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Meet Senator

Pierrette Ringuette

The Hon. Pierrette  Ringuette, B.A., M.B.A. On December 12, 2002, Senator Ringuette was appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien to represent the Senatorial Division of New Brunswick.

Statements & Hansard

Cost of Crime Bills

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Statement made on 09 February 2011 by Senator Tommy Banks (retired)

Hon. Tommy Banks:

Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. In the previous line of questioning about CIDA, the leader referred several times to the government's commitment to accountability and said that she had not received applause. However, honourable senators, the leader's government received applause when, in the interest of accountability, it appointed a Parliamentary Budget Officer. Applause was given to it in this place. The leader received congratulations from this side, because it was a good move.

However, the relationship between the leader's government and the PBO has not been sanguine entirely. This past Monday, a question of privilege was raised in the other place regarding her government's refusal to release the cost estimates of its tough-on-crime legislation.

The Prime Minister is a pretty good piano player and quite a versatile one, but since last autumn, the only tune that this government seems to be playing is about putting more and more people in jail for longer and longer.

Honourable senators, Canadians have a right and we here have a right to know just how much these American-style super-prisons will cost. The Conservative government has replied that it is not required to submit the estimates to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, citing cabinet confidence.

That is a red herring, I think, because the legislation has been introduced and it is now in the public domain. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask how much it will cost. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is asking that question.

For a government that claims to be transparent and accountable, the leader must recognize that the Parliamentary Budget Officer cannot do his job if he is not given the information with which to do his calculations. He cannot provide estimates. He cannot provide comments on estimates. He cannot provide comments, as he is supposed to, on proposed government spending unless he is given the information.

Will the leader tell us why her government will not provide the Parliamentary Budget Officer with the information on the cost of building prisons and housing more prisoners?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
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