Federal Liberal government departments recently presented an Inquiry of Ministry report outlining various fees paid to online service providers, including YouTube content creators, as well as fact checkers in Argentina.
Grant details were disclosed in response to an opposition Inquiry requesting details of “expenditures on social media influencers including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign.”
Various departments returned answers, and Blacklock's Reporter highlighted some of the stranger expenditures:
...spending included $48,198 by the Department of Immigration to promote International Experience Canada, a work permit program for students traveling abroad.
Fees to “increase awareness among English and French-speaking Canadians” were paid to eight YouTubers and bloggers including a Toronto couple, Matt & Omar. “We love everything from vegan tacos to photography to cute fashions to traveling the big blue world,” wrote Matt & Omar.
As for the fact checkers, a total of $28,750 went to a website based in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a Spanish-language project entitled How To Communicate Responsibly In Times Of Covid-19.
The nearly $30,000 grant, which was provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs, was meant to “increase the quality of messages issued by influencers on social media about the Covid-19 pandemic with a gender perspective through educational materials and information sessions.”
When quizzed on the reasoning behind that particular grant, Foreign Affairs replied: “We’ll get back to you.”