Inside Politics

NDP MP wants to see research behind new blue look on GoC websites

The moment that NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat and Treasury Board President Tony Clement engaged in the following exchange over allegedly pro-Conservative colour coordination creeping into ostensibly impartial Government of Canada websites:

Mr. Mathieu Ravignat (Pontiac, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Conservative mismanagement is out of control. The President of the Treasury Board failed to protect the privacy of over a million Canadians and lost track of over $3 billion in security funding. It was not three laptops; it was $3 billion.

What was he doing with his time, one might ask? Apparently he was rebranding Government of Canada websites in Conservative Party blue. As if using department websites for political attacks was not enough, Conservatives have lowered the bar even further. Why are they not going after the missing $3 billion instead of rebranding government websites?

Hon. Tony Clement (President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, we have already answered that. In fact, the Auditor General has already answered the question about the funds in question.

However, let me answer about website colours. I would be happy to do so in the chamber. Apparently, different colours were tested with web specialists, and it was found that blue worked best as a contrast to other aspects of the site, and therefore blue was chosen.

... the appearance of this Order Paper Question was pretty much inevitable:

Q-1360 -- May 2, 2013 -- Mr. Ravignat (Pontiac) -- With regard to government policies on colours used for websites: (a) when were the most recent policies tabled; (b) were the policies approved by any ministers; (c) what research was used to develop recommended policies; (d) what were the results of this research; (e) was this research contracted out by the government and, if so, to whom; (f) what were the costs for this research and these policies; (g) what was the estimated number of person hours required to implement the changes in colour; and (h) what were the costs required to implement colour changes?

As always, start the countdown clock at 45 days, and make a mental note to stay tuned when the deadline rolls around. 

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