When Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced this week that March 29 will be federal budget day, the very first words out of his mouth heralded the coming “Jobs and Growth Budget.”
If the phrase sounds vaguely familiar, it should.
Taxpayers are footing the bill for a $12.4-million government ad campaign with one common message: “creating jobs and growth”...
The irony is that the government-wide message — and its taxpayer-funded promotion — comes in advance of a federal budget that Conservative ministers have said could slash spending by as much as $8-billion.
“It does strike me as passing strange to be talking about restraint on the one side and talking about jobs and growth on the other side,” Doug Porter, deputy chief economist for BMO Capital Markets, said in an interview on Thursday.
A lot of the commentary these days gets lost in the "pox on all their houses" mentality, which tends to absolve individual transgressions in the name of some relative indifference, borne of past experience. Every government promotes itself, and with that a collective yawn that misses a central fact: NO government in Canadian history has come ANYWHERE near the expenditures of THIS Conservative government when it comes to self promotion, NOT EVEN CLOSE. These Conservatives have spent FOUR TIMES their predecessors on government advertising, a fact that gets little attention, which amounts to a free pass, which leads us to today's revelation.
Here we are, on the eve of the "toughest" budget in years, public servants BRACING for cuts, the axe will fall, everyone is prepared to belt tighten in the name of "austerity". And yet, we witness a complete contradiction, there will be no scaling back of nonsensical ads that offer little of substance, it's business as usual for self interest, you must show prudence, we will carry on with naked excess. If there is a more glaring disconnect currently, I'm hard pressed to find one. Unfortunately, the word hypocrisy has been so overused of late, it no longer carries any weight, but here, this is a classic and disturbing example.
As we wait for the budget, I'm just hoping as digestion breaks away to commercial, this government has the audacity to buy a spot or two, because for that one brief instance, it would amount to the perfect moment that highlights all that's wrong with Harper's Ottawa. Watch for it, and watch them pull it off as well....