Pubdate: Thu, 15 Oct 2015
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2015 The Globe and Mail Company
Authors: Steven Chase and Mike Hager
Page: A5


Conservatives warn a Liberal victory would lead to brothels and 
easy-access drugs, as Trudeau claims Harper will revoke citizenship

Stephen Harper is making no apologies for attack ads and flyers being 
distributed in Punjabi and Cantonese that warn a Trudeau government 
would lead to "illegal drug injection sites in our neighbourhoods" 
and "brothels in our communities."

The battle for votes from new Canadians is intensifying in the final 
leg of the 2015 federal election campaign and the Liberals and 
Conservatives have been trying to sow fear about each other before 
election day on Oct. 19.

For instance, Tory ads warning of easier access to marijuana for 
children, of an expansion of drug injection sites for addicts and of 
brothels have appeared over the past week in the Richmond, B.C., 
newspaper the Ming Pao Daily as well as in the Vancouver and Greater 
Toronto editions of the Punjabi Parvasi newspaper.

Toronto-area Liberal candidate Bill Blair, a former police chief, 
accused the Conservatives of "deceptive fear-mongering" as the 
campaign ends. "The Conservative campaign has given up on a positive 
vision for Canada and instead is launching over-the-top attacks and 
outright fabrications," said Mr. Blair, Liberal candidate for 
Scarborough Southwest.

Conservative Party spokesman Stephen Lecce said the party would 
continue distributing ads about Mr. Trudeau making marijuana easier 
for children to access, about drug injection sites and brothels 
"because they're true."

Mr. Harper defended the ads: "The other guys will claim it's fear 
when all we're trying to do is draw attention to facts - facts they 
are not willing to talk about."

His campaign tried to fill in the chain of logic in the attack ads, 
citing Mr. Trudeau's promise to legalizemarijuana and a March, 2015, 
interview where he wants to see more safe injection sites for drug 
addicts across the country. Finally, the Tories base their brothels 
charge on the fact the Liberals have proposed no legislation to 
replace the long-standing laws on prostitution struck down by the 
Supreme Court in late 2013.

It's not just the Conservatives making what their rivals claim are 
outrageous allegations. The Liberals have been warning immigrant 
communities that C-24, a new law passed by the Conservatives, would 
mean new Canadians could see their hardwon citizenship taken away by 
the whim of a minister.

In fact, C-24 gives the government the power to revoke citizenship 
from dual citizens who are convicted of terrorism, high treason or 
other offences including committing an act of war against Canada. 
Ottawa is not allowed to render an individual stateless, though.

Liberal-branded flyers that have turned up in the Toronto-area 
communities of Vaughan and Brampton in recent weeks tell voters: "You 
took risks, made sacrifices and worked hard to become a Canadian 
citizen. Don't let Harper take that away."

Calgary Tory candidate Jason Kenney, the leader of the Conservative 
Party's outreach campaign in immigrant communities, says he's 
constantly meeting voters who repeat this claim.

"This fear campaign on Bill C-24 has been a constant drumbeat by the 
Liberal Party and its candidates from the very beginning of the 
campaign," Mr. Kenney said. "They say repeatedly in their campaign 
that if you get so much as a traffic infraction you might be subject 
to citizenship revocation and deportation." This is false, Mr. Kenney 
says. The Liberals also stand by their approach.

"We are proud of our position on C-24," Liberal campaign spokeswoman 
Carlene Variyan said.

The Oct. 9 issue of Parvasi's main edition ran an ad stating in 
English that "Justin Trudeau wants marijuana sold in your 
neighbourhood 'similar to alcohol or cigarettes,' " and quoted a Sun 
News report from July, 2013.

The original Sun News article ran this full quote from Trudeau 
explaining his rationale for supporting legalization:

"If we control and regulate it, then we have a better way to make 
sure anyone who buys it in a regulated environment is of age to make 
that decision, similar to alcohol or cigarettes. It's an easier way 
to keep it out of the hands of our kids where it does the most harm."

Rattan Mall, editor of Surrey, B.C.'s the Indo-Canadian Voice, said 
none of the Conservative ads showed up in his newspaper, but even if 
they did, he doubted it would sway many of his readers.

"In a way, they're looking down on ethnic communities because they 
think they're so stupid they'll be easily swayed by any scare 
tactics," Mr. Mall said. "The South Asian community here [in Metro 
Vancouver] has really matured. Every issue that affects the 
mainstream media affects them, because they're in every profession, 
in every sector."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom