Friday, January 04, 2008

Stay Informed

OTTAWA — Canadian taxpayers are footing the bill for a $650,000 ad campaign that boasts about a one-cent cut to the GST – a campaign that opposition members say is nothing more than pre-election advertising for the Conservatives.

Radio spots that began airing on Dec. 28 and newspaper advertisements that will soon appear in small weeklies inform Canadians of the benefits they will reap as a result of the sales-tax cut that came into effect on Jan. 1.

“The government of Canada is ringing in the New Year with another tax cut. Starting January 1st, the GST will be reduced to five per cent, the second cut in less than two years,” says the radio ad.

“This means significant tax savings on most everything you buy, like a coffee, a new home, a computer or a new car. To learn more about the GST reduction, visit Canada.gc.ca or call 1-800-O-Canada. 2008 will be a less taxing year for Canadians.”




I know some libloggers will be up in arms over for this, but I for one would like to thank Canada's New Government for keeping Canadians informed. Why, just this morning I was in line for a cup of coffee and had already calculated the cost when I remembered the ad I'd heard on the radio the night before. I quickly recalculated the new cost and managed to pay in exact change. I can only imagine what I would have done if I hadn't heard the ads - I might have had to put two pennies away when told the price! How embarrassing would that have been!

I'm sure this scene has happened thousands of times coast to coast this week (given the $650,000 price tag for the ads, hopefully many thousand times). I look forward to more informative ads in the coming months along the lines of "Did you know the Canadian government has been Adscam free for two years?".

Labels:

46 Comments:

  • Am I the only one who noticed Canada's New Government and Canada's Middle-Aged Government ramped up the federal government department and agency advertising on TV during the last two Parliament sessions, especially when ever there was election talk?

    What's up with that?

    By Anonymous adscam adam, at 8:17 PM  

  • Yes, things in a dollar store now costs $1.05. Way to get rid of the pennies.

    By Blogger Mushroom, at 8:19 PM  

  • I caught that exciting reminder of Significant tax savings on my way in to work as well, then stressed over how this will slow the dollar coffee line down since a 99cent line will go a lot slower, with all those pennies being handed over.

    No need to have worried, though. Just like the first time the GST dropped by 1%, the coffee went up 1 cent. So, either the coffee shop got my significant tax savings, or some sneaky tax leprechaun whisked it away to help pay for the nice little 650,000 dollar reminder.

    By Blogger 900 ft Jesus, at 10:57 PM  

  • no sensible economist (minus Harper) has come forward to support this cut, its literally for political points, Canadians should know by now that if all that lost revenue was put into something like a national child care or dental program, it would have a much more immediate and effective impact on the lives of millions (rich and poor), plus - isn't it in the Conservative blood to get people off welfare?! well, maybe they should do more than jail them! Cause that's costing them over $65 000 per prisoner! Don't they want people to become productive members of society and not well you know...impoverished -> long periods of unemployment/underemployment -> crime -> jail -> which are racially and class discriminatory to minorities and the poor


    etc. etc.

    By Blogger karenjcao, at 12:21 AM  

  • its national shame that prisoners are more well fed than the working poor making min wage..

    By Blogger karenjcao, at 12:22 AM  

  • You weenies can feel free to donate all the 'pennies' that you save each year to a charity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:55 AM  

  • Pfft, Harper hates the poor so he'll abolish the penny anyways

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 AM  

  • These ads are pure marketing bullshit.
    When will Canadians wake up and realize that this man is a manipulator?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:18 AM  

  • //no sensible economist (minus Harper) has come forward to support this cut, its literally for political points,//

    With the strong loonie, cross-border shopping, and the American economy slowing down, the GST cut will actually help retailers. The GST cut is certainly not the best type of tax cut, but it is actually coming at not a bad time to ameliorate the effects of the US economic slowdown for the retail segment of the Canadian economy.

    P.S. So when Chretien make the promise that he was going to eliminate the GST, it was literally for political points?

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 9:51 AM  

  • When Chretien took office - he had a very "rude awakening". He found out that Canada was in debt big time, on the verge of losing it's credit rating and the CPP was in crisis - whole different scenario to say the least.

    Why the necessity for ads about the GST cut, the childish show and tell crap when we knew and/or Harper could have just held a press conference and save the taxpayers $650,000? Just think how expensive Harper's been as a PM - constant show and tell, backdrop announcements as taxpayer expense, primp lady, etc. Double the cost for SUV's, double the cost for polling. Panels selected to decide every policy and decision for him.

    I wonder what the total cost for advertising on taxpayer money is since his tenure began? I shudder to think.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 AM  

  • What I would be more interested to know is how much, and how, money was spent to inform those who collect the tax, e.g., retailers, etc., of the 1% lowering of the GST. The governement should not have to inform consumers about this - it's those who collect the tax that should be the targets.

    By Blogger Loraine Lamontagne, at 10:24 AM  

  • The governement should not have to inform consumers about this - it's those who collect the tax that should be the targets.

    So, you support the ads then?

    Unless the people who collect the tax are immune from the ads, they are being informed as well.

    It's easy to say " all I am going to save is a couple of pennies..."

    How much are you saving on that new home? New car, etc......

    --

    By Blogger Platty, at 10:50 AM  

  • Have the GST ads (or Service Canada or Canadian Armed Forces or Farm Credit Corporation or CDIC etc.) been funnelled through... Tory-friendly ad agencies?

    By Anonymous adscam adam, at 11:48 AM  

  • Mixed feelings.... it is silly to cut taxes and then spend 650k on ads. At the same time, in my very limited understanding of economics, it seems worthwhile to get people interested in buying when recession fears are mounted.

    My final verdict -- keep the message, but the cost is silly. Harper could have made a free address on CBC to the nation and saved us a lot of money.

    By Anonymous Jason Bo Green, at 12:09 PM  

  • isn't it in the Conservative blood to get people off welfare?! well, maybe they should do more than jail them!

    its national shame that prisoners are more well fed than the working poor making min wage


    Make up your mind or shut up. I'm so sick of liberals coming up with this kind of claptrap stupidity - you're an idiot and you're not in any way helping the Liberals or NDP gain anything. There needs to be real, serious talk about what the opposition can offer that's better -- mindlessly criticizing the gov't is NOT helping anyone's electoral chances. Except the CPC's, of course.

    By Anonymous jason bo green, at 12:14 PM  

  • Every government wastes taxpayers money with advertising. McGuinty had all sorts of ads on in Ontario for over a year leading up to the election.

    A little less hypocrisy.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 12:38 PM  

  • I wonder if the ads will stimulate consumer spending? I assume that was the desired effect.

    This is hardly the first time a government has spent money to stimulate the economy. I remember Chretien's old line from the 1993 debates: "When I see a truck in the street, I feel good! I want to spend my money!"

    Well if a truck can make someone spend money, so can a tax cut, I suppose.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:45 PM  

  • People have to make up their minds. Is this 'the-much-hated-GST-introduced-by-the-hated-PC-Mulroney-to take-food-from-the-mouths-of-babies, or is it no big deal.
    A quick thought exercise-
    What would the response be if Harper had _increased_ the GST by a percent? Would the commenters here be saying that a penny here or there is no big deal?

    By Anonymous Imethisguy, at 2:57 PM  

  • stay informed

    is the title of this post.

    1 % on a 30,000 vehicle could make a rich person smile, however if you are *Jack Benny cheap* like I am, a no-gas/diesel vehicle for 2500 euros and a modern hi-quality Asustek laptop for $299 looks good.

    BendGovernment.blogspot.com

    There is a link to the BBC video on the French designed Van. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 3:24 PM  

  • Platty... Do you think airing radio spots on Dec. 28 and advertisements that 'will soon appear in small weeklies' . therefore after the cut comes into effect, were effective means to prepare those who collect the GST to charge 5%? What I have read and experienced so far is that businesses were not prepared for this. The governement knows specifically who they are - they do collect revenue from these businesses - and these businesses should have been informed well in advance. The after-the-fact radio spots are simply fraudulent use of taxpayers' money for partisan political propaganda.

    By Blogger Loraine Lamontagne, at 4:14 PM  

  • Loraine

    It looks to me as though retailers have been well aware of the cut to 5%, as for the radio spots, are you saying that all parties should refrain from using this avenue to inform Canadians of major government policy changes?

    By Blogger Platty, at 5:16 PM  

  • This is just part of a pattern.

    Harper has turned the Canadian Government website into a shameless partisan advertisement.

    http://canada.gc.ca/home.html

    It is in stark contrast to the government websites of every other country I've seen:

    Australia's -

    http://www.gov.au/

    New Zealand -

    http://newzealand.govt.nz/

    UK's -

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm

    Ireland-

    http://www.irlgov.ie/

    The USA's -

    http://www.usa.gov/

    The Netherlands -

    http://www.government.nl/


    The Conservatives are all about using public funds for partisan advertising and polling. Frankly, I find their apologists for this nauseating.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 PM  

  • Have the GST ads (or Service Canada or Canadian Armed Forces or Farm Credit Corporation or CDIC etc.) been funnelled through... Tory-friendly ad agencies?

    Exactly. Apparently spending 650 thousand to inform Canadians about a $5billion tax cut should be against the law, but establishing government programs to systematically funnel the money to the Liberal party is hunky dory.

    By Blogger Brian Grenya, at 12:49 AM  

  • "but establishing government programs to systematically funnel the money to the Liberal party is hunky dory."

    Hmmm! Can you count how many ad executives were convicted?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:58 AM  

  • "How much are you saving on that new home? New car, etc......"

    how many people/which classes make those purchases? certainly not the poor, and certainly not the middle class - do you buy a new car, a new house, a new t.v. every year?
    i bloody don't think so,

    studies show that the average canadian are saving about fifty dollars per month...


    p.s. the amount of money spent by the conservatives right now on Polling has outstrip any government that has ever been in power (a fact, not a lie), while they hounded at this practice in opposition

    By Blogger karenjcao, at 1:39 AM  

  • There is a reason why everyone calls them the Harpercrites

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:23 AM  

  • Which brave anonymouse are you?

    Never heard the term *Harpercrites* before and I am all over the blogs left right and Marxist.

    They are all good Canadians after all.

    Not to enrage you .. please remain calm and polite, but I have heard of 200 Liberal scams listed at BendGovernment.blogspot.com or just Scamslist.

    Making things up is easy but just doesn*t cut it. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 3:15 AM  

  • Learn how to use a search engine or just clean out your ears, its becoming a roar.

    Why is Canada the only country with a 'cult of the leader' government website? Why are all of our tax dollars going towards advertising and polling for these jokers?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 AM  

  • Why is Canada the only country with a 'cult of the leader' government website? Why are all of our tax dollars going towards advertising and polling for these jokers?

    Now there's that leftie exaggeration we all have come to know and love.

    Wow, all of our tax dollars anon? With comments like those, I can see why you post under anonymous.

    ==

    By Blogger Platty, at 11:56 AM  

  • So, you're saying they should have raised the GST Karen?

    Isn't down better than up when it comes to spending for the average Canadian?

    Or are you saying that 50 bucks means absoulutely nothing to the average Canadian?

    What are you bloody saying?


    ===

    By Blogger Platty, at 12:04 PM  

  • Now there's that leftie exaggeration we all have come to know and love.


    There's that right wing deflection which all have come to know so well.

    All as in everyone's and not just the one third of Canadians who vote for the Cons and possibly might want to see their public tax dollars spent on advertising for their political party.

    So come on, answer the question, why is the Canadian government website the only one acting as an advertisement for the party/leader?

    Do you think the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland, and New Zealand are wrong for not turning their government site into a partisan advertisement?

    Maybe this is something Canada can export, 'New lows in democracy brought to you from Harper and friends!'

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 PM  

  • According to an article on CTV $50 saved by the GST cut per month is a bit optimistic.

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071230/cda_taxes_071230/20071230/

    "Most Canadians are likely to gain between $120 and $200 in small increments with most purchases throughout the year. But the savings will be dramatic with purchases of big ticket items like homes, automobiles, furniture or appliances."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:44 PM  

  • There's that right wing deflection which all have come to know so well.

    I point out that you are saying All our tax dollars and you ignore this completely by using the tired old "deflection" line? Wow, keep posting under anonymous, I mean, I would if I left posts like that.

    So come on, answer the question, why is the Canadian government website the only one acting as an advertisement for the party/leader?

    Go back and look at the site again, you will see that the government is informing Canadians that they are working towards lowering taxes for ALL Canadians.

    (Oh, and it also shows the flip flopping Opposition(?)leader in action.)

    I know you can't stand to see a government that actually gets things done, rather than spend year after year telling Canadians what they are going to do, get used to it. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative party will be in the Government benches for a long time to come.

    By Blogger Platty, at 2:22 PM  

  • LOL, the old right wing standard 'I can't read' deflection.

    Maybe CAPS is necessary.

    ALL Canadians paid for the advertisement for your party on OUR government website with your party leader and his stooges and their platform plastered all over it. Thats warped and not done in other democracies. Deflect away. The fact is the Cons have turned Canada's government website into a 'cult of the leader' embarrassment.

    Sorry if I'm not up as up front about my identity as you, would you be happier if i signed my posts,
    Yours truly, Kangaroo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

  • Ah yes, this Conservative government just wants Canadians to be informed alright:

    "Users of the system say Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has imposed so many layers of scrutiny that even the most benign material gets fetched up in reviews for months, even years.

    “The intent is to frustrate efforts ... and ultimately you're going to go away,” said Michel Drapeau, a retired colonel and expert in access-to-information legislation.

    “By the time (the information) is issued, it has lost some of its value and ultimately you have a Canadian public that's not as well informed as it should be.”

    People using the legislation to acquire personal information or documents on government activities have found the average wait time for release has risen sharply from 30 to 60 days a couple of years ago to 150 or even 250 days over the last several months."

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080106.waccess0105/BNStory/National/home

    Harpercrites will stick because since day one a la Emerson/Fortier its really summed up the ethical stance of Harper and his supporters. It will live on alongside 'Lying Bryan'.

    Yours Truly,
    Kangaroo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:18 PM  

  • No, you should just sign it MORON.
    Take another look at my post to you. You posted that ALL OF OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE SPENT ON THIS!!

    Now, let's go over this again s-l-o-w-l-y for your benefit.

    I said you exaggerated the fact that ALL OF OUR TAX DOLLARS, not some but ALL of our tax dollars. AS in, there would be no tax dollars left for anything else.

    Please just sign your name MORON. It would fit very nicely....


    ===

    By Blogger Platty, at 3:20 PM  

  • "Users of the system say Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has imposed so many layers of scrutiny that even the most benign material gets fetched up in reviews for months, even years.

    Years?? So the Conservatives have been in power for how many YEARS??

    I am now done with MORON, Time to go watch football.....



    ====

    By Blogger Platty, at 3:26 PM  

  • Wow, you can't read the Globe and Mail either.

    I can see all this reading is really doing your head in. I guess if your just used to The Sun, reading for comprehension might not be your special talent. It involves actually reading the entire argument and not just taking words out of context to make your own imaginary meaning out of. Its tough stuff, hopefully you have more luck with the television set, Einstein.

    Yours truly,
    Kangaroo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:02 PM  

  • A website that might help you out:

    http://www.readingsuccesslab.com/Glossary/ImproveReadingComprehension.html

    Many children who display an inconsistent reading profile have fallen behind their peers in reading progress. Skilled reading comprehension involves the use of a number of cognitive skills. At the lowermost cognitive level skilled readers automatically recognize letters and words, and they automatically activate the meaning of words when they read them. One interesting aspect of the meaning activation part of reading is that we actually activate multiple meanings of words when we read them and settle on a specific meaning a brief time after a word is read. For instance, if you read the sentence “I took the money to the bank” you actually activate both the river and the money meanings of bank at the same time, and then shortly after you activate both, your cognitive system settles on the money meaning in the example sentence.

    Skilled reading comprehension also involves higher level cognitive processes such as relating what you are reading to what you already know, and creating inferential bridges to span between things that are written and things that your experience tells you must be true. For example, reading the sentence “the notes were sour because the seam was split” makes no sense until you get the word “bagpipe” and then you can relate the sentence meaning to what you already know. As examples of inferential bridging, consider the different meanings of the following very similar sentences: “Superman held up his hand and stopped the car.” “The policeman held up his hand and stopped the car.”


    Good luck!

    Yours Truly,
    Kangaroo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 PM  

  • Being old enough to remember the reasoning behind the introduction of the "GST" tax, I have to wonder if the same government that has reduced what we pay is now leveling a 2% manufacturing tax to make up the difference? That is after all what the "GST" replaced in the first place, and we all know how tax happy the Canadian government is!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 AM  

  • Anonymous Kangaroo,

    Harper and the CPC passed Whistleblower legislation.

    Something Liberals promised to do but never got around to.

    Anything fishy about the $650K you refer to and it can be reported to the Auditor General with no fear of repercussions to the *Whistleblower*.

    This is a voluntary move for better ethics and fiscal responsibility of the Harper government, by the Harper government.

    Do you recall Gomery and Adscam? Life will be tough for some time to come. = TG

    By Anonymous TG, at 2:35 AM  

  • Euh.... Platty - Thanks for the link that announces that the 7% GST will be cut to 6% in an article dated 2006. Hellooooo, out there Platty - this is now 2008 and we are talking about the cut of the GST from 6% to 5%. I note that the article states : "The Retail Council of Canada has asked newly appointed Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to warn businesses at least two weeks before a changeover date, and to ensure it doesn't fall on a busy shopping day."

    The Tories brought in this new GST cut at the worst possible time of the year for retailers. Announcing a cut in the middle of the Christmas shopping season madness - one that will take effect on Jan. 1st when all retailers are doing their bigget end of season sales is plain ridiculous.

    I have a feeling you have never managed a business.

    By Blogger Loraine Lamontagne, at 7:56 AM  

  • Christ, all this left-right bickering is obnoxious and stupid.

    By Anonymous jason bo green, at 10:42 AM  

  • Loraine: The Conservatives "warned" everyone about the latest cut in late October, two months before it took effect.

    And I could be wrong, but I don't think January 1st is a "busy shopping day".

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 9:56 AM  

  • Invisible - The Retail Council of Canada was right in advising the government 2 years ago that such cut should come into effect during the slow business season. March 1st would have been great. Retailers had to prepare for the Jan 1 deadline DURING the busiest shopping days of the year.

    By Blogger Loraine Lamontagne, at 5:50 AM  

  • By Blogger mmjiaxin, at 8:07 PM  

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