Monday, October 6, 2008
...on Political Signs in City Buildings
Why Don't they just "COME CLEAN"
... with the facts?
EMAIL RECEIVED RE POLITICAL ADVERTISING ISSUE REFERRED TO IN LAST TWO POSTS
Subject: RE: To The Mayor and Council RE: Colin Carrie Sign
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 17:02:25 -0400
Cc: Political and Media Mail List deleted
The City’s facility advertising is in compliance with the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. Our advertising agreement with Colin Carrie has been in place since March 28, 2008. Unfortunately during the term of the contract, the sign was not removed when the federal election was called. We have since removed the sign and thank you for bringing this item to our attention.
RE: To The Mayor and Council RE: Colin Carrie Sign
From: Bill Longworth (email@example.com)
Sent:October 6, 2008 11:18:55 AM
To: Tracy Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org); email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cc: Political and Media Mail List Deleted
Mayor and Council c/o city clerk
Your response does not at all address the issue of political or religious advertising on civic buildings which by convention is not done anywhere to my knowledge. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards speaks to the truth, accuracy, and fairness of advertising and is quite general in addressing itself to print and media advertising and does not at all address any special institutional requirements. For example, it does not address the posting of signs in Parliamentary windows yet one MP who posted a "political" sign was ordered to remove it since "advertising" is not allowed in Parliamentary buildings. The Code defines the basic requirements of advertising. Carrie's sign in the Legend's Centre was accurate, fair, and truthful...but it was not appropriate for posting in a civic building.
Oshawa's decision to allow political advertising is akin to a church building posting advertising for sexual services. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards does not prohibit advertising for sexual services and such advertising is found in many publications which speaks to the "class" of the publication and the readership it wants to attract. It is just not done in churches because it is not in good taste in those institutions and does not reflect the values of the organization. Similarly, I would think it a severe disgrace, for example, if advertising for condoms were posted in the Legend's Centre, despite the fact it is permissable by the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and encouraged by public health policy. Judgement always has to be exercised and there is a time and place for everything.
Your response does not in addition address the question of who approved this advertising. I have asked whether this was a staff decision, whether it was approved by council, or indeed whether it was on the independent direction of a politician. I am also interested to know whether advertising in public buildings is subject to any policies developed by the city and approved by council. If there are no such policies, I would judge this to be a severe shortcoming in civic political and administrative leadership.
This is a serious matter and I am requesting full disclosure on this issue to me. In addition, I am requesting notification to me that political advertising will no longer be allowed in city buildings.