NDP questions Metrolinx ads during NFL championship games

ABOVE: The Ontario Liberals are in some hot water over their choice of ad agency for the recent blitz of Metrolinx ads during NFL playoff games – the same agency behind Premier Wynne’s “running up the hill” campaign ad. Alan Carter has more.

TORONTO – The provincial NDP is asking the Auditor General to investigate the value of a recent media blitz by Metrolinx that saw advertisements air during the NFL conference championship games.

Global News reported Monday that the government agency responsible for public transit has spent more than $1.1 million over the last 13 months on ads.

Now, the NDP is hoping for an audit of the advertising campaigns.

“Public dollars should be treated with respect and I hope the Auditor’s office will ask tough questions about the goal of this campaign and whether Ontarians received value for their transit and transportation dollars,” NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo wrote in a letter to auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.

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Watch the video below: (Jan 20.) Metrolinx spending over $1 million on ads. Alan Carter reports. 

DiNovo suggests the ad blitz “conveniently coincides” with the premier’s assertion that only the Liberal party will build public transit.

A spokesperson for Metrolinx denied the ads were partisan and instead suggested it was part of the agency’s mandate to educate the public.

“They have this notion that there is just nothing happening on the public transit file, that there is no building, that everybody just argues about it all the time. We have actually $16 billion in projects underway,” spokesperson Anne-Marie Aikens said Monday.

The premier echoed those statements Tuesday while in Waterloo:

“The advertising that Metrolinx is doing is about giving people information about what the organization does, what it’s role in public transit is, and that’s information people need because we’re in a period of major transit building at the moment,” Wynne said. “It’s important that people understand the importance of building public transit.”

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–        With files from The Canadian Press

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