07/29/2015 03:10 EDT | Updated 07/29/2015 03:59 EDT

Engage Canada Ad Says Harper's Tories 'Refuse To Admit' Country Is In Recession

Stephen Harper and his Conservatives won't admit that Canada is in a recession and will leave Canadians in a "gathering storm," Engage Canada claims in a new ad.

(via Engage Canada/YouTube)

The left-leaning group, which describes itself as a non-partisan project "focused on making the Conservatives unelectable," says Harper's Tories "refuse to admit" the country is sliding into a recession, despite economists "all over the world" saying so.

Engage Canada did not respond to questions from The Huffington Post Canada about the ad buy or the group's spending.

The group, which has "a mix of funding sources," was kickstarted by former NDP and Liberal strategists, according to The Canadian Press.

There's no consensus on whether Canada is in a recession. Some analysts and economists have said the country is likely in a recession. But others, including BMO chief economist Doug Porter, have said that's not the case.

"A recession is a sustained, broad-based decline in economic activity. Canada simply does not meet that test," Porter wrote in a note earlier this month.

The ad, released Wednesday, is the group's third video. The first two focused on income equality and healthcare funding.

The group also released a radio ad, which seems to feature the same narrator. In this clip, however, she is revealed to have voted for the Tories in the past.

"Harper and the Conservatives could help, but they're protecting the wealthy and big corporations with even more tax giveaways, paid for by sneaking through a huge cut to healthcare," says the narrator.

"I can't believe I voted for them. I've had enough of Harper. It's time for a change."

Converting past Tory voters is one of the group's objectives, according to its website, though it says it supports no specific party. "We are trying to dissuade previous conservative voters from voting again for a government that is not there for them," it states. "We are in no way endorsing any other party."

The upcoming election will be held on Oct. 19.


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