Employment Insurance Advertising Campaign Costs $830,000

Employment Insurance Advertising Campaign Costs $830,000

The postal advertising campaign deployed by the Harper government to defend its controversial reform of the employment insurance has cost taxpayers $ 830,000, a “colossal waste” of public funds according to the opposition.

In early April, Ottawa sent 4.5 million flyers to Canadian homes to “state the facts” on its reform, which has been roundly criticized in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. All households in these provinces received the document.

The leaflet stated that the beneficiaries of the federal program have always had the responsibility to seek employment. It ensured that those who carry out this task will not have their benefits cut.

Although, this campaign has a price: $829,805.35, the distribution of leaflets by Canada Post earns two-thirds of the bill while the remaining costs were covered through printing.

Ultimately, each leaflet cost 18 cents to produce and ship.

Informing Canadians

In Minister Finley’s office, they deny having used public funds for partisan purposes. The spokesman for the Minister, Alyson Queen, said that the pamphlet was written by officials and not by political staff.
“It is important that Canadians are well informed and receive accurate information, said Ms. Queen. There has been a lot of misinformation about the changes, so it was far more important that we inform our fellow Canadians. ”

But for the opposition, it is an unacceptable expense in times of fiscal restraint. The NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat believes that this amount could be used to pay many benefits to unemployed workers who are struggling to find work.
“A sum of $ 830,000 can help to pay a lot of benefits to workers who have to rely on employment insurance, said Ravignat. This is where you should not invest in state propaganda. ”
“This is another example of the Conservative government trying to control the message, and at the expense of taxpayers,” added Liberal MP Marc Garneau.

The leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Daniel Paille, himself received the brochure at home. He describes as “shameful,” the use of this form of advertising is deemed partisan. “Its $830,000 wasted for disinformation for partisan propaganda, he denounced. It does not make sense for a government to put both hands in public funds into thinking that they are funding the Conservative Party. ”

The reform of the employment insurance came into force on 6 January. It provides that frequent claimants must accept a job that pays up to 30% less than their usual salaries to remain eligible. They must also accept a job that is less than an hour drive from their place of residence.
LifeinQuebec.com Staff Writer

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