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Legislation

Is independence real or perceived?

By Gary Walbourne      

The AG compels responses from the government prior to his reports being tabled in Parliament. Yet the responses from the government seem to be more benign and dismissive than ever before. In speaking with my fellow ombudsmen counterparts at the federal level, this seems to be a recurring theme.

Auditor General Michael Ferguson, pictured recently at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, said: 'What’s important is that we start to see results that show there are changes.' The Hill Times photograph Andrew Meade

There are very few public officers held in higher regard than the auditor general. The ongoing Phoenix debacle all but stole the show in the media cycle, and probably for good reason—as National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces ombudsman, I have seen it slowly and methodically erode the well-being of Defence civilians from coast-to-coast over the past three years.

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