Government officials didn't respond to a specific query from The Canadian Press last week on whether television ads were in the works to combat swine flu.Monday! H1N1 ads are apparently at the ready. How very, very strange the timing on that piece of information in the wake of Sunday's story. If they're so ready, what's been the hold up? Is it that the H1N1 ads have been held back so that public attention could be fixated on the more political action plan ads? Particularly during this past week when the prospect of an election was at a heightened pitch and such ads seemed to enjoy a heavy rotation? And during said week we saw new and improved lengthy economic action plan ads. Circumstantial evidence points to yes, that the H1N1 ads were held back for political reasons.
But a government spokesman said Sunday evening that television ads are to be launched Monday across the country to raise public awareness about H1N1.
The official said the government had planned for some time to launch the ad campaign.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says it has a total marketing budget of $6.5 million to inform Canadians about the H1N1 virus and how to avoid infection.
Some $4.5 million of that was spent on ads in newspapers, public transit ads and on the web that ran from April to August.
The health agency has committed another $2 million to radio spots that began airing last week, just as new swine flu outbreaks were being reported.
As for all those photos of Harper, "The Prime Minister is the chief spokesperson in the Government of Canada for the (action plan)," wrote Massabki.
In less politically mature countries, it could be construed as an effort to substitute a cult of the personality for solid policy dialogue. Here, it is just the latest silly production of a muddled Conservative brain trust.
Every link leads to more pictures of the Prime Minister.
On the page devoted to so-called real action, the government's web masters have actually managed to fit in a dozen postage-stamp-size shots of Harper.
The Conservatives were caught, exposed handily on this embarrassing inattention to a significant public health need. And they moved immediately into damage control, as they always do when the bright lights are shone on what they've been doing in the dark. But they just can't erase their lopsided spending. They're playing catch up again.