Former top minister Stephen Harper’s personal division spent extra taxpayer cash on public-opinion polling in 2014-15 than another, asking Canadians about niqabs, ISIS and the Senate as arrangements for the October federal election kicked into top equipment.
Newly disclosed figures display the Privy Council Place of business spent $554,000 to the top of March this yr — greater than two times the $250,000 it had at the start budgeted — on surveys and center of attention teams.
The entire is far upper than the workplace had spent in any yr since 2006-07, and is easily forward of the following largest spender final yr, the Finance Division at $512,000.
One last-minute ballot used to be delivered at the ultimate day of the fiscal yr, March 31, a phone survey that instructed 82 according to cent of Canadians favoured a Conservative executive requirement that ladies take away their niqabs or burkas at citizenship ceremonies.
The niqab factor was a flashpoint within the federal election, and the $133,000 ballot effects from Leger Advertising have been posted on a central authority site on Sept. 24 — hours sooner than a French-language election debate the place the niqab factor used to be outstanding. (The brand new Liberal executive has since eradicated this type of requirement at citizenship ceremonies.)
Harper on March four in my opinion authorized the Leger ballot, which additionally requested Canadians, together with center of attention teams, about Canada’s army position towards ISIS, efforts to lend a hand Ukraine and the financial system.
The Privy Council Place of business, reporting at once to the top minister, used to be given a extra outstanding position beneath Harper for co-ordinating polling amongst all departments. As of April 2010, the place of work additionally was chargeable for examining key polls throughout departments, taking out that task from the polling firms themselves.
‘The posting used to be … adjusted because of the election duration.’
— Public Works spokesman Pierre-Alain Bujold
The Privy Council Administrative center’s in-house ballot analyses are exempt from present necessities to submit taxpayer-funded surveys publicly inside of six months. And access-to-information requests to the Privy Council for the analyses are mechanically rebuffed, with the federal government claiming the tips constitutes “recommendation” and is subsequently exempt from disclosure.
A Public Works annual document on polling expenditures, revealed Monday, presentations spending of $four.1 million on surveys and center of attention teams amongst all departments in 2014-15. Even though PCO spending used to be up sharply final yr, the whole throughout executive used to be down, from $four.nine million the yr sooner than.
The Public Works annual document used to be intended to were revealed Aug. 14, however then public works minister Diane Finley vetoed the plan in July, a briefing word got beneath the Get entry to to Knowledge Act presentations.
A spokesman for Public Works, Pierre-Alain Bujold, stated Monday that the “posting time table of the 2014-15 record used to be adjusted because of the election duration.”
And Raymond Rivet of Privy Council Administrative center stated the extra polling ordered through Harper in 2014-15 used to be “essentially to trace rising problems comparable to declining oil costs and global problems (ISIS, Russia/Ukraine).”
“The polling carried out used to be now not hooked up to the federal election,” Rivet stated.
Survey on ISIS
Harper additionally ordered a survey within the present fiscal yr, a $150,000 Harris/Decima contract that requested Canadians and center of attention teams between Would possibly 20 and June 1 about ISIS, the Senate and taxes — all problems that performed prominently within the election marketing campaign that started Aug. 2.
A vital quantity of annual polling by way of some departments assesses the effectiveness of promoting campaigns, underneath a coverage that calls for such surveys for each and every marketing campaign value greater than $1 million.
Critics railed towards the Conservative executive for the use of taxpayer-funded promoting for purely political ends, together with ubiquitous Financial Motion Plan advertisements. The brand new Liberal executive has promised to nominate an promoting commissioner “to study proposed messages to be sure that they’re non-partisan and constitute a valid public carrier announcement.”
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Supply : cbc