Fact or fear? Conservative attack ad raising eyebrows in Vancouver
Published Wednesday, October 14, 2015 4:05PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 14, 2015 7:12PM PDT
A controversial new Conservative attack ad running in Vancouver is taking aim at Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, just as his party appears to be surging in popularity.
Placed in Vancouver’s Chinese-language daily paper Ming Pao, the ad claims Trudeau will make marijuana easily accessible to children, and allow brothels in communities.
“Liberal Party wants to make marijuana a legal drug that can be easily accessible for our children,” reads a translation of the ad provided to CTV News. “Liberal Party wants to set up legal drug injection sites around your alley.”
“Liberal Party wants to legalize prostitution and allow it in your community. This message does not match our [Conservative] value.”
It’s not the first time Conservatives have aimed this message at Metro Vancouver’s ethnic voters. At an immigration press conference in Richmond this September, Calgary Midnapore MP Jason Kenney brought up brothels.
“[Trudeau’s] position is very clear,” said Kenney. “You have to look up his vote against our legislation to criminalize bawdy houses, he voted against that.”
Yet nowhere in the Liberal platform does it mention legalizing brothels – and Trudeau has assured legalizing pot would actually make it harder for children to access it.
“[Harper] never misses an opportunity to divide, to play up fear, and division and even directly mislead Canadians,” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday. “Canadians are tired of that. Canadians want real change.”
“Other guys will claim it’s fear when all we're trying to do is draw attention to facts, facts that they aren't willing to talk about,” said Harper.
Max Cameron, political science professor at UBC, told CTV News it’s unlikely the Conservatives would place an ad of this nature in an English-speaking newspaper.
“I think it’s unlikely, I think it would provoke a bit of a backlash,” says Cameron. “You've got to assume the Conservative campaigners have done their research and they know this is a hot button issue in that community.”
Both Harper and Trudeau recognize the importance of the Chinese-speaking vote in Vancouver.
With just five days until Canadians head to polls, CTV’s Nanos tracking shows the Liberals with a seven-point lead on the Conservatives and ahead of the NDP by nearly 12 points.
It remains to be seen if the attack ads will be perceived as fact – or fear.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson