There’s much secrecy surrounding Darrell Pasloski’s campaign.
And last week, it crossed the line.
Conservative campaigners going door-to-door and on the phone failed to properly identify themselves.
“We have received complaints from a number of people,” said Elections Canada’s Yukon returning officer Sue Edelman.
The Conservatives “have been going door to door and there’s also been telephone calls and the people doing this are not clearly saying why they’re there.”
Many were mistaken for Elections Canada officials, she said.
“They are asking similar questions to what our revisions agents would be asking when we go door-to-door.
“They are asking personal information.”
In many cases, it was not until the end of the conversation that the campaigners handed out a Pasloski flyer.
“When Elections Canada goes door to door, or when we phone, we’ve all signed an oath of confidentiality and we’re very careful about what we do with the information we receive — that’s private, personal information and we don’t release it to anybody,” said Edelman.
“Rest assured, if someone comes to your door, or picks up the phone and talks to you from Elections Canada, we clearly identify ourselves at the beginning of our conversation. And if they come to your door, they’re going to have a huge badge on — bright yellow — and we’re very clear about who it is that’s gathering the information.
“Our goal is simple, just to make sure you can vote.”
Edelman followed up with Pasloski’s campaign.
“And they’re working very hard to make sure this doesn’t continue,” she said.
“Everybody’s trying to get people to vote — it’s just the parties are trying to get people to vote for them.”
The problem has been corrected, said Warren Holland, who is working on Pasloski’s campaign.
Holland, executive assistant to Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Brad Cathers, wouldn’t specify his role in the campaign.
“Oh, I don’t know, campaign worker,” he said, when pressed.
Craig Tuton, chair of the Yukon Hospital Board and Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, also wouldn’t specify his role in the campaign at a previous media briefing.
“I work with the campaign,” he said at the time.
In what capacity?
“I work with the campaign,” he said.
Now, those working with the campaign will be wearing buttons.
“There was a couple of incidents that we were aware of that the people they were talking to didn’t feel they had identified themselves as Darrell’s campaigners,” said Holland.
“And they were confused and thought that they were working on behalf of Elections Canada, so the scripts are very clearly marked that the individuals are working under Darrell Pasloski’s campaign.”
Pasloski’s team is currently updating its copy of the Elections Canada voters’ list.
“I mean, every candidate is doing that right now,” said Holland.
“He’s got people out trying to update the list, we’re trying to identify voters and all that stuff.
“And all our folks now will have a Conservative button on their lapel when they arrive — quite a large one so that there will be a visual there,” he added.
“The scripts were clear to begin with, but we’ve got people real keen and a lot of people that haven’t done it before. So there were a couple of mistakes made, and we acknowledge that and we’ve corrected it, so that’s where we’re at.”