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2014 01 15
Ad spending: Conservatives and Liberals, cut from the same wasteful cloth

Another day, another broken promise from the Conservative government.

Just a few years ago Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were campaigning on a promise to clean up Liberal corruption in Ottawa, focusing on the Liberal Sponsorship scandal to show how Ottawa was broken. 

"Given the growing evidence of widespread waste and mismanagement of government advertising business and the fact that the government's incompetent handling of its advertising and sponsorship is already under review, will the Prime Minister stop the waste and abuse right now and order a freeze of all discretionary government advertising?”
– Stephen Harper, May 21, 2002 House of Commons

Now, almost eight years later, we’re witnessing a Conservative government finding ways to out do even the Liberals for wasteful advertising. Stephen Harper – who once lambasted the Chrétien Liberals for throwing away $111 million on advertising – dropped a whopping $136 million in 2009.

To lower the ethical bar even further, Conservative advertising telling Canadians the merits of the non-existent Canada Jobs Grant both failed to convince anyone to do anything (95 per cent of those that saw the ad said they didn’t feel at all inspired to respond) and also broke advertising rules.

Wasteful spending for ineffective advertising. Canadians deserve better – and they can trust Tom Mulcair’s NDP to fix what’s broken in Ottawa.

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Thomas Mulcair