The Ontario government says it’s spending just under $600,000 as part of a large-scale redesign of the province’s branding, including the official government logo and slogan, licence plates and drivers’ licences.
As part of the provincial budget announced on Thursday, the government said licence plates for personal vehicles will now include the slogan “A place to grow” instead of “Yours to discover.” Plates for commercial vehicles will now include the slogan “Open for business,” a long-standing slogan used throughout the 2018 election by Premier Doug Ford.
The licence plates, which will be phased in after the current inventory is used up, will also noticeably change in appearance. The current plates, which have a white background and blue lettering, will be no more. Instead, the background will be dark blue with a little blue portion of the new Trillium logo. The province said drivers’ licences will include elements of this new design.
The new logo is a simplified three-petal Trillium inside a coloured circle. The redesign comes after criticism of the former logo, which was instituted during former premier Dalton McGuinty’s administration, from some officials.
“The government has embarked on an ambitious effort to ensure all government activities reflect and reinforce a simple common brand standard rooted in qualities of trust, responsiveness, better customer experience, caring and fairness,” the government touted in its budget.
Officials also said the Ontario government is adopting the slogan “Working for you.” It’s unclear where, specifically, this slogan will be used.
When asked about the rebranding of licence plates, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath slammed the decision. She said it’s using public money for partisan purposes, calling it a “Conservative-branded licence plate.”
“We obviously have a premier who is all about bumper stickers and his own brand, and I think it’s pretty shameful, quite frankly, for a government to use their position to brand their party on our licence plates,” Horwath told reporters Thursday afternoon.
“It’s just shameful that this is a priority of Doug Ford, is to have his ego on the back of everybody’s car.”
Officials said the licence plate redesign cost $89,000 but were quick to add that there could be up to $4 million in savings by changing the manufacturing and going to a universal licence plate size versus the specialty size currently being used in Ontario. It was also said that current stock would be cleared out before ordering new materials.
The government said a further $500,000 will be spent as part of a broader rebranding of the Ontario Public Service and to roll out the new logo.
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