Monday, July 28, 2008


And people thought Christian Paradis wouldn't be able to handle Public Affairs - it seems he has taken the torch from Michael Fortier and...refused to make the torch public until a take out the trash day comes along:

OTTAWA — Ottawa's advertising budget doubled to more than $80-million in the first full year of the Harper government, the first rise in marketing spending since the start of the sponsorship scandal in 2002, according to an unreleased federal report.

The report on advertising spending in 2006-2007 has been ready for weeks, but Public Works had yet to make it public last night. A copy was provided to The Globe and Mail in answer to questions on its content.

The report shows Ottawa's advertising spending came in at $87-million in the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Only one year earlier, the government's total advertising purchases were just $41-million.

Fortier would be proud.

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  • This government, in particular, really seems to enjoy its propaganda.

    By Blogger Devin Johnston, at 10:39 p.m.  

  • The New Government can blow money like the old.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:35 p.m.  

  • To be fair, the Conservatives acted sheepish and outraged when they got caught. And that's what matters.

    By Blogger Paul Wells, at 9:07 a.m.  

  • Can someone tell me where the outrage in this story is supposed to be?

    The money wasn't stolen. It didn't come from their political friends. It was all entirely on the up and up.

    Looks like more desperate MSM attempts to tar the Tories. The fact that they had to mention the "sponsorship scandal" in the lede is proof of that, as if the two are somehow nefariously related.

    Another non-story here.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 9:50 a.m.  

  • Sir John A, the Conservative Party - the one that campaigned hard against sponsorship programs and runaway advertising spending, campaigned hard about being more transparent and open to voters, campaigned hard about doing things differently, campaigned hard on fiscal restraint, doing things differently, not using taxpayer money for party purposes, etc. etc. etc. - set spending records on advertising in its first year, doubled that in its second, hid the results as long as possible.

    No. You're right. Nothing to talk about here.

    At least the advertising is now run by an elected MP that has to answer to the House of Commons. And of course by "answer", with this government, of course I mean stand up and ignore the question by shouting (in as shrill a voice as possible) "Dion wants to tax everything and eat your children too!!!".

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 10:16 a.m.  

  • ted,

    I believe the money was spent on government advertising, and not party advertising, as you allege.

    And about transparency ... what about this story isn't transparent? The figures were released.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 10:28 a.m.  

  • John A - Well, it sounds like they sat on this report for a while until the Globe dug it up on an access to info request. Just like the polling report that they sat on for 2 months until Mulroney testified so no one would cover it.

    And, no, obviously it's not illegal. It's actually pretty smart to spend an extra 50 million of taxpayers dollars on ads and polling - play up the positives (Canada's new government is cutting the GST AGAIN!!!!) in government of Canada ads and use your own cash to trash Dion.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:47 a.m.  

  • Oh, and I would add that if we do go into deficit, then Libs will need a "silly list" of ways they'd save money. Obviously this isn't a lot of money, but it's something for them to point to - just like how the Tories always promised to save money by cutting the gun registry, subsidies to bizarre artists, etc...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:49 a.m.  

  • CG,

    I can't really blame them for not releasing it until prodded, can you? With a hostile media ready and willing to smear you any chance they get, why give them the opportunity? When someone asks, let them know. Otherwise, keep it on the DL.

    As for promising to cut ad budgets, I don't know how smart that is. Governments need that money, plain and simple. To slash it away only handcuffs the government in trying to get important messages out.

    It's also worth pointing out that Chretien spent $111 million in a non-census year, a figure that doesn't take inflation into account.

    Where is ted's outrage over that?

    By Blogger sir john a., at 11:18 a.m.  

  • Dion wants to tax everything and eat your children too!!!

    Whoa. I could have sworn that was an old Liberal party attack ad. "Stephen Harper wants to eat your children. We are not making this up."

    By Blogger Mike514, at 1:02 p.m.  

  • Sir John is upset that Adscam was mentioned in the article, but I think it's very relevant. Let's look at this from another angle:

    Mad-as-hell Martin was mad (as hell) about the sponsorship scandal and therefore mad (as hell) about government spending on ads. So Martin, who was always a man of the people (or more precisely, the people's opinion polls) put the brakes on gov't advertising.

    Along comes Harper, who decides gov't ad spending is way too low. So he takes the inherited ad budget and restores it to pre- mad-as-hell levels.

    In other words: The only reason ad spending was reduced to below-average levels was in response to adscam. This can be seen as a temporary blip while Gomery ran his show. Now that it's (hopefully) behind us and settled, funding can be increased again.

    Is it therefore fair to compare Martin's ad spending with Harper's? Or should Martin's spending be seen as irregularly low, given the mad-as-hell circumstances?

    By Blogger Mike514, at 1:21 p.m.  

  • I think people were pretty upset about the amount of money Chretien spent on advertising...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:32 p.m.  

  • why not quote the National Post story that explains where the ad money was spent?
    DND recruitment TV ads
    National Census
    Health and Welfare

    better expenditures than Canada banners at hunting and fishing shows

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:46 p.m.  

  • Isn't most of that from the 30-odd million in polling? That polling may be part of new policy initiatives, which I'll wait and see on.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 3:40 p.m.  

  • art - I don't particularly have a problem with the ad budget, especially after seeing that breakdown (although I still think those GST ads were silly).

    Myissue is more with burrying the report instead of just releasing it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:46 p.m.  

  • I personally enjoy the blatantly partisan ads they have been running for the new food safety rules on radio... just two average Canadians talking about food safety... one talks about how there are new rules coming in bla bla bla... the other one gets all excited that someone is "finally" doing something.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 4:59 p.m.  

  • I don't think any government is proud of spending money on advertising.

    It's a no-win with the critics.

    So the info was there, and the journalists did their job. Don't the Libs do their's?

    The Auditor-General's job is to report on government spending.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5:38 p.m.  

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