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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read