OTTAWA - The Liberal party has launched a national radio ad campaign in an effort to capitalize on public anger over the cost of the G8 and G20 summits later this month.

The 30-second radio spot refers to the summits as a "billion-dollar boondoggle" and an "ego trip" for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The party is hoping the French and English ads will help fill Liberal coffers.

A pitch to Liberal party faithful includes a link to the radio spot and a pitch for donations of $10, $25 or $100.

The email letter, signed by Liberal public safety critic Mark Holland, warns there is more to the issue than fun jokes about an expensive fake lake being built at the G20 media centre in downtown Toronto.

Holland says the Conservative government could try to force an election before an auditor general's report into the summit costs can be released next fall.

Finance minister Jim Flaherty responded to the ads by saying most of the spending on the G20 was on security.

"It's our obligation if we're going to host an international meeting with the leaders of the world attending — representing 80 per cent of the GDP of the world — that we have full and adequate security in our country, and that's expensive," he said.

"If Canada is going to take its place in the world, and we have a leadership role in the world then we have to pay the bills for this kind of summit."