Loading articles...

Stephen Harper fundraising pitch used to raise money, for Liberals

FILE: Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper pauses while addressing supporters at an election night gathering in Calgary, Alta., on Monday October 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA — Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper has been conscripted to help fill the election war chest — of the Liberal party.

The Conservatives posted a video Thursday of Harper urging supporters to kick in money to help make his successor, Andrew Scheer, “the next prime minister of Canada.”

But in a cheeky twist, the Liberals quickly promoted the same video to bolster their claim that Scheer would turn back the clock to the Harper era and to make their own appeal for funds.

“The Conservatives don’t like it when we point out that Andrew Scheer wants to take Canada back to the days of Stephen Harper,” says a Liberal fundraising email sent out late Thursday.

“Well don’t take our word for it, just listen to Harper fundraising for Scheer in this new video.”

The Liberals then provide a link to the video.

“Donate now to choose forward with Justin Trudeau rather than going backwards under Stephen Harper. Sorry, we meant Andrew Scheer,” the Liberal pitch concludes.

The Liberals have been taking every opportunity to tie Scheer to his former leader, warning that he would take Canada backward to a time of austerity and minimal action on things such as climate change.

Trudeau has referred repeatedly to Scheer as “Harper with a smile” and has gone so far as to maintain that Scheer “doesn’t take any important decisions without consulting Stephen Harper.”

But the Conservatives appear to believe Harper is an asset and aren’t afraid of featuring him prominently.

In the video released Thursday, Harper, who heads up the Conservative party’s fundraising arm, says, “It’s important that we all get active because Canada is at a turning point.”

“Right now, hard working families are getting by, but they’re not getting ahead,” he adds, echoing the Conservatives’ campaign slogan.

“Andrew Scheer stands for a better way forward,” Harper continues.

“He and I both know that it’s time for you to get ahead. This is only possible with a  government that lives within its means, with a government that protects the services Canadians rely on every step of the way. We don’t have that government in Canada right now.”