Many of us have written long and/or short emails to thank Mr. Page for his fact-find and honest reporting. (See below) I hope you feel inspired to write after reading Daryl-Mary's letter, and Kevin's response to her. This is Mr. Kevin Page's email: PageK@parl.gc.ca
From: Daryl Smith
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 07:06 PM
To: Page, Kevin
Subject: A Thank You Note
Dear Mr. Page,
I am just an ordinary Canadian, now a senior citizen, who is terribly concerned about the direction our country appears to be traveling, and about the government that is steering it there.
In 1973, I came here from England with my little family and our dog - already in love with this wonderful country I had researched for two years, where warmth and honesty and acceptance, along with a real will to protect vulnerable people and the environment, seemed to be the at the very core of Canada's heart. Long before I set a foot on Canadian soil, I cried when I heard the singing of "Oh Canada". I was so proud that this would be my country, and the future for my children.
I still shed tears when I hear our anthem played. But for very different reasons now. This time I am grieving, for all that we have lost, and are about to lose. For the deceptions and manipulations coming from our own government -the very people we should be able to trust to do what is best for all Canadians; for the future of our country; and for our influence on and in the world around us.
It feels as though we are spinning downwards, out of control, and that there is nothing and no-one powerful enough that can reach out and halt the descent. Maybe there isn't. However, there are good people still to be found; people who care about Canada, and who do have a voice. I most certainly consider you one of them.
I don't doubt that there have been unpleasant consequences for you and your staff for standing up in parliament for what is right and honest, and for refusing to be cowed by the forcefulness, accusations, and denials of the Conservative Regime. I am sorry, I cannot bring myself to call it a government, but it does not govern - it controls. I am angry, yes, and very sad. I am also afraid. And I want to thank you from my heart for being one of the people who gives me hope that truth and fairness are still alive in this country, and that maybe, maybe, these qualities can still prevail.
I am very sorry that you will be leaving your position in 2013, it will be a great loss for Canada. However, I cannot blame you for it one bit. I hope that whatever you do in the future will be fulfilling for you, and I can't help speculating (or wishing perhaps) that maybe we will be seeing your name on the ballot at the next election. We need all the good people we can find! Thank you again for all you do for Canada and for Canadians. I can tell you that you are appreciated by a great many Canadians besides myself. Please keep up the great work you do for us all.
Wishing you the best.
Daryl-Mary Smith (Ms)
Thank you very much for sharing your story and concerns for Canada and your kind words of support for the work of the Parliamentary Budget Office.
There is a quote from Albert Einstein to the effect that "in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity". I like this quote.
To be honest, I did not want to be the Parliamentary Budget Officer for professional and personal reasons. Many of my colleagues in the public service budget community thought it would be very difficult given some of the problems associated with the legislation that set the office up and a pervasive culture of governments and public service towards secrecy (control message; limit debate)
From a personal perspective my wife and I lost a son in an accident five and half years ago. This is a terrible struggle that many parents have endured. I did not think I had the energy and I was concerned about the impact on my wife and two other childrens. Work can be a very selfish endeavor.
George Bernard Shaw said "without change, there is no progress". We need progress as you point out. We need change. It has been a true honor to be your Parliamentary Budget Officer. We have built a small and dedicated team of like minded bean counters that enjoy this type of public service. We will do everything we can within our mandate to promote transparency and the use of financial analysis in debate. This work has been for good for my soul (the selfish part). My family is doing better. Our departed son Tyler has taught us all that there is nothing permanent in life (perhaps with the exception of love we share with family and friends) so let's get the most out of the present.
Daryl, please do not be discouraged. The values that you brought to Canada are still here (my wife came to Canada from England in 1967; her father shared your perspective and vision). In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. I thank you for making the connection. You have given me inspiration. It is an honor to serve you. I will do my best not to let you down.
Wishing you and family great health and happiness.