New Liberal election ad spotlights their pandemic performance

OTTAWA—In their second major ad of the nascent federal election campaign, the Liberals are touting their record in government through the COVID-19 pandemic — a matter that has been hotly debated for the duration of the crisis.

The 30-second video advertisement, which the Liberals are calling “Pull Together,” is set to start airing across Canada on TV and online Monday morning. Under bright music and voice-over from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, the ad features a series of clips, including a syringe pulling liquid out of a glass vial, boxes getting loaded off a plane and people packing crates of food.

“Together, we helped families and businesses get through the pandemic. We made sure vaccines were available for everyone, and we worked as a team to keep our loved ones healthy and safe,” Trudeau says.

“Let’s keep working to make things better and leave no one behind.”

The ad follows another video spot the Liberals released on Saturday, the day before Trudeau called a snap summer election, which aimed to strike a triumphant tone of national solidarity under Trudeau’s minority government after 17 months of pandemic crisis.

Through that period, the Liberal government spent hundreds of billions of dollars on pandemic support programs for businesses and the unemployed, repeatedly promising to stop at nothing to help Canadians during the crisis.

Their performance was also consistently criticized by the other parties. The Conservatives argue the Liberals took too long to shut down international travel in the early weeks of the crisis and failed to prepare for a potential pandemic by shuttering the government’s early-warning system and neglecting a national stockpile of medical equipment. Meanwhile, the New Democrats contend it was their influence that spurred the minority Liberals to increase emergency jobless benefits and wage subsidies for businesses, and to create a federal sick day program for the pandemic.

The government’s procurement of vaccines from abroad also drew fire from the Opposition early this year as deliveries were delayed and other countries — like the United States and United Kingdom — were vaccinating their populations faster than Canada.

After that slow start, however, shipments to Canada ramped up and now the country has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world against COVID-19.

TORONTO STAR