NDP accused of using tax dollars to buy partisan ad
Published Wednesday, September 27, 2017 6:44PM PDT
The newly minted NDP government is under fire over allegations it spent taxpayers' money to purchase a partisan advertisement.
The video, which appears on the province's Facebook page and its Better BC website, touts the NDP's agenda while taking apparent jabs at the previous Liberal government.
"Our province has so much potential, but things haven't been easy for a lot of people for too long. They've been falling behind," the ad says.
Green Leader Andrew Weaver has blasted the ads as hypocritical, pointing out that the NDP criticized the Liberals for using taxpayer money for partisan advertising while in opposition.
"It is a classic example of hypocrisy," Weaver said. "Frankly, I would've expected better."
Some of the phrases on the Better BC site are also similar or identical to language the NDP used during the election campaign, including Premier John Horgan's oft-repeated promise of "an economy that works for everyone."
The BC Liberals were criticized for spending more than $16 million on ads promoting the previous government in the run-up to the May election, but the NDP insists its ad, which is not running on TV or radio, is hardly comparable.
"We are spending nowhere near that, nor will we be spend anywhere near that kind of money," said Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
Farnworth also defended the content of the ad, describing it as an informational video about “activities being undertaken by the government.”
The NDP would not provide an exact price tag for the ad, but said it paid $8,000 to an outside company. The rest of the work was down in-house by staff, whose salaries are covered by taxpayers.
The NDP's election platform included a pledge to work with the Auditor General to set strong standards for advertising spending. Farnworth said that is still the government's intention.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan