moved for leave to introduce Bill C-289, an act to provide for evaluations of statutory programs.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce my private member's bill, the short title of which is the Statutory Program Evaluation Act. This bill will establish a process whereby all statutory program spending is reviewed by Parliament on a cyclical basis.
In his 1993 report, the Auditor General stated that some 70 per cent of all government spending is now statutory spending. Spending is not reviewed or even voted on by Parliament once the original bill is enacted. It has been many a long year since Parliament voted on some statutory programs, spending millions of dollars annually.
I believe this bill has significance in that it will turn the tide of authority which has been flowing from Parliament to government and cabinet back to the elected representatives and Parliament.
Spending without review or analysis is clearly unacceptable in these times of burgeoning debt. The Statutory Program Evaluation Act would cause the examination of all program spending based on the following objective criteria. First, is the program still required, is it relevant, or are we just spending money by virtue of habit? Second, is the program effective in meeting its objectives or are we spending money with the greatest of intentions but missing the mark? Third, is the program being delivered efficiently knowing that our resources are limited and that our taxpayers deserve good management? Fourth, can the purposes of the program be better achieved through different means?
The Auditor General stated that the program evaluation act has great potential to save millions of dollars and I call on my colleagues to support the bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)