Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say that a PBO's opinion is what we hire them for. Their function is to give us an intelligent and informed opinion on cost estimates and other things relating to the budget. I would certainly listen to the PBO before I would listen to the government on matters such as that.
The Liberal government, and I think every party here, has always said that the PBO has to remain independent. If we change anything in that office, we should increase that independence and neutrality.
These changes would decrease that independence. Any time individual MPs wanted to query a cost estimate that was not directly related to their private member's bills, they would have to go to a committee and get that committee to agree to put that to the PBO. The committees are controlled by government members. It is obvious that the independence of the PBO would be decreased if this passed. Certainly that is something I would love to see taken out of this bill.