Ontario spent $600K on pension plan ads during federal election: taxpayer group

TORONTO -- Premier Kathleen Wynne is defending nearly $600,000 the government spent in advertising the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan during the federal election campaign.

See Full Article

The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation asked for the figure through a Freedom of Information request and was told that $592,834 was spent between Aug. 2 and Oct. 14, five days before the federal election.

The response also shows that the government spent more than $1.6 million in total on all ORPP advertising.

Christine Van Geyn, the director of the federation in Ontario, says Wynne campaigned with the federal Liberals on the issue of pensions during the federal election, and "used $600,000 of taxpayer money to support this campaign."

Wynne says the timing of the ads was not intentional, as she had no idea the federal election would be called so early.

She says it's important to let people know the ORPP, set to begin taking effect on Jan. 1, 2017, is coming.

"I think it takes a while for people to learn about a thing and to know that it's coming, so that initial advertising was about foreshadowing for people that this is coming so they will hear more about it in the future," she said Monday.

Ontario's auditor general said during the federal election that she would have questioned the timing of a pension plan ad if the Liberal government hadn't changed the oversight rules.

The provincial government amended the criteria under which the auditor general approves or rejects government ads, with auditor Bonnie Lysyk warning the changes would gut the legislation and could lead to the public paying for partisan advertising.

She said at the time it would reduce her office to a rubber stamp, and could put them in the position of approving ads that conformed to the government's new definition of partisan, but were "clearly partisan by any objective, reasonable standard."

The ORPP ad in question met all of the new criteria for not being partisan, but certain aspects of the ad and the timing during the federal election would have given Lysyk pause under the old, more subjective criteria, she said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Bombing at Pakistan market kills 22, dozens wounded

    World News CBC News
    A bomb exploded Saturday in a market in a northwest tribal region that borders Afghanistan, killing 22 people and wounding at least 50, officials said. Dr. Sabir Hussain at the main hospital in Parachinar, the capital of Pakistan's Kurram tribal region, said two wounded victims died during treatment, raising the death toll. Source
  • More survivors pulled from rubble of Italian hotel, all 4 children survived

    World News CBC News
    Emergency crews pulled out four more survivors from the rubble of a hotel crushed by an avalanche and were searching Saturday for more as family members awaited word if their relatives were among the lucky ones to get out. Source
  • Fiery bus crash kills 16 students in Italy

    World News CBC News
    A bus carrying Hungarian school students home from a skiing trip to France slammed into a highway barrier in northern Italy and caught fire, killing at least 16 people, police said Saturday. Thirty-nine people reportedly survived, though some were seriously injured. Source
  • Liberal peacekeeping decision paused because of uncertainty around Trump

    Canada News CBC News
    Much to the frustration of Canada's allies at the United Nations, the Trudeau government postponed the delivery of its long-anticipated peacekeeping plan last month principally because it needed a better read on what the Trump administration expects of Canada in terms of international defence and security. Source
  • Solidarity sisters! Why Canadians are joining the Women's March on Washington

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian women are donning their "pussyhats" and heading south in buses and cars to take part in the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, which is expected to draw about 200,000 protesters who disavow the policies and presidency of Donald Trump. Source
  • Like Trump, Kevin O'Leary only needs voters to take him seriously: Aaron Wherry

    Canada News CBC News
    Perhaps all prime ministers end up becoming television characters, but Kevin O'Leary is the first TV character to run for prime minister. His background is in business but his fame is based on his work as the tough-talking, unforgiving judge on Dragons' Den and Shark Tank and as a business commentator. Source
  • Mud-slinging and Mexican flags define decade-long battle over Trump's Scottish golf course

    World News CBC News
    Strange forces seem to be at work along the remote Scottish coastline just north of Aberdeen. It's a place of wild beauty, where the sand dunes rise to great heights. If it weren't for the bone-chilling cold blowing in with the spray off the North Sea, parts of it could be mistaken for the Sahara or Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter. Source
  • Trump delights supporters, alarms trading partners with inaugural speech: Chris Hall

    World News CBC News
    Donald Trump, we're told, wrote Friday's inaugural speech on his own, and there's little reason to doubt that. It was, for the most part, a rehash of the themes he's set out ever since he got into the race to be president back in 2015. Source
  • British foreign secretary 'positive and optimistic' on Trump

    World News CTV News
    Promises, pomp, protests as Donald Trump sworn in Latest updates: Trump returns to White House after celebrations Source
  • 16 killed in fiery bus crash on Italian highway

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Italian police say 16 people died when a bus carrying Hungarian school students returning home from France crashed into the side of a highway near Verona. Thirty-nine people survived. Police commander Geralomo Lacquanita said the bus crashed and burst into flames just before midnight. Source