Alberta government selling off giant donair costume meant to draw attention to cannabis-impaired driving

| David Brown

The Alberta government is auctioning off a donair costume the government purchased in 2015 for use in a traffic safety video campaign.

The government told CBC that the costume was never used because the campaign was abandoned prior to launching.

“The idea was to focus on the perils of impaired driving caused by cannabis and urge motorists to make responsible choices,” the statement said. “Ultimately, the Wise Donair video production was cancelled, and the government’s efforts to raise awareness about the perils of drug-impaired driving were refocused on other tactics.”

The human-sized latex donair costume is approximately 56 inches high, 27 inches wide, and about 16 inches deep and comes with a silver-coloured body suit to match the tinfoil-looking wrapping on the donair. The costume is about 75 inches head to toe and comes with adjustable shoulder straps. 

As of press time, the highest bid is $7,000, and the closing date is August 14. Arranged shipping is not available for this auction item. The buyer will be responsible for making their own arrangements for shipping, packaging, loading, and removal of this auction item.

Former NDP transportation minister Brian Mason tells Politics Today that he was tasked with helping provincial authorities prepare for cannabis legalization, including related road safety.

Mason said the proposed pitch was to play on getting “the munchies” while stoned. Staff debated whether the campaign made sense and whether hallucinating a talking donair after consuming cannabis would seem far-fetched to viewers.

“I think that some of the people working on that campaign were unfamiliar with the use of the substance,” Mason said

Ultimately, it was decided the campaign was a bit far-fetched. 

“The intention was very good, but I pulled the plug on their project because I just didn’t think it was going to be a very effective way to communicate,” Mason told Politics Today. “I also thought a lot of people would think it’s a little weird.”