The Conservative government violated its own advertising rules by plastering its Economic Action Plan web site with pictures of Stephen Harper and using a government web site as a partisan advertising and propaganda tool. When the civil service pointed out they were breaking the rules, the entitled to their entitlements Conservatives ignored the rules and plowed ahead anyway.
“In their typical ‘I-make-the-rules’ fashion, Harper’s Conservatives knowingly broke Treasury Board guidelines, breaking government standards for websites and advertising,” said Liberal Treasury Board Critic Siobhan Coady. “The Conservatives were advised that this was a violation, but plowed ahead anyway in order to blur the line between government advertising – paid for by taxpayers – and Conservative propaganda.”A government web site bathed in Conservative blue? Pretending Harper playing the piano has something to do with economic stimulus? It's laughable. The proper thing to do is for the Conservative Party of Canada to repay the taxpayers for this blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars for partisan political purposes.
According to federal documents obtained by The Canadian Press, bureaucrats advised that the EAP website – in the exact hue of Conservative blue and at one point featuring a video of Stephen Harper playing piano – broke Treasury Board rules. However, the website was given the green light by then-Treasury Board President Vic Toews despite these objections.
“Our party has long spoken out against this abuse of taxpayer dollars for partisan purposes,” said Ms. Coady. “In fact, we wrote the Treasury Board in October 2009 to complain about how this website and related advertising broke their own rules – and now we learn that two weeks after our complaint the Conservatives just gave themselves an exemption.”
I trust the invoice will be paid promptly, lest penalty fees and interest be applied.