Conservatives commit $13.5 million to April and May ad blitz on budget measures

New documents reveal the Conservative government has booked $13.5 million for an all-out blitz in April and May to advertise its 2015 pre-election budget.

OTTAWA — New documents reveal the Conservative government has booked $13.5 million for an all-out blitz in April and May to advertise its 2015 pre-election budget.

The Canada Revenue Agency is spending $6 million on a concentrated TV bulk buy this month that includes pricey NHL playoff spots in what internal government documents describe as a continuation of an existing campaign that’s been running all winter.

The tax agency’s $6 million in TV advertising is augmented by a $7.5 million campaign by the Finance department, all designed to promote previously announced and new targeted tax breaks.

An internal government description of Finance Canada’s radio ads, obtained by The Canadian Press, says they are to have the same message as the Canada Revenue Agency commercials airing on TV, the Internet and in print.

The spring ad blitz comes amid increasingly vocal opposition to the Harper government’s use of taxpayer-funded advertising.

The watchdog group Democracy Watch has launched a letter-writing campaign to get the federal auditor general to examine government advertising.

And the Liberal party is using an opposition day motion to debate ways to end what it calls wasteful spending on partisan government ads.

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