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

  • Singapore denies entry to Indonesian cleric, cites extremism concerns

    World News CTV News
    SINGAPORE - Singapore said late on Tuesday border officials in the city-state had denied entry to an Indonesian Muslim cleric, citing what it said were Abdul Somad Batubara's "extremist and segregationist teachings." The cleric, who had traveled by ferry from the Indonesian port of Batam to Singapore on Monday has a large online following in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country. Source
  • Former Pentagon officials briefed Canadian MPs on UFOs, MP and researcher say

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian members of Parliament are urging the government to pay more attention to recent U.S. news about “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAP: a term used for what are more commonly known as unidentified flying objects and UFOs. Source
  • How the 18-year-old suspect legally obtained guns before the Buffalo mass shooting

    World News CTV News
    The 18-year-old man accused of mass murder at a Buffalo supermarket legally obtained an AR-15 style rifle, believed to be the same weapon he described modifying in a lengthy, racist rant posted online before the attack. Source
  • Skyrocketing gas prices leave Cavendish, P.E.I., tourism operators struggling to find staff

    Canada News CBC News
    Business owners in P.E.I.'s largest seasonal resort area are hoping for a busy summer following two years of COVID-19 restrictions — but many are struggling to find staff for the upcoming tourist season. Cavendish, on P.E.I.'s North Coast, is known for its white sand beaches, coastal trails and campgrounds. Source
  • Chelsea Poorman's father says Vancouver police lied, mishandled investigation into daughter's disappearance

    Canada News CBC News
    The father of Chelsea Poorman says police lied to him and mishandled his daughter's case from the moment she was reported missing 20 months ago to the announced completion of their investigation in late April, when they categorized her death as not suspicious. Source
  • Utah boy dies after being buried under sand dune at state park

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY - A 13-year-old Utah boy has died from his injuries a day after a sand dune he was digging in collapsed and buried him at a state park, officials said Monday. The boy had been digging a tunnel into the dune at southern Utah's Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park when it collapsed on him Saturday evening, park rangers said. Source
  • B.C. company reports no survivors found in refuge chamber after Burkina Faso mine flood

    World News CBC News
    B.C.-based Trevali Mining Corp. says none of the eight workers missing since the Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso flooded a month ago were able to reach an underground refuge chamber. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, says rescue workers, who have been working 24 hours a day to remove water from the mine, reached the refuge 570 metres below ground but found it intact with no one inside. Source
  • Biden condemns 'poison' of white supremacy in visit to Buffalo after mass shooting

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the "poison" of white supremacy and said the nation must "reject the lie" of the racist theory espoused by the shooter who killed 10 Black people in Buffalo. Speaking to victims' families, local officials and first responders, Biden said America's diversity is its strength, and warned that the nation must not be be distorted by a "hateful minority. Source
  • Ukrainian family fleeing war arrives in Saskatoon after a nearly two-month wait

    Canada News CBC News
    Tetiana Chudiiovych fled Kyiv shortly after the Russian invasion and made her way to safety in Italy with her two children. After almost two months of waiting for visas, the family arrived in Saskatoon over the past weekend. Source
  • Many Canadians feel gun violence getting worse in their communities: poll

    Canada News CTV News
    Many Canadians say gun violence is increasing in the communities they live in, with residents in major cities and the country's largest provinces mostly reporting such views, according to a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute. Source