Today I'm bringing you a brand new order paper response that shows how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada went on an expensive search engine advertising campaign to fix the damage done by one Justin Trudeau tweet.
The question came courtesy of Conservative MP Steve Blaney.
With regard to expenditures on government advertising with Internet search engines such as Google and Bing, since January 1, 2016, broken down by year: (a) what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) amount, (ii) date and duration of contract, (iii) vendor, (iv) name of search engine (v) purpose of advertisement or summary of campaign; and (b) what is the total of all expenditures in (a), from January 1, 2016, to April 4, 2019.
The 135-page response from the Government includes evidence that Environment Minister Catherine McKenna spent $130,000 to try to get people to click on the climate change website and another $48,000 to get people to click on her nature website.
It also demonstrates that Justin Trudeau's January 2017 “Welcome to Canada” tweet meant to shame President Trump for his travel ban ended up costing nearly $200,000 when IRCC had to begin targeting search engines with advertising meant to dispel myths about illegal immigration.
The ad buys were part of an “irregular migration campaign” which “sought to reach individuals in the United States with temporary protected status to provide factual information about Canada's asylum system and to dispel misinformation suggesting that Canada will accept without question anyone claiming asylum between ports of entry or anyone with temporary protected status in the United States.”
However, very little of the search engine advertising cash was spent in the 2017 calendar year, with only $9,100 forked over to the likes of Google and Bing for immigration advertising. The Liberals were unconcerned with the Trudeau-created chaos at illegal points of entry until November 2017 polling showed Canadians' opinions were hardening against unfettered and illegal migration.
And that's when the Liberals tried to pump the brakes at the border.
From January to March 2018, IRCC spent $57,000 on search engine targeting. July to December 2018 another, IRCC spent another $20,000.
Then in just two months, from the beginning of February to the end of March 2019, the Liberals spent $102,500 on a massive Google and Bing ad buy.
All told, nearly $189,000 was spent to try to undo the fake news Trudeau spread with just one tweet.