The cracks are starting to show.
Cornwall ON – MPs from all parties are really feeling the heat from voters over the refusal of the Board of Internal Economy to open MPs books to an audit by Sheila Fraser. Cracks are starting to appear in the ranks of our MPs, as some are now suggesting the decision should be reviewed.
To illustrate this change in attitude, you may recall, a month ago Liberal MP and Board of Internal Economy member Marcel Proulx, who, when asked why the committee wouldn’t disclose how taxpayer dollars were spent, replied: “Oh, well, it’s always been like that, and there’s no intention of opening it.”
He may yet regret that little bit of arrogance. Compare Proulx’s comments with that of Peter Stoffer (NDP) who said yesterday:
“Every single one of my constituents that has contacted me, not one has said, ‘Oh, sure, keep it secret, don’t let the auditor general around.’ No. Every single one has been unanimous in saying let the auditor general do her work.”
“I think transparency and openness would not be a bad thing. So my advice to the board, if I was giving it to them, is they should work with the auditor general to allow her to do what she needs to do . . . so the public has confidence in what we’re doing.”
In addition, Michelle Simson, a first-term Liberal MP from Toronto, and Siobhan Coady, a Liberal from Newfoundland, are already posting details about their office budgets online.
It is interesting how newer MPs don’t mind being open and accountable. It must be because they haven’t yet adopted or given in to the sense of entitlement displayed by some of their other colleagues on the Hill.
Most MPs are careful about how they spent their office budgets and would have nothing to fear from an audit. Why then this intransience? Compare the position of the MPs with what these same MPs expect of cabinet ministers.
Every single staffer working for a minister has all of their ministerial related expenses posted online. Every cabinet minister does as well. If MPs believe openness and accountability must apply to ministers and staff, why not to themselves as well?
This is a true nonpartisan issue as it concerns all MPs from all parties.
For readers of the Cornwall Free News, this is an opportunity for you to make your voice heard.
Call your local MP and ask for his position on this issue. You have a right to know his position. Why don’t you report back to the paper whatever explanation that you are given. The public needs to keep up the pressure. MPs are not entitled to our money, they are entrusted with it. As such we have a right to know how they spend it.
contact info for MP Guy Lauzon
621 Pitt Street
Cornwall, Ontario K6J 3R8
Tel: (613) 937-3331
Fax: (613) 937-3251
Toll Free: 1-888-805-2513