The RCMP said on Friday that it has launched an investigation into the use of an offensive advertising campaign that used the phrase “fake news” in an attempt to discredit a prominent Liberal politician.
The ad, called “The Liberals and the Truth,” is aimed at helping the Liberal party to regain some political ground in Quebec, where the Conservatives have a substantial lead.
“This is not an issue of the government of the day,” said RCMP Commissioner Victor Kwong.
“It’s a matter of political integrity, of honesty, of truth, and I think that we’re taking a serious look at this matter.”
“This isn’t just an issue in Quebec,” said Liberal MP Claude Carignan.
“I think it’s a real concern across the country, not just in Quebec.”
The ad was first discovered by CBC News and shared on Twitter by Liberal MP Pierre Poilievre.
“You know, we’ve been saying, ‘Fake news’ was the one that really upset people in the media,” Poilivre said.
“The fact that this was used in this way in this very public way, I think, is really disturbing.”
CBC News has chosen not to name the ad’s creator.
“There are people out there that believe that they can do something, that they have the power to do that and they are able to do it and they do it with impunity,” Kwong said.
He said the RCMP is asking for the public’s help in identifying who created the ad and will provide an explanation as soon as possible.
The RCMP is also launching an internal investigation into how the ad was posted on social media.
The Conservative Party said it is “deeply concerned” by the ad campaign.
“Any kind of false advertising that is meant to attack politicians is unacceptable, and the Canadian public should know that,” said spokesman Kory Teneycke.
“Our message to all Canadians is that we will not be bullied, we will fight back, and we will prevail.”
The Liberals have won two of three provincial elections this year and have a comfortable majority in the legislature.