January 07, 2014

Taxpayers on the hook for more partisan PC ads

EDMONTON, AB (January 7, 2014): The Wildrose Official Opposition is renewing its call for the PC party to reimburse taxpayers for the partisan Building Alberta advertising campaign after today revealing its full cost to the public.  According to documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation, the PC government spent more than $660,000 on a multi-platform digital advertising blitz in 2013.

The campaign, featured in PC blue and orange colours, included television, internet and newspaper ads, a glossy brochure mailed to every Alberta household, and design work for all the elements.  Added to the $1.04 million that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation revealed was spent on Building Alberta road signs with Premier Alison Redford’s name on them, the total cost of the partisan ad campaign now stands at over $1.7 million. This after Speaker Gene Zwozdesky ruled that a significant portion of this taxpayer funded campaign, specifically the mailing of the glossy Building Alberta brochures, was in contempt of the Legislature.  “Premier Redford obviously has no problem with using taxpayer money for her own political propaganda even when the Speaker himself finds it in contempt of the Legislature,” Anderson said. “She continues to turn government ethics and accountability on its head; from the Katz donation to Tobacco-gate to countless patronage appointments and now this. She should order the PC party to pay back the $1.7 million immediately.”  For the campaign’s $1.7 million price tag, the PC government could have hired 14 full-time nurses, kept the Michener Centre open for another year or paid for more than 50 hip replacement surgeries just to name a few higher priorities.  The total breakdown to date for the Building Alberta campaign is: 

  • Signage: $1,043,183.45
  • Mailed Literature Piece: $277,538.52
  • Advertising: $287,759
  • Design and creation: $32,950
  • Displays and backdrops: $25,883.62
  • Printed product: $21,995
  • Video and multimedia: $15,537.50 

TOTAL: $1,704,847.09  The documents also reveal that Building Alberta popup displays and other materials were ordered for every PC MLA’s office – 60 in total. Anderson says the partisan nature of the campaign is no longer in doubt.  “The fact that these PC blue and orange signs have made their way into every PC MLA’s office at taxpayers’ expense, while not even being offered to Opposition MLAs, says all you need to know about the Building Alberta campaign,” Anderson said. “It shows Ms. Redford’s utter disrespect for Alberta taxpayers.”   To view the documents, please click here.


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