POLITICS

Pro-Conservative HarperPAC launches to counter union-backed ads

06/22/2015 01:14 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
A new third-party organization called HarperPAC has announced it plans advertising to target anti-Conservative messaging in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election. 

In a press release, the group says their goal is to "defend the interests of everyday Canadians against the tide of cash from professional leftist agitators and big union bosses that has been earmarked to take down the Conservative government."

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The statement is in part a reference to anti-Harper advertisements released this month by Engage Canada, an organization supported by donors that include unions. That group, headed by former Liberal and NDP strategists, says it is working to make the Conservative government "unelectable."

HarperPAC spokesperson Stephen Taylor said in the release that "unions in Canada have amassed a war chest of millions and plan to relentlessly attack Stephen Harper's Conservative government. We are leveling the playing field."

Taylor is a former would-be candidate for the Conservatives and has worked for the National Citizens Coalition, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper worked before re-entering federal politics. Under Harper, the NCC took its fight to allow third-party advertising during election campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court.

HarperPAC's advisory council also includes Kas Nejatian, Jason Kenney's former director of strategic planning when he was immigration minister, and other former staffers to Conservative ministers and Alberta's Wildrose party.

HarperPAC is the second pro-Conservative third-party organization to announce to announce its intention to advertise in the lead up to the election. An organization called Working Canadians also says its goal is to "fight back against union bosses."