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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20, 2016

For Immediate Release

 

Liberals Spend Thousands on Splashy Announcement Event Despite Freeze on Discretionary Spending

 

Steve Kent, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development Critic for the Official Opposition, says it appears the message about the severity of the province’s financial situation has not trickled down to all Cabinet ministers, one of whom spent $8,000 to stage an event to roll out the new tourism ads that were developed in light of the April 2015 budget.

 

The Opposition obtained the following information from the department about the staging costs.

 

Expenses related to the Launch of the 2016 Tourism Advertising Campaign at The Rooms January 18th 2016

 

Activity

Net Cost (does not include HST)

Target Marketing – Event coordination

$ 1,500.00

Fortunate Ones – Performance Fee

$ 1,000.00

Eastern Audio – Audio Visual and Staging materials

$ 5,003.00

Red Oak – Refreshments

$ 493.93

The Rooms – Venue

$ 0

TOTAL

$ 7,996.93

 

Premier Ball on December 22, 2015 announced immediate “changes to hiring, discretionary spending, engagement of consultants, and travel,” and stated: “Departments and ABCs are to refrain from incurring expenditures of a discretionary nature even if the costs can be transferred from within existing available funds.” www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2015/exec/1222n03.aspx

 

Kent said, “In tough times, most people would describe a launch party as discretionary. If the government had been serious about making every dollar count, why would it have spent thousands to host a tea party with a few dozen people, when it could have saved money by simply holding a news conference in the government’s media centre and launched the campaign through its existing YouTube channels and other social media? The impact would have been the same, but taxpayers would have been spared thousands of dollars. It appears that the Ball Liberals are not serious about reducing discretionary spending. They have not curbed spending of public money.”

 

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Media Contact:

Heather MacLean

Director of Communications Office of the Official Opposition

(709) 729 6105

heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

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