By my count, more than 50 of those ads contain no tag-line stating who paid for them. While more than half of the ads ran in 2007, the 2007 financial return for the Barrie Conservative riding association, which is posted on the Elections Canada website, states that the riding association had total advertising expenses of $0.00 in 2007.
On December 1, 2007, I asked who was paying for these ads in an online forum dedicated to federal politics. In October 2009, a letter of mine asking who was paying for the ads was published in The Examiner. After seeing an ad in January 2010, I posted a message in the 'UR Barrie' area of The Examiner's website that included the following appeal:
"I call on Patrick Brown and The Barrie Examiner to disclose to the public whether taxpayer's funds are being used to promote Mr. Brown and the Conservative Party."
I still have not yet received a response either from Patrick Brown or The Examiner, but since I posted the above appeal, none of Mr. Brown's ads that I have seen have included the Conservative Party logo. While I'm glad that this practice seems to have been stopped, I cannot ignore that it continued for years. If taxpayers' money which was intended to allow Patrick Brown to communicate with his constituents has been used to put the Conservative Party logo on the front page of the local paper, there needs to be an accounting. Any taxpayers' funds used to pay for ads bearing the Conservative Party logo ought to be repaid, either by Patrick Brown, the Barrie Conservative riding association, or the Conservative Party of Canada.
Here are examples of election-style slogans used in some of the ads:
"Promises Made, Promises Kept"
"Delivering Real Results for Canadians"
"Reducing Taxes is in the Conservative DNA."
"CONSERVATIVES DELIVER $30 MILLION FOR LAKE SIMCOE"
Below is a list of dates on which the ads ran, along with the subject of the ad. Unless otherwise stated, all ads appeared on the front page of the paper. None of these ads were placed during an election campaign.
- 2006-07-25 1st ANNUAL COMMUNITY BBQ
- 2006-08-08 'GETTING TOUGH ON CRIME'
- 2006-10-03 GO TRAIN RETURNING
- 2006-10-17 PANCAKE BREAKFAST
- 2006-12-23 Christmas/Holiday greeting
- 2006-12-30 New Year greeting
- 2007-01-13 Passports
- 2007-01-17 2006 Goals ACCOMPLISHED [page A10] [full page ad]
- 2007-02-05 1ST ANNUAL CHILLIFEST
- 2009-02-10 1ST ANNUAL CHILLIFEST
- 2007-02-12 Energy Efficiency
- 2007-02-19 Passport Clinic
- 2007-02-24 Passport Clinic
- 2007-02-26 2007 Budget
- 2007-03-19 Bill C-405
- 2007-03-20 2007 Budget
- 2007-03-24 Lake Simcoe/Environment
- 2007-03-26 2007 Budget: Healthcare
- 2007-04-03 2007 Budget
- 2007-04-14 Lake Simcoe/Environment
- 2007-04-17 2007 Budget: Healthcare
- 2007-04-24 2007 Budget: Healthcare
- 2007-04-28 GETTING TOUGH ON CRIME
- 2007-05-04 2007 Budget: Healthcare
- 2007-05-11 FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS AT WORK IN BARRIE
- 2007-06-15 2ND ANNUAL FAMILY BBQ
- 2007-06-29 2ND ANNUAL FAMILY BBQ
- 2007-07-12 2ND ANNUAL FAMILY BBQ [page A2]
- 2007-07-13 2ND ANNUAL FAMILY BBQ
- 2007-07-14 2ND ANNUAL FAMILY BBQ
- 2007-10-12 PANCAKE BREAKFAST
- 2007-10-26 Tackling Violent Crime Bill
- 2007-11-16 Tax Relief
- 2007-11-30 Tackling Youth Crime
- 2007-12-21 Christmas/Holiday greeting
- 2007-12-28 New Year greeting
- 2008-01-12 GST cut
- 2008-02-12 2ND ANNUAL CHILIFEST
- 2008-02-16 2ND ANNUAL CHILIFEST
- 2008-02-28 Conservatives Deliver $30 Million to Keep Lake Simcoe Clean
- 2008-03-04 BUDGET 2008: Police Officers
- 2008-03-06 BUDGET 2008: Debt Repayment
- 2008-03-08 Tax Free Savings Accounts
- 2008-05-09 Passport Clinic/Justice Town Hall
- 2008-05-30 Justice Town Hall
- 2008-06-13 Passports
- 2008-07-11 3RD ANNUAL FAMILY BBQ
- 2008-09-03 CONSERVATIVES DELIVER $30 MILLION FOR LAKE SIMCOE [page A8] [full page ad]
- 2009-09-06 Scholarships
- 2009-09-29 White-collar Crime
- 2009-09-30 ROBERT KERR ACCESSIBILITY AWARD
- 2009-10-02 Stimulus Funding
- 2009-11-06 ROBERT KERR ACCESSIBILITY AWARD
- 2010-01-29 4TH ANNUAL CHILI FEST
- 2010-02-03 4TH ANNUAL CHILI FEST