Expertise Has a Price is a public relations campaign (2010) that demonstrated to government that there were many ways to get additional revenue without having any impact on the consumer.
In September 2009, the Minister of Finance of Quebec, Raymond Bachand, set in motion a wide-ranging brainstorming exercise on the future of public finances. At the time, the government's public pronouncements were based on the negative impact of the economic crisis.
The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec wanted to take part in this important debate by suggesting, in an original fashion, a series of economic measures that the government could easily implement. The FMSQ's suggestions would have generated more than $2 billion of additional and recurring revenues per year, all without any significant or negative impact on taxpayers.
These measures were presented within the framework of a televised advertising campaign with Internet support.
What was done:
- Television spots lasting either 15 or 30 seconds and broadcast during prime time;
- Internet site, completely dedicated to the campaign, including documentary sources for each proposal;
- Interviews and participation in public affairs programs.
Remind the government that tighter management of public funds and a more rigorous application of its own laws would allow it to rapidly, and on a recurrent basis, recover important sums of money that could be used, in particular, to recognize the expertise of professionals who work in the public sector.
Three measures proposed by the FMSQ were retained by the Minister of Finance in his 2010-2011 budget: an amendment to the Quebec Mining Act (to increase mining royalties), the introduction of charges for water used as an input in industrial processes and an amendment of the policy regarding the purchase of generic drugs (in line with Ontario's purchasing policy). These resulted in the recurring addition of several hundred million dollars to Quebec's Treasury.
The Expertise Has a Price campaign was aired from January 31 to March 28, 2010.