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Remember how the Conservatives used to slam the Liberals for all that government polling?
And remember how, when the Conservatives took over, an independent investigator reported the Harper government spent more than $31 million on public-opinion polls in 2006-07, during its first full year in power?
For those not paying attention, that was significantly more than the on-average $18 million per year that recent Liberal governments spent on public opinion research.
That report prompted former public works minister Michael Fortier and Treasury Board President Vic Toews to make a public promise in February 2008 to cut spending on polls by $10 million in the next budget year.
That would be the one that's just ending, 2008-09. But the numbers for 2007-08 have now come in and they show that, dime by dime, the government is inching towards its target.
In its annual report on polling in 2007-08, the department says spending was down to $24.8 million and that the overall number of surveys, 446, is down from the 563 projects in 2006-07.
The overall annual cost is still higher than the Liberal average but at least it is getting lower.
— Alison Crawford
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