What if you held an Economic Action Plan and nobody noticed?
That's kinda what the Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has been asking. Seems to him you can't talk about what the stimulus is or isn't achieving, or where it is or isn't going (hear that Gerard Kennedy?) unless you can analyse the raw data.
Realizing that "the secretive Conservative Government" was beginning to appear "the paranoid Conservative Government", Harper finally relented by providing the data Page asked for in the paper format preferred by accountants of 40 years ago.
The New Democrats' finance critic zinged the Cons on their retro-style of transparency in question period today:
Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have the ability to secretly record another party's caucus meeting. They can get HD copies of the Prime Minister's audition tape on every government website. They have even found a way to turn Mike Duffy into spam.
However when it comes to providing the parliamentary budget office with details of stimulus funding they are still in the Diefenbaker era.
Does the minister realize that providing boxes containing thousands of pages of untreated information without so much as a synopsis, much less a spread sheet, is less than useless?
Even with all the brain tonic the Conservative front bench had consumed, they weren't able to provide much in the way of an answer.