POLITICS

Pierre Poilievre's So-Called 'Vanity Videos' Reworked By Liberals

05/21/2015 05:20 EDT | Updated 05/21/2015 06:59 EDT

Federal Liberals apparently want to help Pierre Poilievre seem less vain.

The employment minister faced criticism from the opposition and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation last week after it was revealed he used public funds to produce YouTube videos of himself promoting the enhanced universal child care benefit.

Irate Liberals and New Democrats denounced the clips as "vanity videos" in question period last Friday and accused Tories of campaigning on the public dime. Poilievre, however, said he would "make no apologies" for keeping Canadian parents informed.

Now, the Liberal party has released a short ad mocking the minister with his own footage.

In a video posted online Thursday but surfacing on Facebook in recent days, a narrator explains how a government video crew worked overtime to produce the footage of Poilievre. The clip also references recent job losses at Bombardier.

"Here they are, the latest Conservative ads paid for by you," the narrator says.

The ad uses clips from controversial videos posted this month to the Employment and Social Development Canada YouTube channel.

One video shows Poilievre approaching shoppers at a children's clothing consignment event in his riding to discuss the UCCB, at one point saying the "prime minister" increased the benefit. Two staff in Poilievre's department, who belong to an in-house production team, were paid overtime to film the shoot on a Sunday.

Another shows Poilievre, with his sleeves rolled up, explaining the benefit with the help of digital graphics. The minister again praises the prime minister for "putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families."

Liberal MP David McGuinty told The Globe and Mail that the clip made Poilievre look like "the Trivago guy."

Grits released a TV spot in April criticizing Stephen Harper's government for spending $750 million on government ads since 2006 that, in their view, blur the line between the partisan and public interest.

New Democrats responded with a spoof commercial accusing Liberals of hypocrisy because the past governments of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin spent at least $953 million on government advertising.

With files from The Canadian Press

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