Saturday, November 30, 2013

Letter to the EMC Ottawa South

Ottawa South Liberal MP David McGuinty has introduced a private members bill to combat "partisan political advertising masquerading as vital government information."

Unfortunately, McGuinty fails to name even one instance of federal government advertising that is inherently partisan.

Surely we can agree that the federal government has a duty to communicate with Canadians on where the government's roughly $300 billion annual budget is being spent.  Even if we accept McGuinty's figures that the federal government spent $548.6 million between 2006 and 2012 on government advertising, that's only 0.03% of the $1.8 trillion the federal government spent in that same time frame.

Many of those ads were indeed advertising the Economic Action Plan, the federal stimulus package aimed at combating what is now known as “the Great Recession.”  Since our federal government was plunging Canada into deficit spending, didn’t they have a duty to communicate with us on where the deficit spending was going?

I found it refreshing to see signs throughout Ottawa that demonstrated the federal government was investing right here in our communities: in roads, community centres, seniors programs, jobs training, and more.  Those signs provided a vital service.  Not once did they communicate a “partisan” message, even though we know the government’s Economic Action Plan was routinely voted against by NDP and Liberal MPs, McGuinty included.

What’s more likely is that McGuinty, threatened by being defeated in the 2015 election and only having shown up to work for just 39 days in all of 2013, felt the need to actually do his job once in a while – even if it means producing a redundant private members bill.

Daniel Dickin
Ottawa South Resident