The Conservatives are using a so-called Netflix tax kiboshed earlier this year to appeal to users of the popular media-streaming service.
In a video released on Wednesday, Stephen Harper reiterated his position, standing in front of a television emblazoned with the “Netflix” logo.
Watch the full ad here:
Speaking for nearly a minute, viewers learn once again that the Conservative leader is a fan of “Breaking Bad,” but not high taxes.
“Some politicians want to tax digital streaming services like Netflix and YouTube,” said Harper. “Some have even called on us to introduce a Netflix tax.”
One politician Harper refers to is Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose Liberal government pushed Canada’s federal telecom regulator to regulate the service as it does with traditional TV.
He then claimed that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau “have left the door wide open to doing just that,” then added that he’s “100 per cent” against the tax.
“Always have been, always will be,” he said.
Calgary Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt supported the message, presenting it to her followers on Twitter as a black-and-white election issue.
“The choice is clear,” @pmharper says. "If you like watching Netflix or videos online, only voting Conservative w/ stop a Netflix Tax.”— Joan Crockatt CPC (@Crockatteer) August 6, 2015
The Liberal Party quickly responded to Harper’s attack, telling Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat that they have “never supported a Netflix tax and do not support a Netflix tax.”
Federal NDP incumbent candidate Peggy Nash also reacted to the dig, saying the party has not proposed a tax on the on-demand video-streaming service.
Netflix is a U.S. company that is not regulated by the CRTC, Canada's telecom regulator. In March, the CRTC rejected the adoption of a Netflix tax — a levy supported by both the CBC and the Government of Ontario to stoke development of Canadian content.
This latest Conservative campaign gambit repurposes a familiar strategy used by the party in the 2011 election, when it stirred concern over a supposed $75 iPod tax — a claim that turned out to be misleading.
Voters head to the polls on Oct. 19.
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