Today, former-Sponsorship Scandal Inquiry Head John Gomery criticized the government for what he characterized as overly centralized in the PMO. According to a CTV article, he said, "[Canadians] elect a House of Parliament which is there to deal with government policy. I don't think government policy should arrive only out of the prime minister's office."
Mr Gomery is completely wrong on this issue. The House of Commons is elected to serve as the legislative branch of government - it is NOT the executive branch of government, nor should it be. It is the role of the Cabinet to design policy directives, and the legislature has the right to approve or reject government policy, but not to make it.
Furthermore, it should especially not be the government bureaucracy and civil service setting government policy. The role of the civil service is to implement policy as directed by the Prime Minister and Ministers, not to dictate what it should be.
The different branches of government serve different functions here in Canada, and each should stick to their roles as laid out in the constitution. Development of government policy is the purview of the Executive branch and it should remain that way.