Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday May 20, 2015
Employment minister Pierre Poilievre won’t say sorry for ‘vanity videos’
Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre won’t apologize for using taxpayer dollars to produce YouTube videos of himself promoting the universal child care benefit.
Poilievre insisted Friday he’s simply using innovative ways to inform Canadians about the newly enriched and expanded child benefit.
But opposition MPs denounced the “vanity videos” as a new low for a government that has a penchant for producing partisan advertising on the public dime.
And the Canadian Taxpayers Federation agreed.
“The bottom line is that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for partisan advertising masquerading as information-based government advertising,” said Aaron Wudrick, the federation’s federal director.
The latest examples “highlight the need for an independent third party” to vet all government advertising, he added.
One of the videos shows Poilievre explaining the child benefit to shoppers at a children’s consignment clothing sale in his Ottawa riding. It was filmed on a Sunday by two members of the Employment department’s in-house creative production team, which has an annual operating budget of about $50,000.
A departmental spokesman said the Sunday shoot took two hours, which was paid overtime for the two videographers involved. Editing was done in-house during regular work hours. (Source: Toronto Star)
Published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, National Newswatch, The Regina Leader-Post, NUPGE drawing conclusions, and The Woodstock Sentinel Review