Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold’s campaign spent $1,700 on Facebook ads from Aug. 22 to Sept. 20. (Facebook Image)

Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold’s campaign spent $1,700 on Facebook ads from Aug. 22 to Sept. 20. (Facebook Image)

North Okanagan-Shuswap Conservatives spend most in riding on Facebook ads

Liberals spend more than any other party to sway the public via Facebook

Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold spent more than any other candidate to make sure he was present in North Okanagan-Shuswap Facebook feeds during the election.

Arnold’s campaign spent $1,700 on Facebook ads from Aug. 22 to Sept. 20, according to Facebook’s ad tracker.

In the same time period, Liberal candidate Shelley Desautels spent $125 on Facebook ads, while the NDP’s Ron Johnston spent $105.

No data appears on the ad tracker for the Green Party’s Andrea Gunner or People’s Party of Canada’s Kyle Delfing.

The tracker doesn’t offer dates matching those of the election, which began on Aug. 15 when parliament was dissolved, and therefore doesn’t include one week of the campaign.

Amounts reported to the public by Facebook do not include advertising costs from other mediums such as newspapers, radio, other social media (including Instagram, which Facebook owns) and signage.

Canada’s federal parties combined spent more than $5.5 million on Facebook ads from Aug. 22 to Sept. 20.

The Liberal Party spent $2.2 million, followed by the Conservatives ($2 million) and NDP ($1.6 million).

The Bloc Quebecois followed with $139,317, while the People’s Party spent just $60,444. The Green Party paid only $6,028.

Federal parties also paid extra to promote their leaders’ Facebook pages.

The Liberals spent $829,322 to prop up Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while the NDP paid $312,509 to promote Jagmeet Singh. Erin O’Toole’s campaign spent $228,854.

Just over half of the Green Party’s Facebook budget was spent on leader Annamie Paul ($3,733), while no individual page was listed for People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier.

Facebook also discloses third-party election ad spending.

Working Ontario Women, which campaigned against O’Toole, spent the most of any third party with $225,767. They were followed by Canada Proud, a pro-Conservative page that spent $169,978 attacking Trudeau. The United Steelworkers, meanwhile, spent $77,846 to promote Singh.

Complete financial information from the campaigns won’t be available for several months, through Elections Canada.

With files from Tyler Harper and Jessica Peters

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