Manitoba Tories attack NDP over 'campaign-style' ads

For the second time in a week, the opposition is urging the government to support an auditor general investigation into what it calls the NDP's failing. The latest is on the budget of the government's Steady Growth Good Jobs advertising campaign.

PC Leader urges government to support AG investigation into taxpayer funded ads

PC Leader Brian Pallister urged the government during question period Tuesday to support an investigation into a government ad campaign. (CBC)

For the second time in a week, the opposition is urging the government to support an auditor general (AG) investigation into what it calls the NDP's failing.

The latest is on the budget of the government's Steady Growth Good Jobs advertising campaign.

The Tories released freedom of information (FIPPA) documents that show the government spent $619,763.51 on the campaign between September 2014 and January 2015.

"When the government is promoting itself and its political agenda, using taxpayers dollars, to me that's unfair," PC Leader Brian Pallister said. "More importantly, that is emblematic of the kind of waste the government is putting onto Manitobans' backs far to often."

Pallister said the actual amount of money the government spent on the campaign is likely closer to $1 million by now, and that cash should be going to front line services instead.

He also said the advertising is false because he said the "steady growth" is based on forecasts by the Conference Board of Canada and not the government's record.

The Tory Leader said the AG may find the government is conducting the campaign-style advertising in the lead up to the April 2016 provincial election.
The opposition said the government has spent about $1 million on the Steady Growth Good Jobs advertisement campaign between September 2014 and January 2015. (Province of Manitoba)

"If that's what they're doing, they should pay for it out of NDP coffers and not out of the taxpayers' pocket," Pallister said.

The PCs said they will file a formal request for the AG investigation this week with, or without, government support.

Last week, Pallister and the Tories wrote a letter to the auditor general to investigate if the government rushed construction of Investors Group Field to support its political agenda.

Premier Greg Selinger has given no indication the government would support the request of either AG investigation.

In question period Tuesday, Selinger said all governments advertise initiatives in their budgets.

About the Author

Chris Glover

CBC News Reporter

Chris spent half a decade as a political reporter for CBC Winnipeg, but now that he's returned to his hometown of Toronto, he's excitedly sinking his teeth in all sorts of stories. Discovering new neighbourhoods isn't a 9 to 5 job and after years away, he has a lot to catch up on. When he's not running around the city with a camera, you can find him on the island soaking up the sun or riding the trails along the Don River.