Tougher rules for ads?

British Columbia's auditor general says tougher guidelines to monitor government advertising for partisanship are needed after she viewed the Liberal government's recent advertising campaign highlighting the surplus budget.

Carol Bellringer says it appears an ad discussing the government's balanced budget and a proposed cut to medical premiums exceeds guidelines for information that should be included in public communications.

Bellringer says she conveyed her message to Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, who is responsible for the government's advertising program.

The auditor says she recommended in a report three years ago that the government establish advertising policy that prohibits the use of partisan political information in such public communications.

New Democrat critic Selina Robinson says Premier Christy Clark's Liberal party should repay the $15 million in tax dollars the government has budgeted for the ads leading up to the May 9 election.

Two Vancouver lawyers have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the government and the Liberal party alleging misuse of taxpayer dollars over partisan advertising.

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