid-19 Committee.
These Covid-19 Committee meetings are a façade of Parliamentary democracy. Under this format, opposition MPs are barred from having Opposition Days, requesting Emergency Debates, debating Private Members Bills, ordering the publication of government documents, or debating and voting on committee reports.
In a crisis, oversight is more important than ever. The Liberals have announced hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending but are refusing to provide an economic update or to be transparent with Canadians. Taxpayers deserve to know how the government is spending their money.
Consider that since Justin Trudeau lost his majority in the fall, there hasn’t been a budget or single hour of debate on government spending.
Now the Liberals are trying to ram through omnibus legislation and $87 billion in new spending in just four hours. That’s simply not enough time to study and debate billions of dollars worth of new spending. This is not how our democracy is supposed to work.
Even more alarming is that the Auditor General has revealed the government has not provided him enough funding to conduct audits of government spending. Trudeau actually cut $300,000 from the Auditor General’s budget this year.
So we have no budget, no economic update, no oversight, and no accountability.
Conservatives have two simple demands on behalf of taxpayers:
- Trudeau must allow Parliament to resume.
- Trudeau must table an economic update before the end of the June.
That way we can do our job as the official opposition to comb through every line item, to question every expense and make sure that Canadians’ tax dollars are spent properly.
Make no mistake, adjourning Parliament won’t stop us from holding the government accountable. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to get results for Canadians.
Arnold Viersen, MP
Peace River – Westlock