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RSS FeedsNDP revives Tory bill curbing taxpayer-funded partisan ads in bid to embarrass Fordīs government
(The Star Health)


17 april 2019 17:58:35

NDP revives Tory bill curbing taxpayer-funded partisan ads in bid to embarrass Fordīs government
(The Star Health)

The New Democrats are reviving a Progressive Conservative bill from the Tories’ opposition days in a bid to embarrass Premier Doug Ford’s government for its taxpayer-funded partisan advertising binge.NDP MPP Taras Natyshak is tabling private member’s legislation identical to a bill introduced by Tory MPP Sylvia Jones two years ago that would revive the auditor general’s powers to veto commercials deemed to be politically partisan.“I assume the Conservatives will support this because they already did,” Natyshak (Essex) told reporters Wednesday at Queen’s Park.“Voting against this bill would be the height of hypocrisy,” he said, noting Jones and much of Ford’s cabinet strongly endorsed the measures in 2017.“That’s the kind of ugly, two-faced double-dealing that no one wants to see.”Former premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals watered down the legislation, which was implemented by her Grit predecessor Dalton McGuinty, in 2015.Since then, auditor general Bonnie Lysyk has complained that her office is no longer empowered to look at taxpayer-funded ads for “factual accuracy, context or tone to determine whether an item is partisan.”“We recommend that the previous version of the Government Advertising Act, 2004 as it appeared on June 3, 2015, be reinstated,” Lysyk wrote in her annual report last December.In 2017, Jones, who is now the solicitor general, implored the legislature to restore the auditor’s power over government advertising.“If the Liberal party wants to spend money promoting their policies, have at it. But this is taxpayers’ money that should be going to important issues,” the Dufferin-Caledon MPP said at the time.While the Tories promised to reinstate the auditor general’s veto during last June’s election campaign, they have been non-committal about doing so since.“The government will endeavor to explore options ...
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