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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

do the alberta pc's have an ad scammer among them? pc insider goes bankrupt after receiving $41.3 million in government contracts.

The highly connected PC ad firm Highwood Communications has filed for bankruptcy protection after leaving unpaid bills totalling more than $5.3 million...

Highwood has held the government's exclusive ad-buying contract for more than 10 years, handling $41.3 million in public money in that time. They used that cash to buy newspaper, radio, television, magazine and online ads on behalf of the government in exchange for roughly four per cent of the total amount.

Highwood's owner, Barry Styles, is a Conservative party insider and was most recently part of the creative and advertising team for Premier Ed Stelmach's spring election campaign. Before that, he produced ads for former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and worked on PC election campaigns.

Styles could not explain how his company took $6.5 million in public money last year, yet still owed so much to the media companies. ...

This is not the first time a company owned by Styles has been in such trouble. Highwood Communications Sask. went bankrupt in 1998, leaving unpaid bills totalling $582,220. At the time it went under, the company was the advertising firm of record for at least four Saskatchewan government departments. Styles said the two incidents are unrelated.

12 comments:

janfromthebruce said...

Styles said the two incidents are unrelated - except when you connect the dots.

Ah, conservatives are not good money managers. Does this guy have any connection to the Devin years in govt?

Anonymous said...

What is the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation saying about this?

cjc said...

From the people who hired Michael Ritter...

tom said...

shut up, u liberal hypocrites

u guys constantly made excuses for chretien and martin during adscam, and NOW you suddenly care about cronyism and corruption?

grow up. this sort of thing is the cost of living in the greatest province in canada.

Anonymous said...

"grow up. this sort of thing is the cost of living in the greatest province in canada."

Huh? You (sorry, "u") mean to be ironic, right?

Raymaker said...

Somebody better make sure this dude doesn't have a one-way ticket to the Cayman Islands.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Rod Love operate a consulting business out of Highwood's offices in Calgary?

Anonymous said...

"* Why didn’t senior Public Affairs Bureau officials properly monitor the company?"

The exact same reason that Stelmach won't raise a finger to investigate why Alberta taxpayers money was so mismanaged. With 11 opposition MLA's facing 72 PC MLA's, the PC's aren't going to do anything about this.

Where is the CTF?

Anonymous said...

You conveniently left out the part of the article that notes that Highwood lost the gov't contract - as part of an open bid process initiated once Stelmach took office as Premier.

But I'm sure it was just an oversight on your part. You wouldn't take a news article and spin it just to make the current administration look bad, would you? For purely partisan purposes, or as a bit of sour grapes over the horrendous loss by your guy Taft in the last election?

Nah, you wouldn't do that.

In your personal description, you imply you have an open mind. I guess that translates into that you are open to using anything to try to make Stelmach look bad. What next, he invited some thief in to rob his own house?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know. Let's continually monitor everyone who does business with the government (how many companies is that - I don't know, but let's guess THOUSANDS) to ensure they are paying their suppliers and their employees. Shoot, it makes absolute sense (to some of you, it would appear) to spend a ton (or tonne) of money monitoring everyone just to catch a few potential miscreants. This is why audits exist, and this is why we have bankruptcy laws.

Anonymous said...

Was Highwood only getting 4%? Is there a chance they get a rate from the different media outlets and then mark that up before passing that cost onto the government thereby the rate is more than 4%? Just a guess.

Werner Patels said...

I have been saying it for a few years now:

Once a new government takes over (at some point in the future), and they start cleaning out the stables left behind by the Alberta Tories, they will find more dirt than there ever was in the Adscam, Human Resources boondoggle, Chrétien's golf course, etc. combined.

I am not letting the federal Grits off the hook -- oh, no! -- but that doesn't negate the very distinct possibility that the Alberta Tories are even more corrupt.