Legislative Report (31 January 2007)

Imagine Saskatchewan! Without an NDP Government

You work hard for your money. Putting hours in at work, saving for a rainy day, and some times it’s difficult to make ends meet. It gets even harder when you watch the current NDP government take your tax dollars and fritter them away on advertising. That’s right; your NDP government is taking the money you send to Regina and spending it on a massive $1.5 million advertising campaign.

On the surface, this may sound like a good idea. But when you dig a little deeper you see the true motivation of a tired, old government desperate to stay in power. The bulk of this advertising money is being spent marketing to you. Sixty-six per cent of the $1.5 million will be spent on commercials, billboards, and print ads telling you how great Saskatchewan is. How silly is that? We already live here and enjoy the high quality of life. We know that Saskatchewan is the best province. We don’t need a government sponsored ad to tell us that.

And what does $1.5 million buy you, the taxpayer? An exclamation point. As in, Saskatchewan! This is the genius behind the NDP’s campaign - putting an exclamation point at the end of Saskatchewan. So instead of Saskatchewan, we now have Saskatchewan! I think I want my money back, how about you?

When NDP Premier Lorne Calvert was in opposition, here’s what he had to say about this type of advertising: “This government must be spending millions of dollars on self-serving advertising. It’s just in my judgment, Mr. Speaker, the wrong kind of priority.” (Hansard, June 7, 1988) Funny how when he’s in government, the Premier doesn’t seem to share those sentiments anymore. Here’s a list of the major government advertising campaigns the NDP has used your money for since Mr. Calvert became the premier:

  1. “Future is Wide Open” (2003): $8,000,000
  2. Equalization Campaign (2004): $75,000
  3. “Raise a Flag for Fairness” (2005): $268,000
  4. Budget Advertising (2006): $400,000
  5. “Imagine” (2006): $300,000
  6. “Saskatchewan!” (2007): $1,500,000

GRAND TOTAL: $10,500,000

That’s more than $10.5 million taxpayers’ dollars on the kind of “self-serving advertising” Lorne Calvert criticized when he was in Opposition.

Saskatoon Star Phoenix political columnist Randy Burton had this to say about the NDP government’s current advertising campaign:

“If the government devoted the $1.5 million it is blowing on this ad campaign to summer jobs for students, it could have created 213 positions at $11 an hour. Instead, the money will disappear without a trace. This does not reflect well on the place the government calls "Saskatchewan!"” (January 30, 2007)

Saskatchewan people don’t need a glitzy ad campaign paid for with their money to tell them this is a great place to live. Unfortunately, Premier Calvert and the rest of his NDP cronies are so long in the tooth that they are completely out of touch with the values of Saskatchewan people. The only real way to re-brand the province is not by adding an exclamation point to the name of the province. It’s by calling an election and electing a new government. (!)

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.

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