11 April 2006
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with Treasury Board President John Baird today announced that the Conservative Government has moved ahead with the first of the commitments contained in the Speech from the Throne.
"Today we tabled in Parliament the new Federal Accountability Act, a bill which contains a number of measures aimed at cleaning up the federal government," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"Once implemented, this Act will:
Put an end to the influence of big money in federal political parties;
Stop former ministers, ministerial staffers and senior public officials from using their insider connections to profit from public service;
Further empower such independent Officers of Parliament as the Information Commissioner, the Auditor General and the Lobbyist Registrar to ensure that they are able to hold government to a higher level of account;
Offer iron-clad protection to whistleblowers;
Give the Auditor General the power to follow the money trail as it relates to federal grants and contributions;
Clean up government appointments, contracts, polling and procurement;
Extend the scope of the Access to Information Act, and;
Establish an independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
"These and the other measures will change forever the way business is done in Ottawa, and they will replace the culture of entitlement that took root under the previous Government by a culture of accountability.
"This is the promise we made to Canadians and today we are delivering on that commitment, and this is just the beginning.
"For in the months ahead, my Government is going to work hard to:
Deliver broad-based tax relief by cutting the GST;
Crack down on gun, gang, and drug crime;
Help all Canadian families with young children by introducing a new Choice in Childcare Allowance, and;
Reduce wait times for medically necessary treatments by working with the provinces to develop a Patient Wait Times Guarantee.
"These are the priorities of my Government because they are the priorities of ordinary, hardworking Canadians and their families," concluded Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Treasury Board President John Baird went on to say:
"People who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules want accountability from their government and we owe them no less.
"Accountability is about trust. But trust must be earned. Our government will work hard – every day – to earn that trust."