Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has overspent cabinet-approved advertisement budgets for its gauzy "Economic Action Plan" media blitz that is flooding the country’s airwaves this autumn, Press TV reports.
An examination of the Conservative government's first five years in office reveals that it squandered those advertising budgets by $128 million (over USD 130 million).
The massive, taxpayer-funded government advertising touting for the "Economic Action Plan" - first introduced in the recession-fuelled stimulus budget of January 2009 - comes irrespective of the fact that the Harper government abandoned the plan in March.
Critics say taxpayers' dollars are being spent in a time of across-the-board budget cuts on a program that is already finished. This comes at the same time as the conservative Canadian government has cuts to healthcare, childcare and education budgets in the pipeline.
“While the government spends millions of dollars on the Economic Action Plan, it does not spend any on teachers and education…. We are not going to boost our economy and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) until we have people educated,” a Canadian man told Press TV on condition of anonymity.
The Harper cabinet claims that taxpayer-funded branding exercise is necessary for Canadians so they will be aware of their own opportunities.
But pundits demand tangible evidence for economic benefits of the Economic Action Plan rather than embellished statements written on the website pertained to the program.
“I believe Harper needs be removed as soon as possible. He has committed treason in the eyes of Canadian citizens, and the only people that support him are people who are in high corporate positions who are getting tax cuts…. He (Harper) needs to be held accountable for his actions,” Thomas Stone, a political analyst, stated.
Critics note that the Harper government is ideologically averse to genuine New Deal-style economic recovery programs that might actually improve the lives of working class Canadians.