Opposition Motion – 2013 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada

Elizabeth May : Mr. Speaker, I direct this question to the hon. member for Nickel Belt.

My father was an accountant and I vividly recall, because I was about eight years old, that he was the senior cashier for a large insurance company. During year-end, they could not find $1 million. He came home from work and said they could not find that $1 million. It was a matter of accounting to figure out where it went. I was a very little girl and I remember saying, “Keep looking in all the wastepaper baskets; it has got to be there somewhere”.

I find the misapprehension from Conservative members of the House today of what it means to have $3.1 billion missing to be quite like my reaction as a little girl, saying that the money is not really missing. They just cannot figure out where it is; it is not really missing money.

I think we understand that in an audit we have to track where the money is and where it was spent. That is why we have an Auditor General, to figure out that the government is taking good care and can account for every penny spent.

If $3.1 billion cannot be accounted for, will my friend from Nickel Belt agree with me that it means it is missing?

Claude Gravelle: Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the member: the money is missing. All the Conservatives have to do is give the Auditor General the proper documentation so he can find where the money is. If he cannot find where the money is, then it is up to the Conservatives to tell us where they spent that money; $3.1 billion is a lot of coins to be missing.