Sunday, January 22, 2006

Vote Marriage support a headache for Conservative ridings: news story

I'm not sure why it's in the London Free Press and not a Toronto newspaper, but there's a story in the London Free Press about the automated calls from Pat O'Brien's anti-same sex marriage. The story seems to be consistent with everything I blogged about yesterday (here)

Calls from pro-traditional marriage group causes headaches for Conservative

NEWMARKET, Ont. — An automated phone message endorsing a Conservative in a riding north of Toronto is causing headaches for the candidate.

Newmarket-Aurora residents have been getting the calls from Vote Marriage Canada, a group opposed to same-sex marriage. In the message, spokesman Pat O’Brien asks residents to complete a survey on same-sex marriage and endorses Conservative candidate Lois Brown.

But many residents say they’ve been receiving dozens of the calls, with one business saying it had more than 50 in an afternoon. Rita Smith, Brown’s communications manager, says they didn’t approve the message and have filed complaints with police and Elections Canada.

O’Brien says he doubts people have been receiving dozens of the calls, and notes it’s within CRTC rules to conduct the survey. Smith disagrees, saying Brown’s campaign office has been flooded with complaints.

‘‘We had nothing to do with this demon dialler phone blast. It was just dropped like a bomb on the riding.

‘‘This is the last thing that anybody needs on the weekend before E-Day.’’

Brown is in a tight race in Newmarket-Aurora, where she is up against Liberal candidate Belinda Stronach.

Update. See now the CBC report.

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