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Nearly two out of three British Columbians (65 per cent) think government spending on health and education advertisements is not appropriate, according to a Mustel Group poll commissioned by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the Hospital Employees’ Union.

In August and early September, the B.C. Liberals engaged in another round of advertising promoting government health and education spending, despite pre-election promises not to do so.

“The government’s seemingly insatiable appetite for expensive political advertising is out of step with the public’s desire for accessible, quality health care and education,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. BCTF president Neil Worboys says students and patients need less spin and more action.

“Government ads won’t reopen schools or hospitals,” says Worboys. “But they certainly raise questions about the government’s spending priorities.”

Poll respondents were asked whether recent government ads claiming increased health and education funding were appropriate. Sixty-five per cent said they were not appropriate. Of that number, 25 per cent said the ads were “not very appropriate” while 40 per cent said they were “not at all appropriate.”

Only 31 per cent of respondents said the government ads were appropriate.” But fifty per cent of respondents who identified themselves as B.C. Liberal supporters did not think the ads were appropriate.

The poll is part of a broader omnibus survey conducted by the Mustel Group from October 1 to 9. The province-wide telephone survey included 505 British Columbians and is considered accurate to within 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The polling tables are available on request.

Mike Old, HEU communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)
Nancy Knickerbocker, BCTF media relations officer, 604-250-6775 (cell)