OTTAWA – The Conservative Party of Canada has—for the second time in around 24 hours— pulled and reposted a modified version of a contentious video spoof of Historica Canada’s famous Heritage Minutes.
The federal political party found itself in hot water over the weekend for a video posted to social media that the party says was meant to be a parody of the iconic clips, taking aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government over ethics scandals.
"Some prime ministers were good, some great, but never had one been fined for breaking the law while in office. Until one day..." it begins.
On Sunday, Historica Canada threatened legal action, and called for the video to be removed and for a public apology. "We're not happy at being dragged in, even by implication, to any partisan political matter," Anthony Wilson-Smith, CEO of Historica Canada, told CTV News.
In a follow-up conversation he also confirmed to CTV News that the organization is losing donors as the result of the ad. Wilson-Smith said that these are donors who have traditionally donated small amounts are discontinuing their donations, some saying they didn’t realize that Historica Canada hadn’t sanctioned the Conservative's video.
"We did not intend to draw negative attention to Historica Canada. They do great work profiling Canadian history and we wish to maintain our positive relationship with the organization," the party said in a series of tweets on Monday.
On Sunday the Conservatives first modified and re-posted the video with a message emphasizing that it is a parody and "not associated with Historica Canada in any way."
That version has now been deleted. What has been posted in its place still includes the same parody disclaimer, but no longer includes the Heritage Minute logo.
"We have removed all Heritage Minute branding from the video we posted over the weekend. Our intention was simply to use a recognizable and often-parodied segment to highlight Justin Trudeau's many ethical breaches. We will continue to use our digital platforms to hold Liberals to account for their entitlements and abuse of taxpayer dollars," the party said.
The Liberal Party issued a statement Sunday accusing Scheer and the Conservatives of "doubling down on the same Harper-style negative attacks that Canadians rejected in 2015."
"Look at that and show me the difference between the Conservatives of today and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Tell me where is the difference," Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez told reporters on Parliament Hill on Monday.
With files from CTV News' Annie Bergeron-Oliver
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