MP confident in Prime Minister

Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes insists he does not get marching orders from the prime minister’s office

Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes insists he does not get marching orders from the prime minister’s office.

Edmonton MP Brent Rathgeber has left the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent, saying that administration isn’t transparent enough and tells backbenchers what to do.

“I don’t feel I’ve been compromised,” said Mayes.

“Any time there’s an issue of concern for my constituents, I get access to a minister.”

Mayes says he also recently voted against most of the Conservative caucus on giving provinces the authority to sanction extreme fighting and there were no repercussions.

In a CBC report, Rathgeber says staff in the prime minister’s office try to keep MPs in line.

“When you have a PMO that tightly scripts its backbenches like this one attempts to do, MPs don’t represent their constituents in Ottawa, they represent the government to their constituents,” he said.

However, Mayes insists that is not his experience.

“There is a process and channels to get concerns across to the prime minister. There is caucus meetings and you can go and see the prime minister. He is open to that,” said Mayes.

Rathgeber is upset that his private member’s bill on CBC and public service disclosure and transparency was changed by a committee.

He also questions the ongoing Senate expense scandal.

“I joined the Reform/Conservative movements because I thought we were somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean the place up, promoting open government and accountability. I barely recognize ourselves, and worse, I fear we have morphed into what we once mocked,” said Rathgeber on his blog.

Mayes admits there is a public perception about  how tax dollars are used.

“When there are MPs and senators, there will be issues where people have poor judgement. It paints the whole party but we’ve allowed the auditor general to scrutinize these things,” he said.

“It is my hope that through the auditor general, people will see there is no conspiracy.”

Mayes says his activities are an open book.

“I post my expense and my whole budget on the website and I have nothing to hide,” he said.