Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC media, YouTube profited from Stickman's pitch to save HST

Selling the HST, a tax supporters said would help British Columbia's economy, provided a financial boost to media companies in the province and elsewhere.

Records the provincial finance ministry released in response to a Tyee freedom of information request show the ministry spent some $3.6 million on television, newspaper, radio and online advertising for the so-called Stickman campaign that finance minister Kevin Falcon launched last May.

The ads, which ran ahead of a mail-in vote on the sales tax, encouraged people to make up their own minds on the sales tax, but directed them to a government website that promoted the HST as a better alternative than returning to the PST/GST system.

While the ministry spent the bulk of the ad dollars with the province's large television stations and newspapers, it also bought space from smaller outlets across the province as well as with websites including Youtube and Facebook.

Top recipients of the $1.2 million the government spent on television ads were:

CHAN (Global, Vancouver/Victoria): $427,755.56

CIVT (CTV, Vancouver/Victoria): $177,516.55

CBUT (CBC, Vancouver/Victoria): $97,762.54

CHEK (Vancouver/Victoria): $69,585.25

CHANKAM (Global, Kamloops): $49,196.31

Fairchild (Vancouver): $31,654.00

The finance ministry bought more than $1.5 million worth of ads in nearly 200 newspapers. The papers where the ministry spent the most were:

Vancouver Sun: $138,485.90

Vancouver Province: $71,257.50

Victoria Times Colonist: $53,158.10

Vancouver Courier: $45,090.00

24 Hours: $39,0004.00

Globe and Mail: $37,414.42

Metro: $33,690.00

Vancouver North Shore News: $28,360.80

Surrey/North Delta Leader: $22,491.00

Burnaby New W|estminsiter News Leader: $20,374.20

Sing Tao Daily: $20,278.52

Surrey Now: $18,505.80

The finance ministry spent $123,504 to advertise in 10 online outlets (The Tyee was not one of them). Here are the top five:

Youtube: $29,694.00

Facebook: $20,000.00

PostMedia: $15,500.01

CBC: $12,941.25

Rogers Digital: $12,187.00

The ministry also spent $713,000 on radio ads, including with the following stations:

CKLG FM (Jack FM, Vancouver): $31,237.50

Radio India (Vancouver, Punjabi): $27,800.00

CHQM FM (QM/FM Vancouver): $26,548.73

RJ1200 (Vancouver, Punjabi): $21,110.60

Sher-a Punjab Radio: $19,720.00

RED FM: (Vancouver, Punjabi): $18,921.00

CKZZ FM (Virgin, Vancouver): $17,824.50

CKNW AM (Vancouver): $17,121.20

CHBE FM (Kool, Victoria): $14,181.00

CJVB (Vancouver, Cantonese): $13,204.75

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. 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