Government anti-drug campaign created without help from medical groups
7-week campaign will cost $7 million and include TV, web and social media ads
The federal government has kicked off a new anti-drug marketing campaign that was spurned by three of the country's top medical groups due to concerns it was politically motivated.
- Canada's doctors decline to join anti-marijuana campaign
- Rona Ambrose tells doctors anti-drug campaign not political
The Conservatives say the new "Preventing Drug Abuse" marketing campaign aims to equip parents with the information and tools to talk to their teenagers about the dangers of marijuana and prescription drugs.
The $7 million, seven-week campaign — starting today and ending in December — will feature TV, web and social media advertisements warning of the harmful effects of prescription drugs and marijuana use on developing teenage brains.
The funding is part of a five-year, $45-million funding envelope announced in the last federal budget.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was suspicious of Conservative motives earlier this year following reports that Health Canada had approached three doctors' groups to sign on to the campaign.
The proposed campaign came on the heels of several Conservative cabinet ministers, including Peter MacKay and Julian Fantino, publicly criticizing Trudeau's support for legalizing marijuana, prompting charges the campaign was politically motivated.
All three medical groups — the CMA, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada — declined to participate, saying the campaign had become a "political football."
- In an earlier version of this story, The Canadian Press reported that the anti-drug campaign would cost $45 million. In fact, it will cost $7 million.Oct 20, 2014 5:54 PM ET