Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/25/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
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
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.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
All eyes on rookie finance minister Dewar
New Hampshire loves libraries
Go big or go home for U.S. “promposals”
Uhhh... about that deficit
White House 'Nerd Prom' is Saturday night
The Jets are Winnipeg’s tribal totem
U.S. retirement crisis is a woman’s issue
Manitoba’s minimalist regulation of lobbying
Lessons from history to respond to domestic extremists
Drone killing of aid workers reveals myths
Harper scores with Jets
NDP decides to blame the PM
Alberta finds Prentice’s Achilles heel
Stopping a tide of death
China clings to policy of fear
Why I chose Winnipeg over Vancouver
Don't count on the Grits surging
The cradle crumbles
Supreme wisdom on religion
'Decisive Storm' blows over
Reality check on California drought
Small business, families win, but budget hikes corporate welfare, too
Harper government's vaunted economic prowess fails
P.E.I. voters poised to check Liberal power
Iran’s nuke timetable a sales job
China sputters, dragging Asia down
Cell-tower policy must protect people
Half a Titanic
Canada's sorry record training troops abroad
Why Netflix wins
Celebrity, food: a recipe for simplistic fixes
Cuba: almost a friend
Legal creep of moralism, intolerance
Prescription to wait