In the House

Doug in QP re: Telkwa water tower and government advertising

 

D. Donaldson: The village of Telkwa residents, in my constituency, need a new water tower to ensure an adequate supply for safety and expansion purposes. But they've been turned down twice by this government for a grant of less than $2 million.

Tuesday night, while watching TV coverage of the Canucks-Habs game, Telkwa residents saw a B.C. Liberal government ad telling them how great things are, part of a taxpayer-funded $16 million ad spend by this government — double what was spent last year — just before an election. The tag line for that ad was: "Our opportunity is here." Opportunity for taxpayer-funded propaganda from the B.C. Liberals but not for a water tower for Telkwa.

Could the minister please explain how his government can spend $16 million of taxpayers' money on a TV ad campaign but can't provide a fraction of that for the people of Telkwa, for something as basic as water?

Interjections.

D. Donaldson: I said the minister responsible for government advertising.

Hon. A. Wilkinson: Our advertising programs are clearly based on the Auditor General's criteria. They must inform British Columbians of programs that they can take benefit from. We have embarked upon advertising programs critical to British Columbians in fields such as opioid awareness, which we covered here the other day; the savings grant program available to families so that they can provide for the education of their children; and of course, the MSP reductions, which have been a key part of this government's budget, with a $1 billion reduction in MSP fees to individuals, which they can take advantage of by going to the website. That is advertised to British Columbians so that they can be the beneficiaries of the prosperity here in B.C.