A Thanksgiving message from Calgary mayoral candidate Bill Smith has stirred up some less-than-thankful responses from Calgarians who wonder how Smith got a hold of their email addresses.
Mike Morrison, a writer and activist who has been vocal in his opposition to Bill Smith on social media, was one of the people who received an email on Monday morning with the subject line: "Gratitude on Thanks Giving Day."
The email ends with a post-script asking the receiver to share it with family and friends, volunteer for the Smith campaign, and donate to "help pay for additional radio or tv ads."
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He thinks the United Conservative Party, of which he's a member, shared its mailing list with Smith's campaign.
"I can't think of another reason," said Morrison, who says he bought a PC Party membership — which is now a UCP membership — in order to support pro-LGBTQ candidates.
"My email, because I work in the media, I guess is pretty easy to find, but the emails of all the people who replied to my tweet and the post I saw on Reddit, I mean, it only leads to one conclusion and that's that provincial political parties are sharing our emails with mayoral candidates."
The allegations of a list being shared with the campaign were all over social media on Monday, but it remained speculative.
The UCP did not immediately return a request for comment.
Smith, for his part, lays the blame on a contractor that he would not identify when asked by CBC News.
"They're a company and they do this type of stuff for a lot of different campaigns and apparently what they did was they merged some of their lists, and we said Happy Thanksgiving to more people than we had intended on," said Smith.
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Morrison said it's the principle of the thing that bothers him, even though it appears there was nothing legally wrong with the mailout.
"No one likes getting unsolicited emails, and many people that got the email this morning never asked for information from Bill Smith, and yet we all woke up to an email from Bill Smith," he said.
Smith is vying to be mayor against Andre Chabot, Naheed Nenshi and a host of other hopefuls.