Privy Council Office also spending thousands to keep tabs on ethnic press

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OTTAWA - Citizenship and Immigration Canada isn't the only federal department spending hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping a keen eye on the country's ethnic media.

The Privy Council Office, which provides bureaucratic support to the prime minister, spent $463,300 last January on a two-year contract with the same monitoring firm that was paid almost $750,000 by Citizenship over the past three years.

Background material attached to the contract awarded by Citizenship notes both Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper place high value on ethnic media.

They're quoted as calling it more important than mainstream press.

Contract records show that Privy Council has been using ethnic media monitoring firms since at least 2007.

A spokesman for the office says the reports are shared across government to eliminate the need for other departments to do their own monitoring.

Organizations: Privy Council Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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