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Results: 1 - 60 of 84
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I will just quickly say welcome back to Mr. Blaikie.
Mr. Shea, welcome back as well. It's good to have you with us.
On the two main items you have in the supplementaries, I will start with the funding for communications and marketing, $48 million rounded up. What exactly is that for, please, and can you provide a breakdown of what it's being used for?
Matthew Shea
View Matthew Shea Profile
Matthew Shea
2020-06-16 17:02
I'll turn to my colleague Ken MacKillop, who will give you an overview of what we're spending that funding on.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:02
Thanks very much for the opportunity to explain this. Advertising is, obviously, a very effective way to increase awareness of—
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Because of the lack of time, could you just give us the breakdown, please?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:02
Absolutely. It's $49.5 million, as you know, and the first bit within that is $10 million for an extension of the $30-million Public Health Agency campaign that is currently out on COVID-19; $12 million will be used for an extension of the $10-million Finance Canada campaign that we're doing right now, and $2.9 million is towards the PCO COVID communications response team.
The remainder of the funds, approximately $25 million, will be held to keep flexibility on communications, for instance if we have upcoming campaigns on a vaccine that becomes available.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:03
At this particular time, that's correct.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
First of all, how did you get the other $25 million past Treasury Board, if it's just to be held in case something comes up? Can every department always slam a few million away just in case something comes up?
What exactly is the advertising being used for? We all know COVID is on the TV every second, every newspaper and every Facebook feed; everything is COVID all the time. Break down exactly those four items. What are we advertising, and where is the advertising going? Is it newspapers? Is it going to Facebook and U.S.-based companies? Is it staying in Canada to support Canadian journalism? Can you answer that?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:04
I absolutely can. As you know, the virus is unprecedented, and our communication efforts need to remain flexible. You will have seen the ads for Dr. Tam, who has been on TV. You've seen ads encouraging physical distancing. You've seen Chris Hadfield and Hayley Wickenheiser out there encouraging us to stay home and save lives.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Let me ask you a question. Where is the direction coming from for this? The reason I ask is that it's a lot of money, and everyone knows about social distancing. Everyone knows that COVID is going on. Do you find it justifiable to spend $50 million on something that every single person knows about?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:04
Well, you know, you're not wrong. People know about it because we advertised.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
I think it's because it's on the news cycle 24 hours a day. I'm asking if you think this is a fair use of taxpayers' money, to advertise something that every single person in the entire world knows is going on right now.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:05
I do think it's worth the money to advertise to Canadians on health and safety and on what we are asking them to do. Again, the virus has been unpredictable, so we are advertising. For instance, back when Dr. Tam came out and was advertising about social distancing, we did all that advertising to encourage folks to stay home once the lockdown hit. Now we advertise as well on the economic portion and the financial incentives for Canadians and, if I may just add, the recall rate on our ads has been 85%, so people are getting the message.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
I think they know about COVID. I don't think it's your ads.
Where is the advertising? What medium are you using, please? How much is Google and Facebook, and how much is Canadian companies? If you don't have it right in front of you, let us know later.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:06
I could.
I can tell you the fact that, out of what they've spent this year, more than 80% of the placements were in Canadian media, including 16% in print: dailies, weeklies, ethnic and aboriginal newspapers.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. It's a pleasure to be back with you.
With respect to the advertising money for the PCO, I'm curious to know how much of that money will be spent for developing advertising products in-house and how much of that the government envisions contracting out to private companies.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:20
I don't have a breakdown for you. I can get that to the committee. I will say that $2.9 million of the funding goes toward the PCO COVID response team. As part of that team, we work with our behavioural science folks in PCO. We work with our own in-house team to be able to work with both the Public Health Agency of Canada and Finance Canada on the ad campaigns. In every ad campaign we do with the Government of Canada, we do use the agency of record to place the media buys. That is Cossette Media. We use them on a regular basis for all of the buys we do.
I could get back to you on what the in-house capacity is. The Public Health Agency of Canada and Finance have teams that work with us very closely on advertising.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Sure. I would appreciate a breakdown, particularly with respect to the money that's being requested here in the supplementary estimates.
I also want to ask about this. I know that it's the government's ad policy that ad campaigns over $250,000 are reviewed by a third party. There are exemptions in some cases for emergent public health advertising campaigns, but the request, even just in the supplementary estimates, is larger than the $250,000 threshold by a couple of orders of magnitude.
I'm wondering what the opinion of the government is with respect to these advertising dollars and the campaigns they'll fund, and whether or not those are campaigns that the government would submit to third party review.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:22
Yes, you're correct. The $250,000 threshold is the threshold above which they have to go to the ASC, but many departments can use the ASC for ad campaigns that are below that threshold as well, and quite often we find that happening. I would submit that for the Public Health Agency of Canada advertising and the Finance advertising, we have gone to the ASC for both of those, and we will—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie: Okay, and—
Mr. Ken MacKillop: —[Inaudible—Editor] to do that for the campaigns.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much.
I also want to ask about this with respect to the advertising campaigns. Largely, these have been PSAs about COVID. My understanding from your remarks today is that this new money is meant to continue those campaigns.
What techniques are you using to evaluate the success of those advertising dollars, to see if people are getting value for money with respect to those campaigns? You mentioned earlier that you've seen some success and you were taking credit for some of the awareness about social distancing measures and other things like that. How do you know that? What metrics do you use?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:23
We are mandated to do evaluations of all the campaigns that we put out using what's called the ACET process. All departments use this. I did mention the metric earlier that the recall rate on the advertising was 85%. Just to give you an idea of what that means, it means that when we go out to research this after the fact, we can ask Canadians “Have you seen this ad?”, and the recall rate is 85%.
That compares to previous years at 34% for Government of Canada advertising—that's roughly 34% for the past two fiscal years—so we're seeing that advertising being recalled very well. Of course, if you encounter advertising that doesn't work quite as well, it gives you an opportunity to adjust your future campaigns.
View Patrick Weiler Profile
Lib. (BC)
Great.
You mentioned in your earlier remarks that part of the advertising campaign was geared towards health advice, and other parts of the advertising campaign were geared towards financial measures and working with the Department of Finance. Do you have a measure of how well the campaign has informed Canadians specifically about the federal financial supports that are available?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:33
I'm sorry. I don't have the breakdown of that 85% and what was specific to the public health campaign or the Finance campaign, but I can certainly get that to you and give you a little bit of the evaluation of the Finance campaign to date.
We do know that Finance has already committed approximately $7.5 million in advertising for this fiscal and they've already engaged in that. A large percentage of that was in Canadian media. On the evaluation so far, we do see that Canadians are responding well to the CERB, for instance, the Canada emergency response benefit. We'll do some more advertising this week on the emergency wage subsidy as well, to get a little more uptake on the emergency wage subsidy.
I can certainly get you some information on the evaluation of the Finance campaign to date.
View Irek Kusmierczyk Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Chair.
I'll go back to the PCO with a couple of questions. My colleagues have done a really nice job of asking some really good questions here, but there are just a couple that I have left over.
In terms of the communications and marketing that were budgeted, how does the federal government communicate with Canadians who don't have access to the Internet and don't have access to digital marketing and whatnot? I'm just curious.
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:42
That's an excellent question because it raises the very good point that paid advertising is only one way we communicate with Canadians.
In using the paid advertising, we do use.... For instance, early on, the Public Health Agency of Canada had a mail-out that we sent to all Canadians. We also use what we call “loudaphones”, or billboards that you would see when driving down the highway. We still use bus billboards as well, believe it or not. It's a campaign, and we try to get as many Canadians as we can, including indigenous Canadians who may be up north and may not have access to the Internet like others do.
Obviously, how you target your specific campaign will depend on what you're trying to get across, but in this particular case, both the public health messaging on the safety and security of Canadians and the finance messaging were of interest to most, if not all, Canadians, so we used a variety of methods.
View Irek Kusmierczyk Profile
Lib. (ON)
So there really was a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach for getting the information out.
View Xavier Barsalou-Duval Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
My first question is for Privy Council Office officials.
According to a March 26 article, the Trudeau government announced $30 million in advertising expenditures to counter COVID-19. On March 26, Canada was going through the most intense period of the pandemic.
Why is $48.7 million now being requested through supplementary estimates A 2020-2021? What is more important now than in March?
Does the budget need to be bigger now than it was back then?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:47
Mr. Chair, as mentioned earlier, the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, with both the economic side and the public health imperative, has meant that we need to give information to Canadians as widely as we can.
To give you an example, in 2009-10, when we last saw the economic impact with the crisis and then H1N1, the government spent about $136 million in advertising that year. We're seeing that, this year, the government is likely to spend about $120 million in advertising by the end of 2020-21.
As we know, the crisis is not over. The Public Health $30 million that went out early on was forecasted to get the news to Canadians. I think at the time, March 26, we were getting into the “stay home, stay safe” time—
View Xavier Barsalou-Duval Profile
BQ (QC)
I have to interrupt you because I need time to ask you a second question. I'm not convinced by the explanations you've given me, but I'm going to move on to the next question.
The Government of Quebec announced that almost all of the amounts had been invested in local media. For its part, your government said something similar, namely that the bulk would be allocated to Canadian media.
When I open the local newspaper, every week I see two or three pages full of advertising from the Quebec government, but I can't find any advertising from the federal government.
Where did the money go? Did it all go to Google and Facebook? When are we going to find out how the money was allocated?
And with all of this, how do you make sure the information gets through?
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Following up on that question—it was a great question from my friend from the Bloc—regarding a breakdown in how, hopefully, the performance indicators will be able to report to us where this money went, I'm wondering, does your department use the GBA+? If so, how do you track where the “plus” goes, in terms of these procurement investments in advertising?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:50
On the advertising, we know that with the Public Health Agency of Canada, more than 80% of that placement was in Canadian media. There was 16% in print media, including dailies, weeklies, ethnic and aboriginal newspapers, so—
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:50
I can certainly provide that breakdown. Absolutely.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
I would love to have that breakdown, as it appears would my friend from the Bloc as it relates to the French language advertisements in the province of Quebec, and, of course, all the francophone communities across the country.
What is your mandate when you do the GBA+? What policies do you have in place to ensure that the equity, diversity and inclusion of your stated procurement policies are reflected in the contracts that you procure?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:51
I imagine you're asking that question to my colleague at PSPC...for procurement government-wide.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
Well, for the advertisements specifically. I have a whole other motion coming for PSPC for today.
As it relates to all of the money you were just talking about, how do we know that it's being equitably distributed across all communities?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:51
Again, when you're looking at an advertising campaign, you want to make sure you're targeting to get the desired impact of that advertising.
In many cases, it's going to be through ethnic media, if that's what you're looking at. For instance, if you're targeting something for the youth, you may go digital and you may—
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
I'm sorry, it sounds to me like that's the “how”; what I'm interested in is the “what”.
What have you done in this campaign to ensure that has happened? What policy can you point to, or what target or goals have your department sent, to meet the standard of gender-based analysis plus?
Ken MacKillop
View Ken MacKillop Profile
Ken MacKillop
2020-06-16 17:51
I think I would like to get back to you on specifically the Public Health Agency of Canada campaign and their lens with GBA+, as well as Finance's campaign, because I don't have that information with me today.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, witnesses.
Mr. Purves, it's good to see you back. I have a quick question. Earlier in committee we heard from PCO that half of their $50-million advertising ask was for future use, without an exact plan, in case something came up from COVID. They said it went through TBS approval. Why did that not go through a vote 5? There's a textbook definition for why it should be under vote 5 for TBS.
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 18:10
Why would it not put it into a vote 5 or why did it not?
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Why did it not?
I'm curious as to how it got past Treasury Board and was not put into a vote 5.
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 18:11
Certainly vote 5 is being considered for government contingencies, in which departments are not able to actually provide funding and support for certain initiatives. I think for PCO—
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
It's not strange bedfellows. It's colleagues looking for transparency.
Mr. Purves, I want to get back to you. I kind of cut you off earlier in the discussion on the $25 million. PCO received $50 million and went through the Treasury Board process.
Mr. Glenn Purves: Right.
Mr. Kelly McCauley: They stated that about $25 million or $22 million, around there, was for future use, with no real planned use. It was kind of a “just in case things change with COVID” use for advertising. I'm curious. Again, how did that get through Treasury Board approval and not get put into a vote 5 for contingency use when they didn't have an actual plan for it, apart from, “well, if things change with COVID, we've got this in our back pocket”?
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 18:31
Mr. McCauley, just so I understand the question.... Treasury Board vote 5 is for circumstances—
Mr. Kelly McCauley: Yes, contingency funds.
Mr. Glenn Purves: —where a department has a payment, an urgent payment they have to make, and they don't have sufficient authority—
Mr. Kelly McCauley: Right.
Mr. Glenn Purves: —within their vote to be able to make that payment.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
I understand that, but PCO said they have $50 million of which they only have plans for $25 million. The other they're going to sit on until they have a use for it. What I can't wrap my head around, puny as my brain is, is how they got authorization for funding through the Treasury Board system where they don't have a plan for that apart from if something comes up.
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 18:32
My understanding is that there are four uses for that funding: public health information, financial support for individuals, financial support for businesses—
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
I recognize that but they told us in this committee meeting that half of that's for future use. They don't have a plan in case things change with COVID. I'm wondering if that meets Treasury Board guidelines. It's about asking Parliament to approve money they don't have a plan for.
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 18:33
Obviously, there's always a plan for certain amounts that go through Treasury Board. That's what Treasury Board ministers do. They scrutinize these items and they move on. If the timing works, then they go into the next supplementary estimates. That's effectively what's happened in this instance. It's gone through the voted payment authority path for the full amount. I don't know. I didn't hear what they said.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
We've been asking a number of questions regarding vote 1a and the amount budgeted in the supplementary estimates for communications. Given that there has not been a budget, will there be savings in the Department of Finance in advertising? If so, could that simply then be diverted to advertising for COVID-19?
Alison McDermott
View Alison McDermott Profile
Alison McDermott
2020-06-16 18:52
Obviously, I'm not from the communications team, but my sense is that the communications team is working overtime, if anything. The new money for advertising is being fully allocated, so it's not obvious that there would be savings.
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
Lib. (QC)
In that same line of thinking, let me ask the witnesses from Finance this as well. In terms of public communications on government priorities, whether they be budget related or COVID related, of course that money would be available to broadly communicate government priorities, would it not?
Alison McDermott
View Alison McDermott Profile
Alison McDermott
2020-06-16 18:53
I agree with the point that the existing Department of Finance budget could be used for all government priorities and all announcements, most of which in recent weeks and months have focused on COVID-related responses.
View Xavier Barsalou-Duval Profile
BQ (QC)
I'm sorry, I was sure Health Canada officials were here.
I have a second question, and it's about advertising. Earlier, we were told that the initial $50 million was for COVID-19. We then asked why this amount had not been included in another line item, and we were told that it had been included in that way because the funds are not only allocated for COVID-19 and that the advertising could be used for other purposes.
Did I understand you correctly? What else would it be used for?
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 19:00
This is the $50 million for the Privy Council Office for the funding of communications and marketing. Is that correct?
Glenn Purves
View Glenn Purves Profile
Glenn Purves
2020-06-16 19:00
Okay.
Again, really it's funding for a whole-of-government communication and marketing response, which I believe is probably consistent with what my PCO colleagues mentioned, in four key areas: public health information, financial support for individuals, financial support for businesses and the economy, and public safety and security information.
I don't know if my Finance colleague wants to jump in on that....
Did we lose sound?
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
Okay. Thank you.
In addition to that, you had announcements where you launched a $30-million public advertising campaign on physical distancing and COVID-19, with the purpose of advertising going to various media. Can you confirm what percentage of the spending also went to local and community media?
View Steven Guilbeault Profile
Lib. (QC)
I could get you the breakdown. What I can tell you is that 97% of it went to Canadian media and, as I said earlier, to 900 print and 500 TV and radio stations across the country, in different languages—Farsi, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, French and English obviously.
View Martin Champoux Profile
BQ (QC)
View Martin Champoux Profile
2020-05-11 19:13
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I first want to thank the witnesses for being here with us.
I'd like to speak with Minister Guilbeault about aid provided to the news media, which are very shaken by the crisis. We know they were before the COVID-19 crisis, but this crisis obviously added to the misery they were already experiencing.
The government has put in place measures for businesses and a wage subsidy that I agree help a lot. However, in more concrete terms, Minister, your department has invested $30 million in advertising across Canada, which is the same amount that the Government of Quebec invested in advertising to help the media.
The $30 million you invested in advertising brought in about $1,500 for a local medium like the regional weekly at my home in Drummondville. That's more of a smile than a breath of fresh air. That's not what will allow our regional media to survive and get through the crisis.
In fact, Minister, here's what I want to ask you.
Would you consider investing more money in advertising, because that's what the regional media would like--but would you invest that money directly with the regional media rather than going through the agencies again, or Google when it comes to digital placement?
Would you consider that kind of quick help?
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