British Columbia

Conservatives list Trudeau as 'missing' in milk carton attack campaign

The antics of Canada's shirtless leader has spawned a new series of attack ads and calls for him to end a colourful family vacation that had all of Tofino, B.C., playing: "Where's Trudeau?"

'Last seen wandering shirtless in the B.C. wilderness looking for photo ops,' Tories say of PM

Is the off-duty prime minister missing in action or engaging, half-clothed, with Canadians? (Conservative Party of Canada/Marnie Recker/Twitter)

The antics of Canada's shirtless leader have spawned a new series of attack ads and calls for him to end a colourful family vacation that had all of Tofino, B.C., playing: "Where's Trudeau?"

The Vancouver Island photographer who snapped the image of the off-duty prime minister grinning in the background of a Tofino wedding is demanding an apology from the Conservative Party on Twitter, after demanding that it stop using her image in attack ads.

Marnie Recker hired a lawyer who wrote a cease and desist letter to the party giving it 24 hours to pull the image from its ads after she noticed the Chesterman Beach photo was being used without permission to criticize the Liberal Party.

Trudeau smiles as he watched a bride at her wedding in Tofino. (Marnie Recker Photography)

"I understand people sharing the photo on social media," said Recker in a press release Aug. 10 that acknowledged "the picture of a shirtless Trudeau 'photobombing' a Tofino wedding has been shared and retweeted on social media sites worldwide."

When forced to remove the image from an ad, the party responded in writing:

"It's unfortunate there's much more interest in, and concern about, a shirtless photo of the prime minister over the 110,000 jobs lost in Canada in the last two months," wrote Cory Hann, director of communications for the Conservative Party of Canada, citing a Statistics Canada report for June and July 2016.

Tofino photographer and artist Marnie Recker tweeted, 'As an artist I know my rights and I will defend them at all costs,' after her photo was used in a social media attack campaign. (Marnie Recker Photo/Twitter)

Recker also took a Twitter swat at the party, demanding it "address the issue" of the "theft of my intellectual property."

The Conservatives then shifted their social media focus to capitalize on Trudeau's half-clothed beach antics across Canada this summer, especially after the thwarting of a bombing attack unfolded in Ontario.

They launched a faux "Missing" campaign, featuring Trudeau on milk cartons and street posters that read: "Missing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Last seen wandering shirtless in the B.C. wilderness looking for photo opportunities."

A fundraising email reaching out to Conservative supporters pointed out that the image it was asked to take down had been shared "repeatedly around the globe."

"The real lesson here is that there is no limit to the lengths that the Liberals and their friends will go to in order to protect Justin's image," wrote the party's executive director, Dustin van Vugt.

"It is not easy to ‎fight this 'celebrity culture.' But we have to."

Vugt goes on to say donations will be put towards Facebook ads to counter the "Trudeau spin machine."

The photographer who captured the Tofino wedding image with Trudeau keeps tweeting her disgust with how her work was "stolen."

"For a national political party to take my photo, which is clearly watermarked, blow it up so the watermark isn't visible and use it in this way is unlawful and they should be held accountable," Recker said in a statement Wednesday.

Recker says this ad was posted on the Conservative Party of Canada's Twitter feed. It has since been removed. (Marnie Recker)