Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario


Published on March 25, 2024

QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP, is calling on the government to end the use of taxpayer money for the partisan ads that have taken over the airwaves in recent months.

“The hard working people of this province deserve a government that puts every dollar into making their life easier,” said Stiles. “People deserve timely and efficient access to quality health care when they need it. They deserve affordable housing in neighbourhoods they want to live in. But after six years under Doug Ford’s Conservatives, life has only become harder and more expensive. Instead of addressing that, they are blowing millions of tax dollars on frivolous partisan ads to tell you just how good you have it.”

This morning, CBC News revealed that the Conservative government spent nearly $8 million on “It’s Happening Here”; a glitzy ad campaign that aired during the Superbowl, the Grammy’s and the NHL all-star game.

In 2015, the Liberal government changed the law to allow taxpayer funded partisan ads ahead of the election. At the time, Conservative MPP, and now Deputy Premier, Sylvia Jones, tabled a bill to reverse those changes and restore the Auditor General’s authority to review and approve government advertising. Doug Ford even promised to make the change in his 2018 Conservative party platform.

“This is a clear example of Conservative hypocrisy", said Stiles. "That’s why we’ve gone ahead and tabled the same bill – word for word – that MPP Jones tabled in 2017. And with this afternoon’s motion, I’m calling on Doug Ford and the Conservatives to finally follow through on their own ask.”

According to the Auditor General’s annual 2023 report, the Conservatives spent $20.8 million or 72 per cent of its total ad budget for 2023.

“People need their government to put every dollar to use on the things that matter," said Stiles. "They don’t need propaganda. They need a helping hand."