Auditor General says PQ budget lacked accountability and transparency

Nicolas Marceau
Angelica Montgomery/CJAD

Interim auditor general Michel Samson says the Parti Quebecois' spring budget should have carried a $5.7 Billion dollar predicted deficit, rather than the $1.75 Billion dollar one the government transmitted to the public.

Samson says he had not spotted the gap before the election, because civil servants had refused him access to certain key information, such as the cost of renewing each program.

"My report presented in February 2014 also showed an incomplete portrait given the MFQ's (finance ministry's) refusal to give me access to relevant information," says Samson.

The auditor general says he's had better collaboration while producing this latest report, but he also notes that governments generally do not give access to this type of data, which makes it difficult to access how realistic their budgets are.

Samson also says he agrees with the assessment that Quebec's finances are about to hit a wall.

He says it's time to make permanent long-term decisions, and that a hiring freeze in the civil service is only a temporary solution.

A political order

Despite Samson qualifying the PQ budget projection as "unreasonable," the PQ's former finance minister and the former president of the Treasury board both say they would have attained the goal.

Stéphane Bédard and Nicolas Marceau are also calling the auditor's report a "political order."

"I have nothing against the auditor general. I'm simply saying the Liberal government gave certain numbers...it's obvious," says Nicolas Marceau.

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  1. joeN posted on 06/03/2014 07:42 PM
    Accountability and transparency is not the only thing the PQ budgets lacked. Add morals, ethics, and everyday common sense to the list.
  2. Rooster posted on 06/04/2014 08:08 AM
    Not that I believe ANYTHING the PQ said, The Auditor General would have much more credability if he had spoken up when the budget of the PQ came out;or at least beforethe new budget.
  3. Daemoncan posted on 06/04/2014 09:29 AM
    Shocking? Hardly.
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