Conservative MP spams Yukon

Her Durham, Ontario, riding situated more than 5,000 kilometres away from the Yukon, Conservative MP Bev Oda has little, if anything, to do with the territory.

Her Durham, Ontario, riding situated more than 5,000 kilometres away from the Yukon, Conservative MP Bev Oda has little, if anything, to do with the territory.

Nevertheless, her name graces a slew of Conservative literature sent, on the taxpayer’s dime, to local addresses.

The flyers capitalize on an MP’s right to free mail, known as “franking.”

If the flyers were sent out by the Yukon offices of the Conservative party, it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

But since the flyers are sent out in Oda’s name, they are written off as a taxpayer expense.

The Ottawa-based Conservative Resource Group orchestrates the campaign.

The practice is known as “10 percenting”—a practice that allows MPs to send mailouts to 10 per cent of a Canadian constituency.

Four times a year, MPs can send direct mail to every address in their constituency.

“But you can do unlimited numbers of these 10 percenters … I could do one every day,” said Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.

The Oda mailouts are “just trying to get more information about the Conservative party out to your area,” said Oda’s spokesperson Tara Nabi.

“Prepared. Protected,” reads one flyer, alongside an image of a Canadian flag in a thunderstorm.

“Protecting Canada’s economy to protect his future,” reads another, next to an image of a worried young father clutching his infant son.

Readers are asked to return a postcard-sized portion containing a small questionnaire.

“Who is on the right track to protect Canada’s future,” reads one, atop a “ballot” containing the names of the four federal party leaders.

The Yukon and Quebec have been targeted as low points of Conservative support, prompting the mailouts, said Nabi.

During the fall election, Winnipeg MP Rod Bruinooge sent campaign literature to addresses in downtown Whitehorse.

“It’s not as though Rod Bruinooge has a specific interest in Whitehorse, it’s that the people deserve to hear from all parties,” said Bruinooge spokesperson Myrrhanda Novak.

All political parties use 10 percenting, said Bagnell.

“Millions of them go out across Canada,” he said.

Conservative ridings could well be receiving Liberal flyers “compliments” of Bagnell.

“The party headquarters does it—they send (flyers) out to different ridings with different MPs names on them,” he said.

“My name’s on some somewhere.”

Liberals would ideally like to put the kibosh on 10 percenting, but feel they need to match the junk mailing of other parties, said Bagnell.

“We certainly try to make ours more factual and less partisan—because they’re taxpayer-funded,” he said.

Contact Tristin Hopper at

tristinh@yukon-news.com

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