Feds spent $17.7 million on advertising in lead up to election moratorium

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OTTAWA — Newly released figures show the federal government set aside nearly $17.7 million on public awareness campaigns between April and June.

The spending through the first three months of the federal fiscal year marks an increase of nearly 21 per cent compared to the same stretch in 2018 to pay for various government advertising.

The federal government had until June 30 to get any ad buys out of the way under new rules the Liberals introduced to create a moratorium on government advertising in the months leading up to the election.

At first glance, that could suggest the Liberals ramped up awareness campaigns in an election year, making sure Canadians know about everything from tax credits to services available to seniors.

But a spokesman for Treasury Board President Joyce Murray says the dollars money is less than the $56.2 million the Conservatives allocated for the same time period ahead of the 2015 election.

In the end, though, the outgoing Conservative government and the incoming Liberal government spent a total $42.2 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year on advertising.

The Canadian Press

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