London, ON: A Harper Conservative, possibly directed by the Hudak PC Campaign,
appears to have been caught engaging in an elaborate campaign to provide incorrect
voting location information to non-PC voters. Liberals have filed an urgent complaint
with Elections Ontario, complete with evidence of a potentially systemic attempt to
Yesterday, Ontario Liberal supporters in the riding of London North Centre received
a letter in an envelope that had no return address, directing them to vote at Ridgeview
Community Church located at 1470 Glenora Drive in London. This is the incorrect
voting location for voters like Ms. Miriam Hamou who received a letter. Ridgeview
Community Church is 4.3 km in the opposite direction from her home.
The letter was apparently signed by Tim Gatten, a paid staff person for Susan Truppe,
the Federal Conservative MP for London North Centre.
At least one other person in that same neighbourhood - in the same poll - received
the identical letter. Both homes had Liberal lawn signs.
The correct voting location for Ms. Miriam Hamou is Ryerson Public School at 940
Waterloo Street which is a significantly shorter and a more direct drive.
This is the second time this year that conservatives have been caught utilizing
virtually identical letters that provide incorrect information to non-PC voters
regarding where to vote. In the Niagara Falls by-election last February, the letter
authorized by the PC campaign directed voters to an incorrect location that was
a 15 minute drive from the proper polling location.
At the time, PC Party spokesman Alan Sakach claimed that the oddly worded letter
was just an "administrative error". (CKTB Radio, February 12, 2014)
The incidents are eerily similar to the Harper Conservatives' robocall scandal currently
before the courts in Guelph.
"Misdirecting voters is wrong. What are the odds that nearly the exact same personal
letters, one from Niagara Falls and one from London, would both be sent to identified
Liberal voters, directing them to the wrong polling stations," said London North
Centre Liberal candidate Deb Matthews.
"We know that the Hudak PCs authored one of the misleading letters, and now a Harper
Conservative has been caught signing an almost identical misleading letter," said
Matthews. "That's why the Ontario Liberal Party has filed an official complaint
with Elections Ontario regarding the letters and requested a full investigation."
Ontario's Elections Act imposes fines of up to $25,000 and two years less a day
in prison for anyone caught trying to stop Ontarians from voting.
In Ontario it is illegal to:
- Impede or attempt to stop a citizen from voting by providing false information directly
or indirectly, such as providing voters with incorrect information on the polling
station where they would be voting in a provincial election
- Impersonate an agent or representative of Elections Ontario, a provincial candidate,
or a representative of a candidate, political party or constituency association
- Direct or hire someone or a company to commit the above offences.
Ontarians should only rely upon official communications from Elections Ontario in
order to know where to vote.