'I am ready': Trudeau responds to Tories in new ad
Published Saturday, August 1, 2015 5:09PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 2, 2015 2:22PM EDT
Justin Trudeau has released his first election campaign ad, in which the Liberal Party Leader responds to Conservative criticisms of his experience.
The 30-second video, released on Saturday, shows Trudeau walking across the Parliament Hill lawn, looking directly into the camera as he speaks. In the video, Trudeau addresses a frequently-played Tory attack ad that says he's "just not ready" for the job of prime minister.
"Stephen Harper says I'm not ready. I’ll tell you what I’m not ready for," Trudeau says.
Then, he takes a jab at Prime Minister Stephen Harper's economic record.
"I'm not ready to stand-by as our economy slides into recession; not ready to watch hard-working Canadians lose jobs and fall further behind," Trudeau says.
Recent reports and data have suggested the country could be in a recession, prompting opposition parties to criticize Harper's economic policy.
In the new ad, however, Trudeau limits his critique to two lines. After that, he shifts attention away from Harper and towards himself.
"I am ready to do what my opponents won't: ask our wealthiest to pay more tax, so our middle class can pay less," Trudeau says. "I'll lead this country with a new plan for our economy that works not just for the few, but for everyone."
He ends the video, saying: "I'm ready to bring real change to Ottawa."
Shot in bright light and pale colours, the ad is relatively tame and free of graphics. It is also reminiscent of an ad the Ontario Liberals put out in April 2014.
In that commercial, Ontario's current premier, Kathleen Wynne, walks through a suburban neighbourhood on a grey day and speaks directly to the camera. "I don't believe leaders should hide behind ugly personal attack ads," she says.
Last month, Trudeau also criticized vicious attack ads and called out the Conservatives for an ad that used Islamic State footage to blast his position on airstrikes in the Middle East.
"Certainly there's evidence to suggest you can scare people into voting one way or another," Trudeau said at the time. "But I am extremely comfortable in saying there is a different way of doing that and I know there's a certain risk involved in it because I am not putting a tool in our toolkit."
Trudeau started trailing in the polls this summer, and according to new numbers, he is now in third place, behind the Conservatives and the NDP.
CTV's most recent poll shows the Tories and New Democrats were each the top choice for 31 per cent of survey respondents, while Trudeau’s Liberals were in third, with 27 per cent.
Some analysts say Trudeau's slump in popularity is the result of the Liberals taking too long to respond to Conservative criticism.
"There's probably a knock-on effect from all those attack ads," CTV polls expert Nik Nanos said Saturday. "The reality is: if you're attacked, you have to respond … not next week or next month, (but) within five minutes."
The Liberals launched their 30-second advertisement online late Saturday, hours after the Conservatives released an attack ad criticizing NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s use of taxpayer money.
Trudeau's ad is expected to begin running on television after the election has officially been called.
And the NDP isn't shying away from attack ads of its own.
The party’s most recent attack on the Conservatives reminds voters of the Senate scandals during Harper’s time as prime minister. The ad ends by suggesting that "it's time for change in Ottawa."
According to a recent CTV poll, more than 60 per cent of Canadians want a change of government. If Harper calls an election on Sunday, voters will have 78 days to decide who they want in power.
With a report from CTV’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Laurie Graham