Question Period Senator Jane Cordy February 3rd, 2015
Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, Health Canada has recently spent over $7 million on a 10-week advertising campaign on marijuana use and the dangers of drug abuse. The entire advertising budget for Health Canada for the previous fiscal year was $5.2 million, which included the promotion of food safety, immunization, adverse drug reactions and the health and safety of Canada. Yet $7 million was spent on the 10-week campaign on marijuana use.
The Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada all refused to endorse the campaign, citing the overtly political and partisan nature of the issue of marijuana use. In a joint statement, the three national medical organizations defended their decision to not endorse the government's anti-pot campaign stating:
We did not and do not support or endorse any political messaging or political advertising on this issue.
Was it just a coincidence that the $7 million campaign took place at the same time as the Conservative Party anti-pot ads were taking place attacking Justin Trudeau, who said he would legalize marijuana? The Conservative Party attack ads and the taxpayer- funded ads were indistinguishable from one another. This, honourable senators, is an abuse of public money.
Senator Carignan, why should the taxpayers of Canada pay for Conservative Party election campaigning?