Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party appear to have a stock image and brand messaging problem, and it's causing some voter confusion.
This week, the party's social media posts have used a generic photograph of an Oregon lake to stress the importance of protecting the Canadian wilderness, and shot a video about the Halifax harbour in a completely different province.
The Chronicle Herald reports the shipbuilding ad was filmed at the Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge in Johnstown, Ont. instead of the maritime city, and was posted to Facebook on Tuesday.
But the Tories insist this misrepresentation of Halifax's A. Murray MacKay Bridge, in part, was not intentional. In a statement obtained by CBC News, party spokesman Cory Hann said the video was shot while Harper was campaigning in Ontario and its location was innocuous.
"It was never said to be Halifax, it was never inferred to be Halifax and it was never meant to be assumed to be Halifax," wrote Hann to CBC News. "Given the [Ogdensburg-Prescott bridge] was featured prominently in the video, it's clear it was not Halifax."
The video showed Harper standing in front of the Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge to celebrate the start of construction on the Royal Canadian Navy's new Arctic offshore patrol ships as a win for Canadian sovereignty. Irrespective of the party's intent, the gaffe resulted in several Twitter parodies that placed Harper in front of other stock locations.
After a busy day in "Halifax", Stephen Harper gives a 1 on 1 interview with Brian Williams..I think from Moncton. pic.twitter.com/bLIQQI3vYT— J/\mes S/\mpson (@thejimpster) September 3, 2015
Harper releases video passing off Ontario bridge as Halifax bridge. Then releases photo of his visit to Whitehorse: pic.twitter.com/M2ewLOmaVv— 22Minutes (@22_Minutes) September 4, 2015
In August, the Conservative Party found itself in hot water after mistakenly using an image of an Atlantic salmon in place of a Pacific salmon on campaign material about B.C.'s environment.
While the party quickly deleted the tweet to correct its mistake in that case, the party has yet to take down both the photo that incorrectly identifies a scenic Oregon as Canada, and the shot-in-Ontario shipbuilding video.
However, the Green Party of Canada swiftly pointed out the similarity of these blunders and used it as campaign spin for its own political platform:
Also on HuffPost