Taxpayer money for Super Bowl ads?

B.C. taxpayers are on the hook for a series of expensive pre-election ads meant to make the Liberals look good to a wide audience this weekend during the Superbowl, say New Democrats.

"Football fans are likely to be inundated with partisan pre-election ads paid for with their tax dollars during the big game this Sunday," said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston.

"British Columbians deserve better. That's why Adrian Dix is proposing that the Auditor General review and approve all government advertising to ensure that scarce public dollars are not being used to support a governing party's partisan political interests,” said Ralston.

Last week, Dix and Ralston announced that a New Democrat government would bring in legislation to end the use of taxpayer money for partisan advertising. The legislation would require government ministries to submit advertising for review by the Auditor General. Materials must meet certain standards set out in statute, and advertising whose central purpose is to promote the governing party in a partisan manner will not receive sign off.

Ralston questioned whether the Liberals are spending even more than the $15 million they've already admitted to on the campaign, noting that in April the government said two-thirds of that money was supposed to be spent overseas to attract investment.

“Either the Liberal government has blown way over their ad budget, or they never spent a penny overseas,” said Ralston. “The campaign ads have been relentless on radio, television, online and in print across B.C. I think it's time the Liberals gave an honest, updated figure for their reckless ad spending."

Ralston added it’s ironic that the Liberals’ taxpayer-funded, multi-million dollar ad campaign brags about controlled government spending.

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