For Harper's ministers, pictures are worth millions: spending records
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has spent more than $2.3 million to photograph Conservative cabinet ministers since it came to power, iPolitics has learned.
Taxpayers are picking up the tab for a quarter of a million dollars on average each year to hire photographers to take pictures of ministers making announcements. Since 2006, the government has commissioned outside photographers to record more than 2,483 events.
That amount jumped 68 per cent to nearly $500,000 in the year leading up to the 2011 federal election, fuelled by a 38 per cent increase in the number of photo ops.
Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said there should be a policy or fixed rates for government departments to follow when it comes to photo costs.
“It would certainly be helpful to have some guidelines.”
Wudrick said some spending on photography is necessary but he gets concerned when the totals start to exceed six figures.
“Now that we now live in an age where the technology for taking high quality photographs is omnipresent and quite cheap, do we really need to have professional photographers on hand the way we did 10 or 20 years ago? I don’t know if we do.”