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New NDP ads look to bring Mulcair back into spotlight

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair addresses delegates following a confidence vote during the party's weekend convention in Montreal in this April 13, 2013, photo.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The New Democrats are trying to take back the spotlight this week with a new set of television ads that highlight the leadership skills of Thomas Mulcair.

The television spots are a compilation of clips taken from a video about the NDP Leader that was broadcast at the party's convention last month in Montreal.

The NDP has had to fight for attention since Justin Trudeau was elected to lead his party in April. Polls suggest the Liberals have surged ahead in popular support. And the NDP placed third in a recent by-election in Labrador. The New Democrats were largely left out of an advertising battle that was recently waged between the Conservatives and the Liberals. The Conservative ads said Mr. Trudeau is in "way over his head" and Mr. Trudeau responded by saying "Canadians deserve better."

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The ads aim to refocus the spotlight back on Mr. Mulcair. Like the Liberals, the NDP has opted to accentuate its own positives.

In the ads, New Democrat officials praise Mr. Mulcair, saying his love of people and family is what guides him, and his sons talk glowingly about their father.

Mr. Mulcair gets the last word saying: "This is our moment to work together to build bridges, to show Canadians they can vote for the change they want and actually get it."

The ads will run in English and French and air time has been purchased.

"We want to showcase the strength of our leader, his leadership and experience," said an New Democrat strategist. "Canadians will be able to learn more about Tom Mulcair, about who he is and where he comes from. Next election, Canadians will be able to finally vote for the change they want and actually get it."

The ads come as MPs return to Parliament after a week's break and the opposition gets its first chance to ask the government about the revelation that Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, gifted Senator Mike Duffy with $90,000 to pay back living expenses that were improperly claimed.

NDP officials said they did not focus on the Senate in the advertising because they have other ways of addressing the issue of the expenses, and this ad campaign has been in the works for a long time.

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Mr. Mulcair could find himself targeted this week by reporters who want to know about a meeting he had in 1994 when he was a member of the Quebec legislature with the man who was then mayor of Laval, Que. Mr. Mulcair is reported to have been offered an envelope, which he says he refused, but did not report it to the police until 2011.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

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