OTTAWA — Conservatives are unleashing a fresh blitz of pre-election attack ads over the next three weeks, including one that draws parallels between the prime minister and U.S. President Donald Trump.
The 30-second ad opens with a close-up on Trump’s face. Its style mimics broadcast news with CNN-inspired graphics with the caption: “Administration rocked by scandal.”
A news ticker below alludes to the SNC-Lavalin affair with mention of how “fallout continues over firing of attorney general,” claiming Jody Wilson-Raybould was fired. Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet in February weeks after she was shuffled from justice to veterans affairs.
Gerald Butts‘ resignation is also evoked with “principal secretary forced to resign” scrolling across the screen. Trudeau’s face enters the frame as the shot zooms out.
Watch the ad below:
They’re part of a “multi-million dollar” ad buy, Conservative spokesman Cory Hann told HuffPost Canada. They focus on Trudeau’s abandoned pledge to balance the budget in 2019 and criticize the federal carbon pricing system as an example of how taxes and the cost of living going up under the Liberal government.
It’s a claim that runs contrary to findings by Canada’s budget watchdog. An analysis tabled last week concluded that most Canadians will get more money from the climate change rebate than they’re set to pay in the carbon tax.
Hann said the campaign is meant to show voters that Trudeau “promised a new way of doing things and presented himself as a new kind of politician,” but failed to live up to those goals.
The Trump ad is one of five spots that will be aired on broadcast television and in online campaigns. Four are 30-second English-language ads, and one is in French.
Watch: Prime minister defends federal carbon price at town hall
Tory MPs have already started reading the campaign taglines into official records. Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel claimed Trudeau is “not as advertised” during a member’s statement Thursday.
Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley said the attack ads show Conservatives embracing “Harper-style negative politics” that “didn’t work for them then, and it won’t work now.”
Conservatives lean on Trump operative for advice
The ads come a week after the Globe and Mail reported that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and top Tories held a closed-door meeting with oil industry executives just outside of Calgary that included a workshop facilitated by a former top Trump administration adviser.
Scheer sidestepped HuffPost Canada’s questions last week when asked about the meeting, saying, “I meet with people all the time.”
An agenda from the day showed that Mike Roman, former special assistant to the U.S. president and director of special projects and research until last year, reportedly led a workshop on how to use “litigation as a tool” to control environmental critics.
The five-pack of Conservative ads represent the first major media buy ahead of October’s scheduled vote.
Conservatives are currently outpacing all other federal parties in terms of fundraising.
Number released this week for first quarter donations show $8 million raised for Tories; $3.9 million for Liberals; $1.2 million for New Democrats; $780,000 for the Greens; $760,000 for the People’s Party of Canada; and just over $215,000 for the Bloc Québécois.