Canada's Economic Action Plan ad campaign: Prosperity or propaganda?

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The federal government has unveiled a new round of Economic Action Plan advertising to give Canadians the tools to improve their own finances and to boost consumer confidence. However, a recent focus group shows most Canadians think the ads are propaganda and misleading. Is this Prosperity or Propaganda?



National Affairs Reporter for the Canadian Press, Bruce Cheadle

We started this segment with an ad from Canada's Economic Action Plan.

That is the kind of news most Canadians could stand to hear more of. The question is whether you want Ottawa to spend tens-of-millions-of-dollars to make sure you do. That story (in above from Brent Bamford and Jocelyn Williams -- the President and Vice President of a Toronto-based company called Automatic Coating Limited -- is part of a new ad campaign launched yesterday for Canada's Economic Action Plan.

For the first quarter of this fiscal year, the Federal cabinet budgeted 16-million-dollars for ads for the Economic Action Plan. In total, the federal government has spent more than 60-million-dollars since 2009 on commercials, signage and a web site. The problem is that according to government documents obtained by the Canadian Press, those ads are a lot less effective than they used to be ... and they are increasingly seen by some as wasteful propaganda.

Bruce Cheadle is a national affairs reporter for The Canadian Press. He was in Ottawa.

Panel: Tim Powers / Cindy Blackstock

Well, prosperity or propaganda, that is the question we're asking today about the advertisements for Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Tim Powers is the vice-president of Summa Communications and a long-time conservative strategist. He was in Ottawa.

And Cindy Blackstock teaches public policy at the University of Alberta and the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. She was in Ottawa as well.

This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica deMello and Dawna Dingwall.

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