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Communications spending questionable; Bikman

Posted on April 16, 2014 by Taber Times

Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Gary Bikman suggested the current provincial government must feel it has a lot of explaining to do if it continues to spend $21 million annually on communications staff.

“Certainly, it’s questionable that they have over 200 media people in the bureaucracy. Clearly, they think they’ve got a lot of explaining to do. I think it’s excessive. They say it’s to help people be able to get the services they need. Well, there are other ways to do that, and other people in place to constituents or Albertans to navigate the halls of bureaucracy. “

Revelations coming earlier this month from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation about the province’s expensive media strategy brought more unwelcome headlines for the recently-embattled PCs. According to information obtained through a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP) request, the province employs 214 communications professionals, a number that apparently dwarfs the level of actual media coverage.

“I think it’s excessive,” said Bikman.  “It’s a sad commentary on a government that needs to hire that many people, to explain or justify itself.”

The numbers also revealed that on average, most communications staff are taking home an annual six-figure income.

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