I have always wondered why governments feel that they have to advertise themselves. I sort of understand the self-serving nature of advertising a government initiative or policy (though I don’t care for such advertising), but I really am stumped as to why the government spends money simply to promote the fact that it exists. We will have government no matter which party happens to be leading it at any given time and people know that we have a government whether we spend money to advertise it or not.
What I am getting at here is a profound example of tax dollars being pissed away for utterly no purpose by the government of Alberta aside from advertising the fact that it exists to the people of Los Angeles.
Last night I saw a tweet go out from a fellow asking why the hell the government of Alberta was advertising in the LA Kings arena.
Anyone else find it weird that the Alberta government bought advertising in the @LAKings arena? #yeg #yyc #ymm #abpoli
— ?eo ?avente (@Dingwell) January 3, 2015
I made a comment on it and then he replied with the picture above.
Sure enough, when one looks at the picture one can see an advertisement for the government of Alberta. I see the word “Canada” below which may or may not mean that the federal government is pissing money into this idiotic advertising campaign. What is clear is that tax dollars are being wasted to promote government in foreign hockey arenas.
Make no mistake, that ad is not to promote the province of Alberta itself. That ad is for the government of Alberta and nothing else. As can be seen in the link here, that signature is the registered logo of our government as a corporate entity. That means nobody else but the government of Alberta can use it.
Travel Alberta has a similar logo but the word “Travel” usually appears above it. Even if this is from that department, the money is coming from the same taxpayers. Do we really think that people will suddenly choose to visit Alberta because they saw it as a signature on a hockey board? Why would they have dropped the word “Travel” from the logo if indeed it was them in this case? It is a rather big distinction.
The ad doesn’t say “Visit Alberta!” or “Spend in Alberta!”. The ad is nothing more than a pasting of the government’s logo prompting one again to ask, what the hell is the purpose of this? It can be noted that this snap was while two American teams were playing so it is not even like the ad was targeted for when Canadian teams play. The space on the boards was probably purchased for the entire season.
How much is this costing taxpayers? It is tough to find out how much it costs to buy space on the boards in an NHL arena but according to this article in the Toronto Star it can range around $600,000 per year. Is the government advertising in every arena? With 30 teams and let’s say a lower tag of $500,000 each that is $15 million per year being spent for no purpose whatsoever. Even if Los Angeles is the only arena out there with these ads it is still a gross waste of tax dollars.
Premier Prentice is getting ready to hike taxes this spring while using lower oil prices as an excuse. We have to force our governments to streamline before they can talk about tax hikes and it is clear that there is plenty of room to cut spending. This is but one egregious example of waste among many in government.
It is unfortunate that Danielle Smith tried to destroy Alberta’s official opposition in her self-serving floor crossing. It is pretty clear that Alberta still needs a strong and vigilant opposition more than ever. Thankfully Heather Forsyth and Rachel Notley can demonstrate principle in providing for that critical role while Prentice simply seeks to expand his collection of weasels.