What sort of punishment should be handed out to a cabinet minister who, judging by an auditor-general’s report, was found in clear breach of federal policies on accountability?Juxtaposed with Tony Clement's duties yesterday: "Treasury Board President reaffirms commitment to reduce government spending and return to a balanced budget."
Should he be shuffled to another post? Should he be dropped from cabinet entirely? Or should he, as appears to be the case with Treasury Board President Tony Clement, be allowed to remain in his post, a post wherein he stands watch over the very type of transgressions of which he is accused.
Today, the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for FedNor, delivered an address to the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce regarding the Government of Canada's commitment to balancing the budget in three years and eliminating the deficit.It all does kind of ring hollow from Clement, doesn't it?
"The Government has received a mandate from Canadians to eliminate the deficit, keep taxes low and continue creating jobs for Canadians," said Minister Clement. "Our deficit reduction action plan is an opportunity to modernize how we do business—to get government right and ensure the economy can continue to grow and create jobs, and that we continue to invest in the priorities of Canadians."
To help return to a balanced budget, 67 organizations are reviewing their operating expenses and grants and contributions expenditures. The goal is to find ongoing savings of at least $4 billion by 2014–15. There will be no cuts to major transfers, to persons and others levels of government, nor to public debt payments. The results of the review will be released as part of Budget 2012.
The President of the Treasury Board also reaffirmed the Government's commitment to adopting a balanced approach to ensuring responsible and strategic investments in keeping with the priorities of Canadians while continuing to eliminate the deficit.