People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier began a speech in Surrey, B.C., with protesters yelling “PPC, shut it down!” outside a hotel ballroom where a boisterous crowd frequently applauded his proposals to limit immigration.
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier began a speech in Surrey, B.C., with protesters yelling “PPC, shut it down!” outside a hotel ballroom where a boisterous crowd frequently applauded his proposals to limit immigration.
Security officers barred a door before about a dozen protesters dispersed, some with signs in support of immigrants and refugees.
Much of Bernier’s speech at a Surrey Board of Trade event focused on immigration, which he said requires a “discussion” that, unlike his opponents, he’s not afraid of having in a democracy like Canada.
Bernier said he would slash immigration numbers nearly in half to about 150,000 people a year and 50 per cent of those would have to be “economic” immigrants, such as skilled workers and entrepreneurs.
He said he’s against “mass immigration” but is not anti-immigrant and believes Canada should accept “real refugees,” not those trying to enter Quebec and other parts of the country without crossing at official border checkpoints.
Bernier estimated 40 per cent of the approximately 45,000 refugees who have crossed into Quebec from the United States in the last several years will have to be deported.
“It’s not me who’s saying that, it’s the Department of Immigration because they’re not real refugees,” he told members of the business community and the public at a Sheraton hotel.
“They will have to be deported in a couple of years from now and that will be very difficult because maybe they will have kids and the kids will be at school and that will be tough to do that.”
Bernier proposes erecting fence
His solution is to erect a fence at Roxham Road in Quebec, where many migrants cross because a road in New York state and one on the Canadian side are separated by just a few metres of brush, and to have RCMP officers stand guard to direct people to cross at an official border crossing, Bernier said.
He wants especially to discuss immigration issues with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh at two leaders’ debates next month, he said.
“I can tell you I’m ready to have that discussion. I’m ready to have that discussion with Jagmeet Singh at the debate and we’ll see what he’s gonna say.
“One of his supporters suggested Singh would label Bernier’s policies as racist as several people in agreement laughed. Surveys suggest many Canadians want fewer immigrants, he said.
“So I’m not the only one. I must not be the problem,” he said.
Bernier later told reporters he singled out Singh to have a debate on immigration because of the NDP leader’s opposition to his stance.
“When he’s saying that Bernier is having a hateful discussion, something like that, I’m not. I’m speaking about ideas,” he said.
“We’re in a free country. We must be able to discuss that.”
People who are against his proposals are the radicals, not those who support his party, Bernier said.
There is new information for Google Ads users and PPC experts running Google Ads campaigns. If you haven’t noted, there is an innovative Optimization Score that is now viewable in the Recommendations tab of your accounts. Google first announced plans for including an Optimization Score feature in the new AdWords at the Google Marketing Live event this July.
Your optimization score and recommendations help you prioritize the most impactful actions to improve performance in your account. Advertisers who increased their account-level optimization score by 10 points saw a 10% increase in conversions, on average. Google optimization recently expanded the count to include Shopping campaigns. They are an addition to Search campaigns. The aim is to provide more, real-time recommendations for improving overall account performance.
We are going to have a look at what the new Optimization Score means for your Google Ads accounts and how much you should read into it.
It’s a Score Based on Google’s Recommendations
Your Optimization Score is an estimate of your performance based on Google’s recommendations. The scores range between 0% and 100% for PPC marketing agency. They entirely depend on your implementation of these suggestions. Google’s optimization support page notes that the score gets calculated in real-time and based on several different factors. Considerations in the optimization score include:
Statistics, settings, and the status of your account and campaigns
Relevant impact of available recommendations
Recent recommendations history
Trends in the ad’s ecosystem
Google looks at each category and then weighs recommendations believed to improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.
Implementing recommendations increases your optimization score
Your score comes alongside with a list of recommendations from Google, with each proposal displaying how much it can increase your count. According to Google’ssupport page, applying or dismissing these recommendations changes the overall optimization score of your account. You can find the optimization score available at the Campaign, Account, and Manager Account levels. It’s also worth to note that the Optimization Score is still in beta and only displays for Search campaigns.
Clicking each recommendation reveals more details
Each proposal displays additional information, such as changing bidding strategies, implementing specific ad units, using extensions, among others. Google also shows the estimated impact of each recommendation if executed. Besides, it also displays the reasoning behind the suggestion initalic text. It’s a new, somewhat elementary analysis of what can get improved from Google’s perspective.
Senior Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy, Erick Smith notes that for now, optimization recommendations will only display for Target CPA. It is likely because the majority of Google’s conversion data comes from lead-gen conversions. They may roll out suggestions for Target ROAS in the future.
Treat Optimization Recommendations with Scrutiny
The Optimization Score is a novel addition to the new suite of AdWords features. However, search specialists note that the recommendations aren’t always necessary. That’s why it’s best to evaluate your suggestions on a case-by-case basis.
This feature can be useful to a PPC expert company, but you should treat it with heavy scrutiny. Some suggestions make sense while others may not, like placing specific keywords into an ad group that already includes them. It also got noted by Erick Smith, Senior Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy
What will happen if you don’t implement the recommendations
You don’t have to enforce any of the proposals, as there is an option to dismiss them. If you choose to reject a suggestion, it will still count toward your Optimization Score. The Senior Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy Chris Pezolli said that Dismissing any of the recommendations will again increase the overall Optimization Score. They will, however, show up as a grayed-out portion in the bar.
The Two Levers of Growing Ad Revenue with Google Shopping
The two factors of Google Shopping success have been repeatedly to influence campaign performance.
The quality score is pivotal to Google’s decision of where your products rank. When a search query triggers a product, the highest bid does not automatically win. Google wants ads that are relevant, useful, and safe for the user. It does this by calculating a quality score. Stores with a high bid, but a low-quality score may not win the auction. How your products rank is a combination of quality and effort.
The quality score for shopping ads is vaguer than search ads. Google has kept the formula of quality score for shopping ads a secret. They often refer to it in their support documentation as “product history” or “feed quality.” One possible reason is to counter its competitors like Bing from duplicating their advertising system. The more likely reason it seems is to protect their network from marketers in the same way their algorithms for organic search are blurred. However, like SEO best practices, Google educates its users so we can improve a store’s presence on the channel. It boils down to how you can better serve the person Googling.
There are more instant ways and best practices to improve your quality score. Review all attributes of your feed to see how they can get promoted. The most influential include title, description, product category, unique product identifiers, and images.
The second major element of shopping campaign success is bidding. Pay too much for a click to gobble up your PPC solutions profits. Pay too little, and your ad will fall short of the impressions or clicks required to get sales.
The goal is to apply the right bid to the right products at the right time. Segmentation of ad groups and product groups lets you use the correct offer to products. It is where you need to see what products get the impressions and clicks then appropriately segment your product groups so you can apply the right bids. Bid adjustments then let you use the correct proposal for people at the right time. The four major bid adjustments for shopping campaigns are devices, locations, ad schedule, and audience lists.
Google Lightbox Ads and Engagement Campaigns: Joe Martinez demonstrates how easy it is to set up an engagement campaign and all the custom options you have for lightbox ads on the Display Network. Share it with your PPC friends!
Bernier rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on April 19, 2018 (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)
In 1968, in the first televised Canadian leaders debate, in a long ago era of skinny ties and all-male political events, CBC, CTV and Radio Canada invited the leaders of Canada’s national political parties into the living rooms of the nation to discuss their policies.
For the first hour and 15 minutes, the leaders of the day — Liberal Leader Pierre Trudeau, Progressive Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield and New Democratic Leader Tommy Douglas — sat behind podiums, standing in turn when called upon to politely discuss their policies in a manner that now seems quaintly non-confrontational.
With 45 minutes left, the organizers brought in Réal Caouette, leader of Ralliement Créditiste, a Quebec party with nine seats in the House.
Caouette, whose party has since disappeared, was a social conservative and advocate for quirky theories about monetary policy, occupying a similar position in the political landscape as Maxime Bernier’s Peoples Party does today.
It seems to me that the organizers of that first debate were right to invite Mr. Caouette and also right to give him less time than the other leaders, and the consortium of nine media outlets putting together two debates in this campaign would be wise to consider the precedent.
On Monday, the commission organizing the debates announced that Bernier had met the threshold for inclusion in the debates as established by the government last year.
It is hard to fault commissioner David Johnston, who was appointed governor general by Stephen Harper, for including Bernier.
Since he bolted the Conservatives and set up his own party, Bernier has signed up 40,000 members, recruited candidates across the country, raised significant amounts of money and managed to win a fair amount of media coverage.
Johnston initially ruled that Bernier could not participate. When Bernier objected, Johnston asked for a list of five ridings that the party might win. Johnston hired Ekos to poll those ridings, and determined that the party is competitive in several of them. (The Ekos polls found that in the ridings surveyed, those who declared a vote for the PPC either possible, likely or certain ranged between 24 and 34 per cent.)
Given all that, it seems Johnston had little chance but to invite Bernier.
The Conservatives and New Democrats objected immediately. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that the commission should not have invited Bernier because “it’s wrong to give Mr. Bernier the platform to spread his hateful and divisive message.”
Although I find Bernier’s positions on immigration and climate change to be bone-headed, the commission is not empowered, not should it be, to weigh the party’s platforms and only approve participants who are proposing ideas that are not hateful or divisive.
The Conservatives instead focussed on a process they think is fixed.
“It’s no big surprise that Justin Trudeau’s hand-picked debate panel used a Liberal-friendly pollster who attacks Andrew Scheer to ultimately justify Mr. Bernier’s attendance at the debate,” the party said in a release. “Trudeau has been stacking the deck for months, using the power of his office to tilt the playing field in his favour for this election.”
This is not accurate. The commission’s advisory panel, which includes Deborah Grey, the first Reform MP elected in Canada, did not make this call. Johnston did, and the Conservatives would face an uphill battle convincing anyone he is a Liberal stooge.
The Conservatives may be forgiven their angry message, though, because they must be terribly disappointed to learn that Scheer’s former rival for the leadership of their party will join the debate, raising his profile among right-leaning voters who have not been paying close attention.
This is potentially disastrous for Scheer, mostly because Bernier seems to have scores to settle with him. Bernier made it clear after his narrow loss to Scheer that he thought some funny things happened when they were counting the votes. His subsequent departure from the CPC and establishment of his own party makes sense if he thinks that the party cheated him out of the leadership.
If he can win five per cent of the votes in ridings across Canada, which will be much likelier if people have seen him in a debate, it gets much harder for the Conservatives to beat the Liberals in this election.
Scheer is in a vice, with Bernier on his right and Trudeau on his left. It does not look like a comfortable position. If he moves too far to the right, Trudeau can warn suburban centrists that he’s extreme. If he moves too far to the centre, Bernier can make a pitch to voters who dislike pride parades and think Canada’s letting in too many Muslims.
That’s politics, which isn’t always a very nice business.
But the media, which is already viewed with suspicion by many right-leaning voters, should take care that they are not helping Scheer and Trudeau tighten the vice.
In this election, there are two candidates who might become prime minister: Scheer and Trudeau. At the debates next month, Canadians need to hear from Singh, Bernier, Green Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, but it is not written anywhere that they deserve as much time on our TVs as the two front runners.
If you read much about startup culture or business management, you’ve no doubt come across the terms “Lean,” “Six Sigma,” and maybe even “Design Thinking.” These are concepts integral to operations management and concerned with reducing both the amount of variability and the amount of error or waste that takes place within a given process or set of procedures.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a research project that applied these methodologies to operating room utilization in a local hospital. As the project progressed, I reflected on how a similar approach could benefit any manager or contributor looking to optimize his or her personal efficiency or the efficiency of a team, department, or agency.
Specifically, this post will cover two core elements of lean six sigma and how they can be applied by PPC managers and other digital marketers or directors.
The first step is obviously choosing a starting point. You must consider every process that is completed on a regular basis and determine which would be most valuable to optimize. Starting with processes that take the most time will make sense only if those processes contribute real value and/or if completing them more quickly will permit other value-adding tasks to be completed in the time created through efficiency.
Once you have your first focus project selected, you will begin by creating a process map. This can be a visual (e.g. on a whiteboard, sticky notes, PowerPoint or Excel) or a written list, but the key here is to capture every single action or decision that is made between the initiation and completion of the process.
Let’s take, for example, the process of creating new expanded text ads in Google Ads.
Step 1: Decision
There are four primary means through which I can create my ads:
Create each ad directly in the Google Ads interface, within the campaign and ad group of my choosing
Create each ad in the Google Ads Editor and post the changes to Google Ads
Draft the ads in a spreadsheet and copy/paste to Google Ads Editor
Draft the ads in a spreadsheet and bulk upload into Google Ads
Each of these will have its own subsequent series of steps, and the decision will likely be based on how many ads I plan to create.
If I am creating only a single ad, then working directly in the Google Ads interface may be the most efficient. However, ads are more frequently launched in batches, so it will often be more efficient to build the copy in a spreadsheet and upload through the Google Ads Editor.
Step 2: Detailed Process Map
Let’s say I have chosen option #3 above and will be mapping the process for creating ads via Excel and Google Ads Editor. I will need observe the process in action, either by going through the steps myself or making note as someone else completes the task. I then outline the basic steps that go into this process as:
Create new excel sheet and save with clear file name and date
Label columns in row 1: Account (if multiple), Campaign, Ad Group, Labels, Headline 1, Headline 2, Headline 3, Description 1, Description Line 2, Path 1, Path 2, Final URL, Mobile Final URL (if any), and Tracking template (if any)
Type or download and copy/paste desired Campaign and Ad Group names into the appropriate columns
Type Headline 1 and verify length using the =len() function
Type Headline 2 and verify length using the =len() function
Type Headline 3 and verify length using the =len() function
Type Description Line 1 and verify length using the =len() function
Type Description Line 2 and verify length using the =len() function
Type Path 1 and verify length using the =len() function
Type Path 2 and verify length using the =len() function
Type or copy Final URL and verify correct page loads
Type or copy Mobile Final URL and verify correct page loads
Type or copy tracking template and proof for errors or extra spaces
Type labels with identifier and date to distinguish ad variations
Check spelling on all ad copy
Proof for appropriate capitalization
Save excel file
Send to client for approval (if needed)
If not approved, make changes based on client feedback
Check spelling and proof for capitalization
Resend to client for approval
After approval, reopen excel file and review that no data has been lost
Open Google Ads Editor
Open desired ad account(s)
Download recent changes
Navigate to Expanded Text Ads window
Select “Make multiple changes”
Copy/paste data from excel into Google Ads Editor
Verify column names mapped correctly
Process and review changes
Resolve errors (if any)
Select “Check changes”
Resolve errors (if any)
Step 3: Make Value-Based Decisions
Once the steps of the process are mapped, I can look at the elements of each segment to determine which actions are truly adding value and which are not. The goal is to minimize the amount of time spent on non-value-adding elements.
For example, I may look at my ad creation process and notice that team members are consistently spending non-value-adding time on the Preparation phase, which is repeated with every new set of ads created. I recognize that by reducing the amount of time spent on Preparation, I can improve the efficiency of the entire process without sacrificing any amount of value.
One answer might be learning how to build an ad copy proposal template in excel, which can then be opened and renamed (“Save As”) by each team member at the start of the ad creation process. Suddenly, the Preparation phase is reduced to a single step and those few minutes saved can be channeled toward another productive task.
Bottleneck (“DMAIC”) Analysis
Sometimes efficiency opportunities will be less clear than in the above example and require a bit more work to uncover. If you are an established group that already utilizes a curated toolbox of templates, automation (i.e. scripts, google alerts, bid rules, etc.), and have mastered the art of using excel for PPC, then a bottleneck analysis (or, the DMAIC approach) may be a better fit for you.
Step 1: Define
You will again start by mapping or defining the steps that take place within your selected process. For the sake of this process, you will want to group actions that take place simultaneously or would be classified as a single “step” in the process. However, understanding the distinct actions within each step will be necessary as we get deeper into the analysis.
The end goal of this action is a process map such as the one outlined above.
Step 2: Measure
Once you have your process map outlined, you will begin to collect real data on the execution of the procedure. In most cases, this will relate to the amount of time spent on each step of the process. However, you should also document the number of errors or revisions required, as those will equate to waste that could and should be eliminated.
The end goal of this action is a process map with an objective data set related to each step.
Step 3: Analyze
With data in hand, you can now determine objectively which step(s) could be optimized in order to reduce waste or variation. Your data should reveal if there are any steps frequently being repeated (such as “(re)send to client for approval” or “resolve errors (if any)” in the example above), or steps with significant variation in the time required to complete. Any steps that serve as a bottleneck, due to either variation or waste, are prime for optimization or elimination.
The end goal of this action is to identify one or more bottlenecks, and the contributing factors to that bottleneck, which can be improved for efficiency.
Step 4: Improve
As you might expect, once you have identified the bottleneck issue, you must take action to resolve it. To demonstrate, let’s say that I am looking to improve the process for updating Facebook ad creative on behalf of a small enterprise client. After mapping the steps in the process, I find two activities to be the largest bottlenecks inhibiting my process flow: obtaining creative from the client and customizing assets for non-feed placements.
To address the first bottleneck, I calculate the amount of time, on average, it takes to get new imagery from the client after making a request. I then determine how many creative refreshes would ideally take place during that same amount of time. This tells me how many sets of creative I need to request in order to receive the imagery at approximately the time I will need it. My improvement decision is to ask for 30% more imagery than needed during each request, which provides cushion against potential bottlenecking in the future.
For the second bottleneck, I make note that asset customization in Facebook must be completed for a single ad, so bulk editing is not an option to improve efficiency. However, I also note that many aspects of the customized creative are the same regardless of the ad set in which it is placed. I determine that instead of creating ads in bulk and then customizing them individually, I will create and customize a single ad, then duplicate across ad sets where the customized creative matches. This allows me to then bulk edit the standard elements (i.e. headline, landing page URL, tracking parameters, etc.) without needing to complete the asset customization step for each individual ad creative.
The end goal of this action is to have a clear action plan that will eliminate waste or variation in your observed bottlenecks.
Step 5: Control
The final step is to ensure that the improvements implemented have the desired effect and do, in fact, improve efficiency within your processes. If you note that the improvement plans are causing additional delay, waste, or variation, you will need to return to step 1, 2, or 3 for a better understanding of the bottleneck contributors.
If you have completed all steps effectively, however, you should find that your processes go more smoothly and more quickly over time as the DMAIC benefits are reaped.
This has been a very brief and high-level overview of lean six sigma practices within the narrow scope of PPC marketing. There is a wealth of additional information available across the web, and I encourage you to dive deeper if the ideas here are of interest to you.
I am eager to see more of these principles in action, so if you are a digital marketer who leverages lean six sigma in your own team management or practices, please reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn to share your perspective!
Canadians will no doubt have many burning questions to ask political leaders in this federal election now unleashed upon the country. But right now, in the opening days of the campaign, it seems a lot of people just want to know how old these leaders are.
Google is tracking what Canadians are tapping into their internet searches over the weeks leading up to the Oct. 21 vote and at the moment, their questions are pretty basic — and personal.
In fact, the top question asked about almost all the political leaders — with the exception of Jagmeet Singh and Maxime Bernier — is how old they are. The New Democratic Party leader has also piqued Canadians’ interest about age, but their main Google curiosity is aimed at his wife, Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu. “How old is Jagmeet Singh’s wife?” is the top question related to the NDP leader, followed by “Is Jagmeet Singh married?”
Meanwhile, the top question about the People’s Party of Canada leader is: “Who is Maxime Bernier?” Many in his former Conservative party asked that question when he bolted in protest a couple of years ago to form his upstart PPC.
Google search data can serve as a bracing shot of humility to all the politicians who believe themselves to be well-known quantities to Canadians — a reminder that not everyone lives and breathes politics like the denizens of Parliament Hill and the crowds at election rallies. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has run all kinds of TV ads to tell Canadians that his main priority is “you,” but it’s not clear yet from this data that the interest is entirely mutual. People are wondering how tall Scheer is, according to Google’s search-trend maps, though also: “What is Andrew Scheer’s plan?”
Even with four years of running the country under his belt, Justin Trudeau still has people asking Google how old he is, when he became prime minister, and even what party he leads. The number-four question on the Google list for Trudeau is one we’d all like to know, I guess: “Will Trudeau win the election?”
That almost sounds like something you’d see on that often hilarious Twitter account called @TrudeauGoogles, featuring search terms that someone imagines the Liberal leader typing into Google. This week’s entry, posted on Tuesday as we learned Trudeau was about to call an election the next day, was: “reschedule Wednesday soulcycle.”
Google’s trend mapping can be useful for tapping into what’s going on — or what’s not going on — outside the political bubble, where this election will be won or lost. Trudeau proved that last time Canadians went to the polls.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…
For at least two years before Trudeau became prime minister in 2015 (there’s your answer, Google searchers) he continually spiked the top of Google’s search-trend maps, always well above his then rivals prime minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. Trudeau may not have been soaring in the polls until a month or so before he became prime minister, but Google searches showed that Canadians wanted to know lots more about him from the moment he entered the race to be Liberal leader in 2012.
He’s still the most searched leader over the past seven days, according to Google, followed by Scheer, Singh, Bernier and Green party leader Elizabeth May — in that order, which is intriguing.
Beyond personalities, the top trending political issues on Google over the past seven days may ring more familiar to political junkies. The top five issues are, in order from the top are: fossil fuel; SNC-Lavalin; climate change; terrorism and the economy.
The fact that SNC-Lavalin shows up at the number-two spot should prompt some reflection within Trudeau’s camp, where they’ve been exhibiting some confidence — maybe overconfidence — that no one cares about the saga that consumed the political headlines for the first quarter of this year. Minimalist answers from Trudeau about SNC-Lavalin — the kind he’s been giving on the first two days of the campaign trail — may send even more people running to Google, or Trudeau’s rivals, for elaboration.
It’s possible that people’s Google questions will become more pointed and specific as the election campaign makes itself increasingly felt in the lives of non-political citizens. At some point, elections become hard to ignore, even for those who are trying to do just that.
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In the meantime, Google’s search data is a timely reminder to all of those who watch politics and comment upon it that not all of Canada shares our avid interest.
Oh, but perhaps we can be of help. Scheer and Singh both turned 40 this year. Scheer is 6’4” or 1.93 metres if you prefer metric. Trudeau will be 48 this Christmas. May turned 65 earlier this year and Bernier is 56. As for who Bernier is, best to stay tuned to how this election turns out for him.
Maxime Bernier launched his party’s campaign from his home riding of Beauce on Sunday. The People’s Party of Canada leader says he’s prepared for the election, adding he will have to balance his national tour with being present in his riding.
Maxime Bernier launched his party’s campaign from his home riding of Beauce on Sunday.
Bernier delivered a speech in front of a few hundred supporters gathered.
The People’s Party of Canada leader says he’s prepared for the election, adding he will have to balance his national tour with being present in his riding.
“I will spend a lot of time in Beauce because I do not take anything for granted,” he said in French.
He presented himself as the long-awaited alternative to the old federal parties, the same as he said last August when he split from the Conservative Party during their national policy convention.
At that time, Bernier called his former party “intellectually and morally corrupt.”
During that resignation — a year after his defeat in the party leadership race — Bernier denounced the Conservatives for being too close to Liberal policies.
The People’s Party has named candidates in almost all the 338 federal ridings. Bernier was first elected an MP in 2006 in the same riding his father held. The PPC is polling at just under 3 per cent nationally.
“After traveling the country and meeting thousands of Canadians, I can tell you that there is an appetite for our alternative,” he told supporters in French.
But Bernier will face a tough fight in his own riding.
Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have nominated Richard Lehoux, who was the leader of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities. Lehoux is also a former dairy farmer and has been Mayor of Saint-Elzéar for 19 years.
Tories vs. People’s Party
Bernier admitted he would be absent from Beauce for approximately 35 days of the election campaign.
His new party has also come under fire for being associated with alt-right groups and anti-immigrant sentiment.
A PPC government would lower the number of immigrants Canada accepts to between 100,000 and 150,000 per year — a level not seen since 1986 — Bernier has said previously.
His Conservative challenger picked up on that, saying the people of Beauce fall to the right of the political spectrum, but not the far right.
People are torn between the Bernier family legacy and traditional Conservative values, Lehoux said.
Bernier has also not been invited to the official election debates, as he failed to meet the criteria.
He argues that not inviting him to take part in the official election debates means excluding the only political party leader who has anything different to say.
“It won’t be a real debate if I’m not there,” Bernier said.
The song was written by Canadian singer Bryan Adams‘ longtime co-writer, Jim Vallance, who helped pen such hits as Summer of’69, Run to You and Cuts Like a Knife.
The new song is a simple, upbeat rock track, and the first few guitar chords sound reminiscent of ’69.
The lyrics themselves are based on the Conservatives’ campaign slogan: “It’s time for you to get ahead.”
Vallance wrote both an English-only and a bilingual version of the song.
Here are the lyrics to the English version:
A brand-new day,
a better way.
It’s time for you
to get ahead!
It’s your choice,
let’s hear your voice.
It’s time for you
to get ahead!
The party is expected to release a music video for the song sometime this week.
“This is a creative way for our campaign to get our message and our campaign slogan out,” Scheer’s spokesperson, Simon Jefferies, told Global News in a statement.
Rally music can become a contentious issue during political campaigns. For example, several artists — including Rihanna, Aerosmith and Pharrell Williams — have complained about U.S. President Donald Trump using their songs at rallies.
This is the first time the Conservatives have specifically commissioned a song for an election campaign, and it should help them avoid any potential public disputes with an artist.
Vallance, 67, was born in British Columbia and has been writing music for more than four decades. He collaborated with Bryan Adams on many of his songs and has also worked with acts including Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Glass Tiger and Joan Jett.
Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams appear on stage during a photo opportunity to celebrate the 200th performance of ‘Pretty Woman: The The Musical’ on Broadway at the Nederlander Theater in New York on Feb. 13, 2019.
“This song has been blaring in our office on repeat,” Jefferies said. “It keeps getting catchier and catchier with every play.”
(The August 20 story was refiled to corrects the rules around advertising in the fourth paragraph)
FILE PHOTO: Students hold a protest against climate change on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo
By Moira Warburton
(Reuters) – Canadian environmental groups fear losing their tax-free charity status if they run paid climate change advocacy adverts ahead of the October national election, after a warning from the federal election watchdog.
Elections Canada, a non-partisan body that manages federal elections, has said that such advertising campaigns could be interpreted as partisan politics.
The watchdog strictly regulates advertising during campaign periods, and one small right-wing party running in the October election – the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) – denies climate change is man-made.
Because of this position, the issue would be considered as affiliated with a party or candidate, making advertising over C$500 that takes a stance on it forbidden unless groups register as a third party.
The guidelines have been in place for 20 years, but never enforced on the issue of climate change because Elections Canada has not received any complaints that triggered an investigation and penalties.
The Canada Elections Act does not “make a distinction between facts and opinion,” Stephane Perrault, chief electoral officer of Canada, said in a statement. “It is not Elections Canada’s role to make that distinction, no matter how obvious it may appear.”
The potential enforcement of the guidelines has sent a chill through environmental groups in the lead up to the federal election.
“This is lunacy, and Elections Canada is not a lunatic organization, so I trust they will clarify and eliminate this ruling,” federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May said.
Surveys show that some Canadians consider climate change one of the top issues ahead of the vote. Only the PPC, which is polling at less than 5%, rejects it.
PPC leader Maxime Bernier, much like U.S. President Donald Trump, has said it is a natural phenomenon. But even Bernier, who broke away from the Conservative party last year to start his own bloc, said Elections Canada was misinterpreting the rules.
“The law should only regulate real partisan advertising, which is when there is mention of a candidate or party by name,” Bernier said on Twitter.
Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence, said environmental groups would have to register as a third party if they spent more than C$500 on an ad campaign about the issue because of PPC leader Bernier’s position, a step he described as “onerous” and complicated for tax reasons.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he respected the independence of Elections Canada, but told reporters that the issue “underlines how frustrating it is that we are still debating whether climate change is real or not and whether we should act or not.”
Trudeau introduced a federal carbon pricing program scheme and is talking up his plan to tackle climate change ahead of his Oct. 21 re-election bid.
“I never would have thought saying climate change is real would be considered to be elections advertising,” said Keith Stewart, senior energy advisor at Greenpeace Canada, adding he hoped Elections Canada will soften its stance on the issue.
Reporting by Moira Warburton; additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Lisa Shumaker