US & Canada

Canada election: Brothels advert provokes row

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau pictured with supporters on 15 October 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The ads claim Mr Trudeau would support selling marijuana to children

An advertising campaign about brothels has caused a row in the last days of Canada's election campaign.

The governing Conservative party says in the newspaper adverts that a win on Monday for the Liberal party would mean "brothels in our communities".

It also warns a Liberal government would legalise marijuana, "making access easier for kids".

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, whose party leads the polls, said the ads are misleading but his focus is on Canada.

His party has also been running controversial adverts - one has suggested the Conservatives could revoke Canadian citizenship with a new law.

The Conservative adverts about brothels and marijuana ran in Punjabi and Chinese, aimed at those voters in Vancouver and Toronto.

"Those aren't our values either. Vote for your values," the adverts said.

Image copyright Twitter

The election - in depth

Canada's election - What's it all about - in two minutes?

In five words - How Canadians feel about their country

Is Stephen Harper 'Americanising' Canada? - Our reporter's analysis

Liberals gain momentum - Is there a Liberal tipping point in Canada?


Mr Trudeau responded to the adverts at a recent campaign event but chose not to be drawn on the substance of the Conservative claims.

"I think it is up to [Prime Minister] Mr Harper to explain why he's choosing to mislead Canadians," he said.

"Frankly, I will let him continue to focus on me, I'm going to stay focused on Canadians."

The Liberals have said they would legalise marijuana for people over the age of 18, while the New Democratic Party, the third main party vying for power, has said it would ease laws surrounding marijuana use.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has been leading the country for 10 years, defended the campaign, saying Mr Trudeau refused to admit the damage drugs do to families and communities.

"He wants to allow the sale of marijuana in corner stores and increase the number of heroin injection sites, dangerously misguided policies that would only make drugs more accessible to our children."

Image copyright AP/REUTERS/AFP
Image caption Justin Trudeau (left), Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair are in the final days of their campaigns

The Conservatives said their claim about brothels was supported by the fact Mr Trudeau voted against Bill C-36, an anti-prostitution bill.

But Rattan Mall, editor of the Indo-Canadian Voice newspaper, said that the ads were "insulting" to the South Asian community.

A Nanos survey released on Thursday put the Liberals at 37.1% which, if accurate, would put the party within reach of a majority.

Once in third place, the party is now more than seven points ahead of the Conservatives and 13 points in front of the left-leaning New Democrats.


Canadian general election 2015

• Canadian election day is 19 October. Its formal campaign season lasts 78 days.

• The Canadian Parliament is comprised of 338 constituencies, called ridings.

• Members of parliament are elected in a "first past the post" system where the candidate with the most votes wins.

• Canada's prime minister is leader of the party which wins the most seats.

Related Topics