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Firm that produced Liberal party ad won Metrolinx contract

Watch the video above: Firm that produced Liberal party ad won Metrolinx contract. Alan Carter reports. 

TORONTO – The Ontario NDP is now criticizing the decision to hire the Bensimon Byrne ad agency chosen to produce the Metrolinx advertisements that played during the recent NFL conference championship games.

“Liberal-connected ad firm, Bensimon Byrne, is behind the Metrolinx campaign,” said a stateament from the provincial NDP released Wednesday. “The firm has also conducted extensive work for the Ontario Liberal Party and is behind a recent Liberal campaign ad that shows the Liberal leader running on a road in rural Ontario.”

NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo suggested the ads amount to partisan advertising.

“For the average Ontarian this just stinks. It really does,” DiNovo said. “What they really need is transit, they don’t want to see their previous dollars being spent campaigning for the liberal party.”

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Global News reported Monday that the public transit agency spent $1.1 million on ads over the past 13 months.

That spurred the opposition party to ask the Auditor General Tuesday for a report on the return value of the ads.

The Liberal party however dismissed the notion there was anything untoward about Bensimon Byrne producing the ads. In a statement to Global News, the transportation minister’s office said the agency was chosen from three firms that bid in a competitive process.

“They were selected through the Advertising Review Board’s procurement process, which sets out the rules for Ontario agencies, and is overseen by the Auditor General,” the statement read. “Bensimon Byrne has worked with the Ministries of Training, Colleges and Universities, Health and Long-Term Care, and Economic Development, Trade and Employment.”