Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weather reports hijacked for crypto-partisan ads

  • Print

In exchange for having to endure this country's capricious climate, Canadians should be allowed to consume our mandatory weather forecasts in peace -- without, for instance, being bombarded by political messaging. That's just good public policy.

So how to explain the so-called "fresh new look" of weather.gc.ca, the federal government's hugely popular forecast website? The once-prominent Environment Canada logo has been reduced nearly beyond recognition and shunted off to a remote location just north of Iqaluit on an interactive map. In the extra space: three links to advertisements touting the government's economic performance.

It's an obvious irony. The Harper government has spent more than $100 million in the past three years trumpeting its frugality. Advertising for the Conservatives' Economic Action Plan has become an ubiquitous part of Canadian life, present on street corners, along highways and on airwaves across the country -- perhaps the largest public presence of a government that prefers to be thought of as minimalist. And now that we can't even determine appropriate outerwear without being confronted by the crypto-partisan ads, it's official: There's no getting away from them.

Advertising is a legitimate way for a government to communicate directly with citizens, but a $100-million campaign over three years is unprecedented and particularly distressing during a time of austerity.

It's a question of priorities.

An Environment Canada logo shrunken and marginalized, replaced by claims of economic success that every day seem more dubious. If we read it as a metaphor, the forecast is grim.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 25, 2013 A14

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google