"The government may even do more advertising." ~ BC Premier Gordon Campbell, commenting on the BC Liberal government's overspending advertising budget, July4, 2005
"It just goes on and on and on, it's nonsense. Stop it. Quit wasting money on government ads. They're a complete waste and abuse of tax dollars," ~ Canadian Taypayers Federation spokesperson Troy Lanigan, March 17, 2005 on CBC
The BC Liberal Government spent $19 million on advertising in the run up to the election. Remember those ads about "BC The Best Place on Earth".
Reporters just wanted to know "How Much did you spend Carole Taylor?" said,
BC Liberals sang another tune in opposition... Here are the BC Liberals in their own words...
R. Thorpe: Today approximately 1,500 patients in British Columbia are on waiting lists for hip replacements. They suffer from deteriorating mobility and pain. Does the Premier not know that this entire waiting list could be cut completely if advertising were reduced by 50 percent? Will the Premier commit today to banning all non-essential government advertising so we can get the waiting lists in this province cleaned up? MONDAY, JULY 15, 1996 Afternoon Volume 1, Number 18
M. de Jong: ... We now know that the government is going to spend over $600,000 of taxpayers' money re-advertising a so-called tax cut that is going to leave most British Columbia families with enough money to buy a pizza and go to the movies -- and that's only if they go on $2.50 Tuesdays.
Will the Finance minister tell us why she intends to further insult British Columbians by spending $600,000 of their tax dollars on another propaganda campaign instead of leaving that money in the taxpayers' pocket, where it belonged in the first place?
S. Hawkins: ...Then, hon. Speaker. . . . Maybe I shouldn't be surprised anymore. You know, we saw an auditor general's report that estimates that the government spends $2 million to $3 million of taxpayer money a month on government advertising -- I guess it's to tell everybody what a good job they're doing. We have a government now that. . . . Yesterday I saw an ad in the Province, a half-page ad that was advertising the government's position. Well, if their position is so good, if it's sellable to the public and if the public is buying it, why do they have to advertise it? Why do they have to spend public dollars?
We have the Coalition of B.C. Businesses, which is putting out full-page ads trying to get their position out, because they think the government doesn't listen. And we have our government spending their money -- taxpayers' money. . . MONDAY, JUNE 22, 1998 Afternoon Volume 11, Number 2
M. Coell: ...a government whose advertising bill hits $24 million a year to tell people that they're doing a good job. Surely, if you're doing a good job, you don't need to spend $24 million a year to advertise it. Every day I open my mail, either at home or in my office, and there's another nice, glossy picture of a minister saying: "What a great job we're doing." MONDAY, JUNE 22, 1998 Afternoon Volume 11, Number 2
S. Hawkins: You know what I get as feedback on these ads? People phone my office and ask me how much these ads cost. I know that the government spends hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising around this province on TV, on radio and in newspapers, saying what a good job they are doing. People are writing to me and saying: "Couldn't that money be better spent on health care? Couldn't that money be better spent on life-saving treatment? Couldn't that money be better spent on cardiac surgery, on the long lineups that this government has imposed on patients in this province? Couldn't that money be better spent there?" I think so. I think British Columbians who write to me and say that are on to something there. We've been reminding the government of that too.
We see patients who are denied life-saving treatment, like insulin, because the government won't cover it under Pharmacare. But if we turn around, we see the government advertising that they've actually increased funding to health care. Instead of doing this, why don't they just put that money into health care? Then we might be able to afford some of that life-saving treatment, like insulin, and some of those comfort measures in old age, where people have broken their hips or need hip replacement. We've got long lineups for knee and hip replacement, because government says: "We'll only do 1,500 a year at this place." Quit advertising and put that money into health care. - TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 1998, Morning Volume 11, Number 10
G. Campbell: Hon. Speaker, I'm amazed that this minister doesn't understand the difference. This side of the House told the truth with our mail-in; this government has never thought of telling the truth.
We're talking about this government spending $925,000 -- not to buy media, not to communicate, not to let people know that 5,500 people have lost their jobs and that we're trying to bring them back to work. . . .
The question to the Minister of Finance is: doesn't he really think that that $925,000 would be better spent on protecting children in the province of British Columbia?- WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 1997, Afternoon Volume 6, Number 17