April 27th, 2015

NDP REALITY CHECK: $953.6 million of Liberal hypocrisy on government advertising?

Liberals are hypocritically claiming to be the new guardians of non-partisan advertising. But what’s the real Liberal record?

As Justice John Gomery described in his report, the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin were masters of the dark art of using government paid advertising for partisan purposes. In fact, Liberal government advertising and the Sponsorship scandal even brought their government down!

How much damage did Liberals do?

Liberal spent $953.6 million from fiscal 1998-99 to 2005-06, that can be accounted for. (The full costs of government-wide advertising spending from 1993-1998 – during the height of the Sponsorship scandal – is still unknown.)

Here’s how the Auditor General broke it down:

“Between 1998-99 and 2002-03, the federal government ran more than 2,200 advertising activities with contracts valued at about $793 million, making it one of the larger advertisers in the country.” – Auditor General, Chapter 4—Advertising Activities, November 2003

And Liberal misspending didn‘t end in 2003. Annual Reports on Government of Canada Advertising Activities from 2003-04 to 2005-06 shows an additional $160.6 million of Liberal spending on government advertising.

Will the Trudeau Liberals now repudiate the governments of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin for their misspending millions on government advertising?

Or is it only Conservative misuse of government advertising they object to?

Canadians deserve better.