Economic Action Plan ads cost taxpayers $21 million: report

Economic action planIt appears that our fiscally conservative government is awfully liberal when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars on advertising.

According to a report in the Canadian Press, the government released their 2011/12 annual report on ad spending, on Monday, which stated that the Tories spent a total of $78.5 million on ads "telling Canadians about everything from the switch to digital TV and the War of 1812, to elder abuse and anti-drug messaging."

$21 million — of the $78.5 million — was spent on those darn Economic Action Plan commercials we saw during the Super Bowl, the Grammys and the Oscars.

[ Related: Canadians annoyed at Economic Action Plan ads during Oscars ]

Numerous times in Question Period, the government talking point has been that they spend less on ads than the previous Liberal government. That's only a half truth.

According to CBC News, in 2002-2003, the Liberal government spent $111 million on ads. In 2003-04 and 2004-05, however, they only spent $69.8 million and $49.5 million respectively.

Regardless, I think Canadians are getting tired of the 'previous government did worse' argument especially with regard to Economic Action ads that— most would say — do nothing but laud the government.

[ Related: Government ad spending on economy balloons under Conservatives since recession ]

What's that you say? $21 million not a lot of money?

Here's what $21 million could have bought:

- 6 MRI machines for hospitals

- One year worth of salaries for 250 police officers

- 160 social housing units

- A $40 cheque to every EI recipient in the country

- 4.2 million hot meals for Canada's homeless population

- One year worth of salaries + housing allowances for all of Canada's Senators

(Photo is a screen grab from actionplan.gc.ca)

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