Leef told robocall petitioners he followed the rules

Before the robocall scandal broke in the territory, a group of concerned Yukoners had already signed a national petition asking for an investigation.

Before the robocall scandal broke in the territory, a group of concerned Yukoners had already signed a national petition asking for an investigation.

Local Conservative MP Ryan Leef answered this petition with a form letter sent out on March 19.

“Recently I have received a great amount of inquiries in regards to ‘Robo-Call election fraud’ and voter suppression,” wrote Leef. “At this point in time, there are a lot of accusations being levied, and the media attention has generated rightful concern from constituents all across Canada.

“In respect to Yukon, we did a great job on running a respectful and legal campaign that followed all Elections Canada regulations and rules.”

But Leef made these comments before reports of misleading phone calls during the May election surfaced in the territory earlier this week.

Whitehorse-area resident Bob Nardi’s household received a call about two weeks before the election asking if he was voting Conservative. He wasn’t.

Then, just days before Yukoners went to the polls, the Nardis received another call informing them that their polling station had been moved from the Hidden Valley School to the Hootalinqua Fire Hall.

But the polling station was in fact still at the school – not the fire hall.

After the robocall scandal broke, Nardi posted these concerns on Ryan Leef’s Facebook page.

But they were deleted.

So Nardi posted them on his own Facebook page. And he asked if other Yukoners had received similar calls.

So far, two Yukoners have responded to Nardi’s post.

Sylvia Leonard also got a phone call in the weeks before the election asking if she was voting Conservative. She wasn’t.

Then just days before the election she too got a call directing her to the wrong polling station.

Sandi Haryett also got a call directing her to the wrong polling station.

So she checked with her kids at Hidden Valley School to see if they were setting up for polling. They were.

So she went to the school and ignored the misleading call.

“In Ottawa, I am encouraging efforts for a complete, thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation,” wrote Leef in his March 19 letter.

“I encourage my constituents to let the evidence come out before jumping to any conclusions, largely generated by media speculation.

“If there have been any illegal acts, I strongly believe the matter should and will be dealt with according to law and that any group or individual found responsible should most certainly face the consequences for those acts.”

Leef’s campaign was a client of Responsive Marketing Group Inc. (RMG) – a company hired by 95 Conservative candidates during the last election.

In the lead-up to the election, RMG staff were asked to read scripts telling voters that Elections Canada had changed their voting locations, according to three former RMG employees interviewed last month by the Toronto Star.

On its website RMG brags, “Whether it’s raising more money or winning more votes: Bottom line … we get results.”

Leef’s campaign paid RMG $8,143.80, according to his candidate financial report, filed with Elections Canada.

Leef was not available for comment this week, according to both his Ottawa and Whitehorse offices.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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