Jean Chretien

Liberal Party

Pierre Trudeau

Canadian Alliance

Liberals Run Smear Campaign

Date: NOV14-00
Source: National Post Online
Keywords: personal integrity, arrogance
Comment: Refusing to talk about concrete realities, Liberals continue to raise fears about two-tier health care. Exactly what is scary about people using their own money to obtain prompt, quality medical treatment? Only religious faith in the messianic civil government can blind people to the obvious benefits of breaking up the failing health-care monopoly to make way for individual choice and freedom to purchase quality service.
Posted: NOV16-00
Liberal Party Index

Liberals pull TV attack ad

Jonathon Gatehouse and Robert Fife
National Post

"They can take me to court. Fine. I will have a good lawyer." Jean Chrétien on Sunday defending ads that his party withdrew yesterday because they are "technically inaccurate."

TORONTO and MARKHAM - The Liberal party has pulled an attack ad on the Canadian Alliance's health care policy, replacing it with a "technically adjusted" version that no longer features a made-up quote from a non-existent newspaper story. Liberal officials yesterday contacted about 20 television stations across the country to tell them not to broadcast the 30-second spot until a newly edited commercial arrives by courier today.

Yesterday, a Liberal spokeswoman said the changes have been ordered because of a production error.

The controversial ad, which features Albertans voicing their fear that Stockwell Day intends to create a two-tier medicare system, has been criticized for its negative message and its use of a mystery newspaper quote.

"In Alberta, Stockwell Day helped impose a law that opens the door to U.S. style private health care," are the words that slowly scroll across a black and white screen, above The Globe and Mail's name and the date Oct. 31, 2000.

No such line ever appeared in the paper.

The Canadian Alliance, the Alberta government and the Globe all complained that the ad is inaccurate and misleading. During last Thursday's English-language debate Mr. Day repeatedly demanded that Jean Chrétien "pull the ad or call me a liar."

Francie Ducros, a Liberal Party spokeswoman, said: "We did it [re-dubbed the commercial] because it was technically inaccurate to source the Globe. It wasn't because anyone complained. It was a technical mistake."

The new version of the ad removes the newspaper's name, but not the offending phrase. Ms. Ducros said the party has determined that while the line has never existed in any publication, it would remain in the new commercial as a "statement of fact."

"When he [Mr. Day] was a member of the legislature he introduced an American-type style two-tier health care system. We're not backing away from the statement."

Indeed, even as new versions of the ad were being dubbed in downtown Toronto, the Prime Minister was on the attack in the city's suburbs.

In an early interview with CTV's Canada AM, Mr. Chrétien again refused to apologize for the negative ads, maintaining they are "true."

Ralph Klein, Alberta Premier, has lashed out at the Liberals for drawing his government into the federal election campaign and for misrepresenting Bill 11, which gives Alberta's regional health authorities the ability to contract out some surgical procedures to accredited private clinics if existing public facilities are already operating at full capacity.

The act explicitly bans "two-tier health care" and imposes fines if patients are charged user fees.

Yesterday, however, Mr. Chrétien said that the Premier will just have to live with the misleading ads, suggesting it is the price to pay for backing Mr. Day.


Liberal campaign officials also provided reporters with partial quotes that use out-of-context statements by Alliance MPs to suggest they have promoted two-tier medicare.


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