British Columbians deserve to know the true cost of the Liberal government pre-election TV and radio advertisements that are being paid for with taxpayers’ money, say the New Democrats.

“All British Columbians are paying for these ads that contain messages that clearly mimic Liberal party material distributed at the Liberal party convention,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “It’s just wrong that taxpayers are footing the bill, but the least the Liberal government could do is own up to the total cost of the ads.”

Ralston noted the ads have been increasing in frequency as we get closer to the May 2013 election. He pointed out that New Democrats have filed Freedom of Information requests to discover the true cost, but the Liberal government has so far failed to reveal the full cost of pre-election advertisements in British Columbia.

Ralston said the Liberal government did the same thing ahead of the 2005 election. In that case, the government surpassed their own advertising budget by 50 per cent, spending $14 million on feel good “Best Place on Earth” ads designed to promote the governing party. The true cost of the advertising overrun was only discovered in the Public Accounts that were released following the election.

“The 2005 ads, like the ads we are seeing today, have no important and useful information for British Columbians,” said Ralston. “No service is provided by government. The ads are simply designed to make the Liberal government look good.

“It would be one thing if the B.C. Liberal party were paying for the ads, but sadly that isn’t the case.”

Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats believe British Columbians deserve a government that is accountable and transparent and uses taxpayers’ dollars for services and programs that British Columbians need.