Bruce Cheadle of the Canadian Press, recently wrote a piece on the Conservative Canada Action Plan promotion - Advertising Standards Canada: No Sanctions For False Government Ads
He revealed something that many of us already knew. These government ads are long on self promotion but short on facts. Yet they are still able to engage in false advertising until someone actually complains.
Government advertisers are free to blatantly misrepresent services or programs without public censure from the ad industry's self-regulatory watchdog, so long as they stop airing the offending ads after citizens complain.So maybe the only way we can stop this unwarranted use of public funds, is to lodge a complaint every time one of these ads is aired.
The Conservative government's $2.5 million campaign last spring to promote the Canada Jobs Grant, a proposed job-training program that still doesn't exist almost a year later, is a case in point.
To date we have paid out at least 113 million dollars on the bogus Action Plan spots alone. 500 million on government advertising since Harper took power. Enough is enough.
“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.” ― George Orwell
There is a group that is trying to remedy the situation. Shit Harper Did has bought the domain EconomicActionPlan.ca, where they showcase truth in advertising videos, reminding us of Harper's actual economic "success".
The Conservatives try to justify their gluttonous display by suggesting that Canadians should feel a sense of pride that our country is doing so well. Unfortunately, that too is a lie.
Aside from the secret bank bailouts, that hardly have us thumping our chests; Canada currently ranks 16th of 34 countries in terms of GDP growth, at 4.1%, against an average of 5.2%. (we're the small red bar)
And according to a recent report by the Bank of Canada, our falling unemployment rate is another false ad.
The percentage of unemployed workers who are considered long-term unemployed … peaking at just over 20% in June 2011 … has not shown much improvement. . .” the bank notes. As well, “job-finding rates,” after an initial improvement following the slump, have “since fallen back to a level only slightly above the low point witnessed during the recession.Harper's trade deals, a central plank of his agenda are stalled, our inflation rate is on the rise, and according to StatsCan, our rising cost of living puts our actual rate of inflation at 19.63 per cent.
Would someone please wake me when it's time to feel proud.
"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." Mark Twain
According to Treasury Board guidelines, taxpayer-funded government ads are supposed to inform citizens about programs and services. Instead, the Conservatives have used our money in an attempt to trick us into thinking that they are doing a good job, when clearly they are not.
When the NDP were called on using public money for Party interests, they were told that they would have to pay it back. So should we be expecting a cheque for $113,000,000 from The Conservative Party of Canada any time soon?