Liberals spend $80,000 on focus groups to refine promotion of their foreign aid spending

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The Canadian government has been wasting your precious tax dollars asking questions any thinking person would already know the answer to:

Do people like photos of happy people more than pictures of crying kids?

Blacklock’s Reporter has the details.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs in pre-election research paid pollsters $78,964 to test voters’ responses to images promoting foreign aid. Photos of laughing children were most popular.

The department commissioned ten focus groups with voters in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Québec City and Halifax in late July. A final report by Narrative Research of Halifax was delivered August 29, thirteen days before the election was called.

“Participants gravitated towards images that showed happy people and situations as they conveyed a sense that Canada’s efforts were successful at having a positive impact on people’s lives,” wrote researchers. Photos of laughing children tested best. Images of a drought-stricken African plain or farmers with a foreign aid tractor were least popular.”

I could have told the government that people don't like sad things for forty thousand and still saved the taxpayer money!

But did this out-of-control spending on opinion research become part of a growing trend when the Liberals took over in 2015? An iPolitics article from September 2017 has the numbers:

“At $12.5 million, federal government spending on public opinion research has reached its highest point in nearly a decade, according to a new report posted quietly on the Public Services and Procurement Canada website.

In the previous fiscal year (2015/2016), the federal government spent $3.8 million. The year before that, it was $4.1 million.

Of the 34 departments spending money on focus groups and polling research between April 2016 and March 2017, the Privy Council Office spent the most: $2.4 million.”

I think people have fallen completely out of love with Justin Trudeau’s foreign aid budget. After all, it’s increased in recent years, reaching an all-time high of 6.1 billion dollars in 2018.

Canadians’ tolerance for this type of spending was evidenced in the responses to the public opinion research reported by Blacklock's:

"Pollsters also noted criticism of foreign aid spending. “We aren’t taking care of our own house,” the report quoted one focus group participant. “People are bad-mouthing Trudeau for spending money abroad when Canada is suffering,” said another. “I’d like to know what the government’s priorities are.”

Me too. Progress has been made on the number of long-term boil-water advisories on Canada's First Nations reserves and communities, yet 57 water advisories remain, covering nearly 6000 homes and community buildings.

Some of our fellow Canadians can’t get a glass of water out of the tap. And our government is wasting money to try to convince us to keep spending $6.1 billion to help people outside of Canada.

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