09/13/2013 01:49 EDT | Updated 11/13/2013 05:12 EST

Kevin Page, Former Budget Watchdog, To Recieve Canadian Taxpayers Federation's TaxFighter Award


OTTAWA - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is giving its TaxFighter Award to Kevin Page, the former parliamentary budget officer.

Gregory Thomas, the federal director, says Page won the respect of taxpayers by defending the independence of his office.

Page was a veteran public servant and economist when he was named the first parliamentary budget officer in 2008.

His five-year term was marked by rancorous exchanges with the government over some of his reports.

The federation, however, said Page's groundbreaking work on military procurement, personnel costs and macroeconomic forecasting won praise from the International Monetary Fund and legislative budget officers around the world.

The TaxFighter Award has previously gone to tax-cutting former provincial premiers such as Ralph Klein of Alberta and Mike Harris of Ontario, as well as academics such as Michael Walker, the founding director of the Fraser Institute.

The budget office was created by the Conservatives as part of their accountability drive, but they soon found themselves at loggerheads with Page.

When his term ended last spring, he was not reappointed. His replacement, Jean-Denis Frechette, was named over the summer.

Thomas said Page deserves recognition.

"In defending the independence of his office and upholding his duty to provide elected MPs with a more accurate understanding of how the federal government spends our tax dollars, Kevin Page won the respect of taxpayers, public servants and political leaders of all partisan persuasions," he said.

He also said the federation will continue to urge that the budget office become truly independent. It now is an arm of the parliamentary library.

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