The federal Conservative Party has been running Facebook ads on its Chinese-language page falsely accusing the Liberal Party of planning to legalize hard drugs.
A rhetoric the Conservatives have pushed aggressively in Chinese but have made little reference to in English. The page has run a total of six ads, according to Facebook’s advertising transparency library. Of those, two are still active. One ad says,
“Previously, Trudeau legalized marijuana, he now intends to legalize hard drugs!”
Another ad, similarly saying the Liberal Party intends to legalize “hard drugs,” was also purchased in October but was taken down by Facebook for violating the platform’s advertising policies. That ad depicts a hand using a razor blade to divide a white, powdery substance sitting on a mirrored surface.
The Liberal Party denies planning to legalize hard drugs if re-elected and calls such ads “disinformation.”
“This is yet another example of Conservatives copying the American right-wing playbook, spreading false information to scare and mislead voters,” Liberal Party spokesperson Joe Pickerill wrote in an e-mail.
Mr. Trudeau has said on the campaign trail that his government is not considering decriminalizing any currently illicit drugs.
The Conservatives, however, are not backing away from the ads’ content. In a statement in English earlier this week, the Conservatives referred to “Trudeau’s not-so-hidden agenda: Legalizing hard drugs.”