Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Harper jokesters aim to win government ad contract

Last Tuesday, the rabble rousers behind, a political comedy website, launched a campaign to collect 10,000 "job references" to back their application to produce Canada's new Economic Action Plan ads.

The three-year contract is applying for grants a budget of $113 million. The firm that gets the contract will, according to the government, "design, articulate, manage and implement the strategy for the (Economic Action Plan) brand to ensure that it effectively relates and motivates the target audience."

In 2011, Sean Devlin created to oppose the re-election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After the federal election, his team began re-voicing the government's Economic Action Plan ads in order to criticize the Harper administration. Then, after receiving over $75,000 in donations, the team got its own commercial on TV. Now, they're aiming for the contract.

"Our goal is to get 10,000 references and we're doing that to send a strong message to the Conservatives," said Brigette DePape, organizer. "One that can't be ignored." claims the $113 million the contract is worth would be better spent in programs that have suffered cuts under Harper's government, like the Health Council of Canada, Environment Canada, or the Aboriginal Health Organization.

"We see it as a way to bring an end to wasteful spending of tax dollars on partisan Conservative advertising," she said.

DePape, who became known as the "rogue page" after showing a sign reading "Stop Harper" in the Senate, hopes that the campaign helps reshape the Economic Action Plan ads.

"We know it is a long shot for us to get the contract, but even if we don't, the government can still do the right thing by producing non-partisan, actually informative ads," she said. has received 2,654 job recommendations since the campaign started.

Carlos Tello is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

Find more in:

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