Ont. government spent $33.5M on ads in 3 months

Frank Klees. (QMI AGENCY PHOTO)

Frank Klees. (QMI AGENCY PHOTO)

Christina Blizzard, Queen's Park Columnist

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

TORONTO -- How much did your scandal-plagued provincial government spend on advertising over the past three months?

All told, it's $33.5 million.

That's right.

They spent $10.1 million a month to tell you to buy your veggies from Foodland Ontario, get your flu shot -- or to ask if you can pay your gym membership on a monthly basis.

And how about those happy slappy ads telling you how great full-day kindergarten is for your kids?

What they're really doing is reminding voters the Liberal government is continuing to fund a babysitting program we can't afford.

In his 2012 report advising the government on how to pull out of the economic tailspin they've got us into, economist Don Drummond told the government to slow down implementation of full-day kindergarten -- or scrap it entirely. They did neither.

Instead, they cranked it up by advertising it so there'll be a greater uptake.

Thanks for that.

They spent $21.2 million on advertising for agencies such as Metrolinx and another $12.3 million to promote ministries.

Tory critic Frank Klees is outraged. He gets phone calls from constituents who need services the government of Kathleen Wynne says we can't afford.

"It sit down with the minister of community and social services and try to get residential care for a young adult who has multiple disabilities and I'm told there isn't enough money," Klees told me Wednesday.

"Yet we have $33 million being wasted by government to make people feel good about this province," he said.

The ads include those expensive TV commercials telling us how Metrolinx is building a rail link to the airport.

Klees recently had a call from someone angry about an ad he had seen on TV telling him where to get his licence renewed.

"He's lived in this province more than 50 years and he knows full well where to get his licence renewed. He doesn't need the government to tell him that," he said.

Klees believes the ads are meant to divert attention from the scandals the Wynne government is embroiled in.


Photos