News media spending being kept secret by the City

Sault Ste Marie Ontario City Hall

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The city of Sault Ste. Marie is forcing journalists to file Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests for inquiries into the spending of tax dollars.

Last Tuesday, Sault Online reached out to city hall to obtain records on where the city spends advertising dollars. We decided to make this request because of the council meeting on Sept 14. The mayor suggested more advertising should be posted to another online news source and a newspaper. Other news media in our city were not mentioned in the council meeting.

In an email and phone exchange with the Communications Director for the city, we explained what we were looking for: the amount of advertising money spent with news media companies in the city from 2015 onward.

We were told to file an FOI request with the city in order to obtain this information because it has to be collected from the individual departments. We were also told because it dealt with the city’s dealing with the other media in town. When we attempted to send the FOI down via email to the city, we were redirected to having to take it in person to the legal department.

The standard five dollars to file the FOI is also being required.

This story will be updated as the information which should be publicly available is hopefully made available via our Freedom of Information Act request.

Why is the city so scared to tell the public where they spend their tax dollars?

Could it be that the City of Sault Ste. Marie favours certain news media?

By: Dan Gray


  1. If you keep electing clowns to council expect a Circus .When you have Marxist Leninests elected to council what did you expect.It has always been lie,Cheat, Steal.
    They feel that they don’t have to answer to the taxpayers.You want better government vote them out next election.After all politicians are like Diapers need to changing often.

  2. Ummm those are our tax dollars, this should be transparent! Why the secret? Cause the other site streams your council meetings and prob payed for the gear to do it? This is a huge problem if you ask me.

    Just like when Sonny Spina spent (way too much) time on their comments section speaking for the entire police force. That was a cozy arrangement now wasn’t it? Too cozy and was highly inappropriate!!

    Now you can’t even leave comments on the other site. LOLZ.

    Spread your ad dollars around SSM, there is enough to go around fairly.

  3. Mayor Provenzano is very open about being politically Liberal and we know that secrets, secrecy and secret spending with minimal accountability are just status quo for the liberals as Trudeau has well exampled.

  4. I actually saw ‘new articles’ far south while driving my son to university. It was passed off in a magazine as if it was an article but clearly it was an ad for Sault Ste Marie.
    It was disappointing to see a very touristy-slant to it with some loft claims. It presented places up to 2 hours away as if they were around the corner in town – anyone that flies here or even drives here is going to be very disappointed at how far spread many of these attractions were. The article/ad (at the bottom it did say it was by SSM tourism) led me to believe it’s an ideal utopia here where people can leave their doors unlocked and it never rains. Meanwhile you can’t leave even a scrap of paper in your car without it being broken into.
    I fell for the same marketing and regret moving here.

      • What ridiculous logic. It’s no wonder this city is dying.
        I feel safer when traveling through Toronto than I do living here. The only crime I’ve experienced has been while in Sault Ste. Marie.
        In my neighbourhood a family moved here from Etobicoke and after a year are moving back there. Their car has been broken into several times and then recently was smashed into while it was parked in their driveway courtesy of a drunk driver. They don’t feel as safe here and this is in a decent area in the east end.

  5. Good for you guys, equality is being pushed in all facets of life in today’s modern world, so the spending of taxpayer money on advertising and such, should no different. Ron

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