Better know a talking point - Macleans.ca

Better know a talking point

Notes on the government’s advertising math

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As noted yesterday, Tony Clement attempted to explain the government’s spending on advertising with an apparently flattering comparison.

“Last year, our advertising budget was $83.3 million, which is well below the last full year under the former Liberal government of $111 million.”

In citing “the last full year under the former Liberal government,” Mr. Clement is referring to the fiscal year of 2002-2003: all subsequent years are apparently disqualified because each included an interruption in advertising. Here is the relevant chart.

In 2009-2010, the Harper government spent $136 million on advertising. That included spending related to the H1N1 outbreak ($24 million) and spending related to the “economic action plan” ($53.2 million).

In 2010-2011, the Harper government spent $83.3 million. But the approved budget that year was apparently $65.4 million.

A preliminary estimate, tabled in response to an order paper question last month, pegged government advertising at $74.4 million for 2011-2012. (I presume that fiscal year will include an election-related suspension of some kind.)