AUDITOR GENERAL REPORT EXPOSES BILLION DOLLAR TRANSPARENCY PROBLEM: MASSE

Canada’s Auditor General finds little evidence of border improvements despite massive allocations and spending

OTTAWA – The NDP’s Federal Caucus Critic for Canada-US relations Brian Masse MP (Windsor West) is demanding greater accountability and transparency from the government as it continues to allocate funds for the Beyond the Borders Initiative.
 
Canada’s Auditor General Michael Ferguson tabled several reports today including an analysis of the government’s implementation of the Beyond the Borders Action Plan. His findings demonstrate that despite millions of dollars allocated and spent to improve trade and travel between Canada and the United States the government is incapable of demonstrating virtually any improvements whatsoever.
 
Ferguson offered this broad assessment of the government’s failure to show Canadians whether or not the $600 M spent on the implementation on the Action Plan has achieve any of its objectives: “the Canada Border Services Agency and other departments and agencies have implemented many new measures to enhance security and accelerate the flow of goods and travelers across the border.  However, these departments and agencies cannot show Canadians how these measures have significantly enhanced border security or accelerated travel and trade.”
 
“It is shocking.” Masse commented “to see hundreds of millions of dollars already spent on the Beyond the Borders Action Plan with almost no results.  We know significant amounts of money have been spent but there’s little to no evidence that the government has achieved any of its targets.”
 
In addition to improving trade and travel, the Beyond the Borders Action Plan has been promoted as an enhanced security strategy.  “In the name of greater security and more efficient travel, Canadians have been asked to support a series of proposals that involve some loss of sovereignty and massive information sharing with a foreign government.  The Auditor General, after a careful review of the Action Plan, can find no evidence that in exchange for giving up this information that Canadians are more safe or crossing the border more efficiently.” Masse added.
 
Every public agency involved agreed with the Auditors findings that greater transparency and accountability is needed moving forward:  “The Auditor reinforced a consistent message from myself and New Democrats generally, that the government is failing in its duty to govern effectively.  These reports show Canadians that the government is incapable of evaluating its own effectiveness.  Accountability and transparency matter and are fundamental to good governance.” Masse added.