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

  • Trump holding interviews for national security adviser as he tries to refocus

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday was stepping up his search for a national security adviser, with several interviews on tap, and focusing on health care in talks with his health and budget chiefs. Meanwhile, while his team pushed back against depictions of a young administration in disarray. Source
  • Social media plea brings in loads of 'Star Wars' Kraft Dinner for Autistic B.C. boy

    Canada News CTV News
    NANAIMO, B.C. -- Hundreds of boxes of a limited-edition pasta now fill the home of a family in Nanaimo, B.C., following a plea to help their autistic son. Reed Botwright put out a call on social media last week when he and his wife could not track down any more boxes of Star Wars Kraft Dinner, one of the only foods their six-year-old son Everett will eat. Source
  • RCMP intercepts 22 asylum seekers overnight in Manitoba

    Canada News CTV News
    The RCMP intercepted 22 asylum seekers overnight Saturday near the small border town of Emerson, Manitoba. In a press release, an RCMP spokesperson said that the 22 individuals crossed the border illegally overnight from Feb. Source
  • 'What has he been smoking?': Swedes scratch heads at Trump's suggestion of major incident

    World News CBC News
    Swedes have been scratching their heads and ridiculing U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks that suggested a major incident had happened in the Scandinavian country. During a rally in Florida on Saturday, Trump said "look what's happening last night in Sweden" as he alluded to past terror attacks in Europe. Source
  • More flood fears for California as another storm approaches [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — Residents returning to homes damaged by flooding should be prepared to evacuate again as yet another powerful Pacific storm takes aim at Northern California, officials warned Sunday. The San Joaquin River was reaching flood stage, and residents of Manteca were told to be ready to evacuate in case it hit dangerous levels. Source
  • Iran, North Korea officials: Let's strengthen relationship

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Officials from both countries say Iran and North Korea want to strengthen relations. A Sunday report by ICANA.ir, the news agency of Iran's Parliament, quotes parliament speaker Ali Larijani as saying: "We have always been after stability of relations with North Korea. Source
  • Snowblower sales surge as Maritimers dig themselves out of back-to-back storms

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Maritimers continue to dig themselves out of back-to-back snow dumps that have hit the East Coast. Some residents are still searching for their lawn ornaments after a series of storms clobbered Atlantic Canada last week. Source
  • Kenney works to consolidate lead as Alberta PC leader race enters homestretch

    Canada News CBC News
    The Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race is in the homestretch and front-runner Jason Kenney says he's still running like he's 10 votes behind, but he's also looking past voting day. "I'm (now) on a month-long tour around the province to meet with as many elected PC delegates as I can," said Kenney in an interview. Source
  • Minneapolis woman shocked friend walked to Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    Saciido Shaie says something seemed to be weighing on her friend Mohamed Badal in the days before he vanished. Badal, a Somali man who spent months trekking four continents before landing in the United States, had been preparing to appeal a rejected asylum application when Donald Trump became president. Source
  • Vancouver hosts 2nd B.C. debate for Conservative leadership candidates

    Canada News CBC News
    The second of two back-to-back debates for Conservative leadership candidates is underway in Vancouver. Organizers say "candidates will engage in a series of one-on-one debates" as well as smaller group debates at the Vogue Theatre downtown. Source