Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Jobs plan ads promoted BC government to British Columbians

The provincial government's advertising of the BC Jobs Plan focused on reaching British Columbians in 2012, despite the minister in charge's assertion the main campaign would be international.

Jobs, tourism and innovation minister Pat Bell told The Tyee in November 2011 that the government would spend "lots" to advertise premier Christy Clark's job strategy. "The real focus of the advertising campaign won't be in B.C., it will be abroad," Bell said at the time. "It's really intended to attract investment internationally into new projects that can add value for British Columbians."

However, records obtained through a freedom of information request show the government spent $3.16 million on Jobs Plan ads in B.C., but they include no mention of any international advertising.

The bulk of the spending was for $2.3 million for television ads on stations in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Terrace, Kitimat, Dawson Creek and Kamloops. Another $72,250 was spent on multicultural stations CHNM/OMNI and Fairchild TV.

A $422,957.45 radio buy included stations throughout the province, plus $75,321.90 for Asian and Punjabi stations in Vancouver.

There was $94,000 for a series of full-page, full-colour ads in the Vancouver Sun.

The government also spent $67,480.50 on online advertising targeting "working moms" in B.C. that ran on websites,'s Lifestyle Network, Best Health Magazine,, the Family Channel, Home Decision Makers, MSN's Lifestyle Channel, Yahoo's Parenting With Kids, the Globe and Mail, Modern Moms,, Run of Family and Today's Parents.

The closest the advertising got to international markets was for panels at the Canada Line's YVR-Airport station, at the baggage carousel for international arrivals at the airport and for a billboard in Surrey near the border crossing at Blaine. The total for that part of the campaign was $107,365.

A November 2012 article by Bob Mackin in Business in Vancouver observed that though "The 2012-13 B.C. jobs campaign... is intended to focus on the international market," the plans for the ads appeared aimed at a domestic audience.

Calls to Bell and to spokespeople for the ministries of Citizens' Services and what's now Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training were not returned by publication time.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus