Liberals, NDP release pre-election ads

Justin Trudeau asks Canadians to continue to create change, while the NDP touts its track record on fighting the PM for more pandemic support.

Whether or not a federal election will be called for this fall is still technically a matter of speculation, but some new TV ads from two major federal parties suggest they are prepared to hit the campaign trail.

The Liberal Party’s new ads focus on things it has accomplished while in government, such as improving child poverty, banning assault weapons, procuring vaccines for Canadians during the pandemic and “standing up to” Donald Trump during NAFTA negotiations.

One ad casts these as an example of Canadians “having each other’s back,” while another casts them as the kind of change Canadians first voted for in 2015 and need to keep up. Each ad also has a version that is more focused on the environment and the urgent need to continue the fight against climate change.

The NDP’s ads, on the other hand, take aim at Trudeau, namely when it comes to the response to the pandemic. They show how Jagmeet Singh and the NDP, holding the balance of power in a minority government, were able to put pressure on the Liberals to increase the amount and length of CERB benefits, as well as increased the wage subsidy for small businesses from 10% to 75%.

One ad takes the form of a typical election ad, while another features Singh talking directly to camera. Both feature a similar message: that while the Liberals “talk,” Singh and the NDP deliver on their promise to fight for Canadians.

Both parties’ ads feature their federal leader and are authorized by their respective federal agent.

Though they have yet to release a major pre-election ad, Conservatives were the biggest ad spenders in the 2019 federal election, according to party returns filed to Elections Canada, spending $28.9 million on advertising, just short of the $29.1 million limit. The Liberals spent $26.1 million, with the NDP spending $10.3 million.

Third-party election ads have also begun, with Unifor releasing an ad taking aim at Conservative leader Erin O’Toole with a send-up of an auto ad. It features a rusty pickup truck dubbed the “2021 O’Toole” that falls apart as it whips around the dirt track, while a polished dress shoe steps on the gas pedal. The twangy narrator explains that it is going to steer Canada in the wrong direction, leave people behind and make cuts on things that are important – aiming to show that the “latest model of Conservative” is the same as previous models, with the “O’Toole” nameplate falling off to reveal “Harper” underneath.