Comedians raise $76,000 to air anti-goverment ad during hockey games

Vancouver, Canada—The widely-popular Canadian political comedy community SHD.ca has crowdfunded enough money to air a 30-second ad more than 100 times on national TV, including coveted spots during two playoff hockey games. The comedic ad takes Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to task for recent economic failures. The country is experiencing a historic hunger problem resulting in criticism from the United Nations about “the growing gap between Canada’s international human rights commitments and their implementation domestically.”

The people-powered television commercial attacks the Harper goverment’s controversial taxpayer-funded playoff hockey ad campaign for Canada’s “Economic Action Plan.” The Conservative’s PR blitz has cost taxpayers an unprecedented $113 million while being widely denounced as propaganda. The slick advertisements make misleading claims of “jobs,” “growth” and “prosperity”. The government has purchased some of the world’s most expensive airtime, including the Super Bowl and the Oscars while refusing to disclose the details of their advertising costs to the public.

“The Harper Conservatives are spending millions of our tax dollars telling us how great they are for the economy. Meanwhile their policies are leaving a record number of Canadians hungry,” says Sean Devlin, executive director at SHD.ca.

The SHD ad highlights the fact that the average household debt is at a record high and the number of Canadians relying on food banks is at an unprecedented level. Both the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund have echoed these economic trends. The group originally set a goal of $6,000, to buy one prime time TV spot for a national audience of 150,000 people. SHD.ca blasted past the first goal in just four hours, reaching $76,412 in three weeks. 15 percent of funds raised go to the Canadian Food Bank, totaling more than $11,000.

“Our community suggested we run our own ad focusing on the truth. We did and the response has been incredible,” added Brigette DePape, lead community organizer for SHD.ca. “Canadians across the country and across partisan lines are declaring this ad spending in midst of economic suffering unacceptable.” 

DePape is a former Senate page who disrupted the speech from the throne in Canada’s House of Commons after the Harper Conservatives were elected to a majority government with only 39% of the popular vote.  She has since become anactivist icon and spokesperson for populist dissent in an era where two-thirds of Canadians believe Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is too secretive and has failed to govern with high ethical standards,    The SHD advertisements will be airing during a week when the Harper government is facing its largest corruption scandal to date.

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