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Feds spent $7M for anti-drug ads last fall

The Conservatives spent $7 million on a 3-month anti-drug campaign. THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA – Newly released figures show the Conservative government spent more than $7 million on a 12-week anti-drug advertising campaign that ended earlier this month.

That’s more money than Health Canada spent advertising all its programs and services combined in the previous 2013-14 fiscal year.

READ MORE: Conservatives defeat bill to ship generic drugs to the developing world

A government response to an order paper question by Liberal MP Scott Simms says the ad campaign to raise awareness of the harms of marijuana and prescription drug abuse among youth cost $7,026,822.

The campaign’s target audience, according to the government response, was parents.

The taxpayer-funded TV and Internet ads by Health Canada ran parallel to a partisan radio ad campaign, paid for by the Conservative party, that attacked Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over his promise to legalize marijuana.

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The $7 million spent on the government’s anti-pot ads dwarfed the $5.2 million Health Canada spent advertising in the previous year on a host of issues, including food safety, immunization, adverse drug reactions and the health and safety of Canadians.

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