MP Cotler decries fake by-election cold calls
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler said phone calls to his constituents suggesting there is a pending by-election for his seat are false and misleading.
Mindy Burstein said she received a phone call on Nov. 9 from a telemarketer asking her if she would support the Conservative party in the upcoming by-election. But no by-election has been called in that riding.
She says the call came as a surprise.
At a press conference in his Mount Royal riding Friday, Cotler said about 20 of his constituents have received similar calls, insinuating he has stepped down or is about to.
Cotler said his riding office was able to trace the calls to an Ontario-based market research firm called Campaign Research. He said the firm has ties to the federal and provincial Conservatives.
Campaign Research declined to comment and calls to the conservative party have not been returned.
Cotler said the phone calls and the confusion they've caused among his constituents are distracting from his work as an MP.
"It interferes with the compelling issues that the Canadian people are entitled to know about," he said, adding he has no plans to step down.
"I am probably now as active, if not more active, than in my 12 years as an MP," he said.
Cotler brought the issue to the House of Commons Thursday, asking the Speaker of the House to investigate what he called a "breach of my parliamentary privilege."
On Friday, Cotler said he hopes the issue will be resolved quickly. "I'm asking the speaker to rule as quickly as possible on this, because we need to put an end to this practice."