TORONTO — Justin Trudeau is fighting back against Tory suggestions that he is not ready to become prime minister.
In a new television commercial to be aired next week, Trudeau is seen speaking directly to the camera addressing questions that the Conservative Party has planted in people’s minds after two months of non-stop attack ads.
“Stephen Harper says I’m not ready,” Trudeau says in the ad.
“I’ll tell you what I am not ready for. I’m not ready for stand by as our economy slides into recession. Not ready to watch hard working Canadians lose jobs or fall further behind.
“I am ready to do what my opponents won’t: ask our wealthiest to pay more tax so our middle class can pay less.
“I’ll lead this country with a new plan for our economy that works not just for the few but for everyone,” the Liberal Leader says, as he walks confidently toward the camera with Parliament in the background. “I’m ready to bring real change to Ottawa.”
The federal election is expected to be called on Sunday. Voting day is Oct. 19.
A senior Liberal source speaking to The Huffington Post Canada on condition of anonymity, said the 30-second spot is the most expensive ad buy the Trudeau team has purchased but would not say how much was spent on it.
“The Tories, by our estimates, spent somewhere between $15 and $20 million on their ads. It is not going to be that large,” he said. He also declined to say where and for how long the ad would run.
Canadians don’t like the Conservative attack ad, the Liberal said, but he acknowledged it planted a question in people’s heads that needed to be addressed.
In the “interview” ad, a selection committee discusses different résumés for the job of prime minister. After going through Trudeau’s inexperience balancing budgets and his plan to legalize marijuana, one woman says being “prime minister isn’t an entry level job.”
“I’m not saying no forever, but not now,” concludes another woman. “Nice hair though,” a man chimes in.
The Liberal source is confident the ad will resonate, he said, because it answers a direct question by telling the audience what Trudeau wants to do with the job of prime minister and why Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has failed at it.
“We are giving a people a direct answer about what we are going to do to make the economy work for them, and Harper is engaging in personal attacks,” he said.
“I think the saturation of the Tory buy could help us with this, because it has raised a vague question in people’s mind that is answerable,” he added. “It is not like they have said he is not a leader, or he is not capable of being prime minister. They are saying he is not ready now. And that question can be answered with a strong performance by the leader in the campaign and advertising that goes at the question directly.”
The Liberal ad also subtly attacks NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair by raising the question of why he won’t scrap the Conservatives’ controversial Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).
“Why does Tom Mulcair want to keep sending child-care benefit cheques to millionaires? And why won’t he raise taxes on the 1 per cent in order to cut them for the middle class?,” the Liberal source said. In the French version of the ad, Trudeau names Mulcair and refers to him as a “career politician.”
The Liberal suggested to HuffPost that the Grits had not responded immediately to the “interview” ad for budgetary reasons and because they wanted to respond when “people were paying attention.”
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