...an examination of the Conservative government's first five years in office shows it overspent ... cabinet-approved ad budgets by $128 million -- more than 37 per cent.
In 2010-11, the last full year for which final accounting is available, the Harper cabinet approved $65.4 million in spending, but the government ran up an advertising bill of $83.3 million.
A year earlier, at the height of the economic crisis and during an influenza pandemic, the government approved $85.3 million in advertising but spent $136.3 million.
In fact, in every single year since the Conservatives took office, the government has exceeded its posted advertising budget by at least 25 per cent ...
There's certainly a discussion to be had about whether a federal government that's preaching austerity should be spending this much on self-promotion. But aside from that, how does a group that consistently overshoots its approved budget by 25 per cent or more for five years running maintain a reputation for being the adults in the room when it comes to managing money?
Put another way, why haven't we seen retractions and apologies from pundits and editorial boards across the country?