Does the federal government understand your priorities? It certainly should, after spending nearly $200,000 to figure out what Canadians are thinking.
British Columbia Conservative MP Bob Zimmer asked Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to turn over information related to polling and focus groups, broken down by ministry. In the government’s 108 page response, the Privy Council Office said it spent--between November, 2015 and June, 2016—$42,667.22 on polling the “Perception of canadians (sic) on government priorities” to Elemental Data Collection Inc.
Further to that, an additional $72,240.00 was spent to Acnielson Company of Canada on focus groups for a nearly identical topic.
“To explore in more detail the concerns and the perceptions of Canadians on current events relevant to the Federal Government,” the summary said.
Beyond that, yet another $74,859.85 was given to Marketing Leger Inc to focus group “the perceptions of Canadians on current state of events, including the state of economy.”
The worst part of it is that despite pouring a combined $189,767.07 into market research in a seven month period to figure out what Canadians want, the government’s actions haven’t indicated that it was money well spent.
According to the Parliament of Canada’s own website, the Privy Council Office “is sometimes called the Prime Minister’s department because it reports directly to the Prime Minister.”
In fact, despite being touted as a non-partisan body, the office’s key role is “to support the Cabinet decision-making process,” which means that polling does serve a political end.