OTTAWA — Talk about an expensive birthday party invitation.

Recently-released federal spending figures show advertising promoting Canada’s 150th birthday — which isn’t for another two years — has cost nearly $12 million so far.

The tally includes advertising specific to Canada 150 but also the War of 1812 commemoration campaign.

The Conservatives say the ads are designed to encourage Canadians to learn more about their history.

The Liberal Party’s Stephane Dion says there’s nothing wrong with that, but the upcoming birthday should also have concrete party plans attached.

And he says he’s concerned none have been announced so far.

A spokeswoman for the minister of Canadian Heritage says plans are in the works and will be made public in due course.