May 9, 2023
With the PC Government spending over $1 million dollars on political advertising this election year, the Official Opposition called on the Government to stop using loopholes in Government Advertising Rules created by Brian Pallister.
“Brian Pallister brought in loopholes to government advertising rules in pre-election periods in 2021 that Heather Stefanson is looking to exploit – that’s wrong”, said Adrien Sala, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition. “Blackout rules are there to make sure there is a level playing field and Stefanson’s PCs should not use Government resources to further their partisan agenda”.
Pallister introduced changes to Election Law in 2021 which permits Government advertising in the pre-election period if it concerns “a matter before the Assembly, such as the throne speech, the budget, the introduction or passage of a bill or an order or resolution of the Assembly” (section 92(2)d Elections Financing Act). Stefanson supported this amendment.
The current guidelines for communication by Government during an election period state that while Government Advertising in a blackout period is not permitted, however if the matter is “before the Assembly” an exception will be allowed.
“The House will rise June 1 and is not scheduled to return prior to the Election – that means there is nothing before the Assembly for the purposes of advertising. The PCs should not use Pallister’s loophole to spend public dollars to further their partisan agenda. We are calling on the Premier to stop using Government resources to tilt the playing field in her favour” said Sala.