Following the introduction of legislation that requires social media companies to be more forthcoming about online advertisement dollars, voters are now able to get a closer look at how candidates are spending campaign money to target residents.
In response to Bill C-76, Facebook and Twitter changed their online advertisement policy to be more transparent when it comes to paid ads that have a political bent.
The Facebook “Ad Library” reports that across Canada, companies, organizations and political campaigns have spent $11,517,322 on 78,603 advertisements relating to social issues, elections or politics since June 2019.
Liberal candidates spent the most – by a considerable margin – on Facebook ads in the South Surrey-White Rock; Surrey-Newton; and Cloverdale-Langley City ridings.
South Surrey-White Rock
Liberal candidate Gordie Hogg paid $4,639 since June on 21 election-related Facebook ads. Approximately half of that money was spent within the last week on ads encouraging voters to go to the advance polls.
Conservative candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay spent $714 on 23 election-related ads. Her advertisements focused on affordability, lower taxes and “higher ethics.”
Green Party candidate Beverly (Pixie) Hobby spent $416 on nine advertisements. Most of her ads focused on her candidacy for the party.
NDP candidate Stephen Crozier spent less than $100 on one ad, which promoted his attendance at the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce all-candidates forum held Oct. 4.
People’s Party of Canada candidate Joel Poulin spent less than $100 on nine online advertisements. Most of his ads highlighted his campaign efforts.
Liberal candidate Sukh Dhaliwal has spent $14,343 since June on 53 Facebook ads. His advertisements point to the Liberal party record and plan for the future.
Conservative Harpreet Singh spent $2,611 on 32 Facebook ads. His ads target the Liberal Party “hypocrisy” and highlight his campaign efforts.
NDP Harjit Singh Gill spent $999 on Facebook ads, which are written in both English and Punjabi. His advertisements focus on affordable housing and advertise a rally with party leader Jagmeet Singh.
A search for PPC candidate Holly Verchère and Green Party candidate Rabaab Khera did not yield results.
Liberal candidate John Aldag spent $4,576 on 39 ads. His advertisements point to his record and target Conservatives for not having a climate plan.
NDP Rae Banwarie, a retired RCMP officer, spent $178 on 10 ads, which target crime and reducing gang violence.
Conservative Tamara Jansen spent less than $100 on three ads, which promote videos about her family farm and her environmentally-friendly initiatives.
Green Party candidate Caelum Nutbrown spent less than $100 on three ads, which promote the party’s environment plan.
A search for PPC candidate Ian Kennedy did not yield any results.
Nationally, the Conservative Party spent at least $256,427 in the last seven days while the Liberal Party spent at least $300,000.
Since June, $1.8 million has been spent on advertisements with a Facebook identified focus on social issues, elections or politics in British Columbia, second only to Ontario, where $4.7 million was spent.
Canadians cast their ballot on Oct. 21, and preliminary data shows a 25 per cent increase in the number of advance votes cast compared to the last federal election.
Elections Canada is reporting that two million people voted on Friday and Saturday, the first two days of advance polls.