Justin Trudeau DESPERATE to draw attention away from SCANDAL with election campaign launch

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Mr Trudeau is facing a tough election battle ahead of voters going to the polls in October. The Canadian Prime Minister has become embroiled in allegations senior aides inappropriately pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould into dropping criminal charges against construction giant SNC-Lavalin. The allegations have rocked Mr Trudeau’s Liberal government which has been built on a reputation of honesty and transparency.

Mr Trudeau’s campaign ads will focus on climate change as he tries to shift voters’ attentions onto a preferred topic.

The issue was expected to be the main battleground in the run up to the election until the SNC-Lavalin scandal broke last month.

Mr Trudeau’s radio adverts will air in the four Canadian provinces with conservative administrations that have refused to levy their own carbon taxes.

Voters will be targeted in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick where the federal government has been forced to impose the levies against opposition will.

The adverts will begin airing on Tuesday morning after Mr Trudeau stages a rally on climate action in Toronto on Monday night.

Mr Trudeau delivers the climate change message himself in the ads, saying it is a “real and serious problem”.

The embattled Liberal Party leader says: “We have a strong plan to fight it, one that leading scientists and economists support.

“It makes polluters pay and gives the money back to people.”

In a subtle jibe at his Conservative Party opponents, he adds: “Now, some politicians want to go back to the Harper years when pollution was free.

“We have to do better than that. Our kids are counting on us.”

Mr Trudeau’s administration is requiring provinces to tax carbon emissions starting at CAD$20 per tonne this year, rising by $10 each year until the levy reached $50 in 2022.

Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley denied the rally and ads had been hastily arranged to take the pressure off the SNC-Lavalin debate.

Mr Caley said the campaign had been planned for months and not just in response to the fallout from Ms Wilson-Raybould’s bombshell testimony before the justice committee last week.

Mr Trudeau has seen his popularity plunge since the misconduct claims surfaced.

The latest figures spell electoral disaster for Mr Trudeau amid speculation his premiership might not make it to the autumn vote.

A poll of voters, conducted for the Toronto Star last week, showed 57 percent of Canadians have had their view of Mr Trudeau tainted by the crisis while 59 percent added the affair will impact who they will vote for in the federal election.

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