Dirty tricks phone calls alleged in Vancouver South
Voters awakened late at night by callers claiming to be from Liberal Party
CBC News has learned another B.C. riding has been implicated in the telephone dirty tricks scandal currently causing a furor in the House of Commons.
The Liberal Party of Canada says voters in Vancouver South where Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh lost his seat were subject to harassing late night calls during last year’s federal election campaign.
In the week leading up to the vote, people started complaining about being wakened up by incoherent late night calls from people who said they were with the Liberal Party, said Don McDonald, the party’s B.C. campaign director in the last election.
Most people hung up on the callers, because of the bizarre nature of the calls and the hour at which they were made, but the fact the calls purportedly came from the Liberals was one thing people remembered.
McDonald said he knows they were not calls from any Liberal campaign.
"Every call is actually recorded and we have people supervising when those calls are actually being made," McDonald said Tuesday. McDonald said Dosanjh lost the riding to Conservative Wai Young by 3,500 votes and the calls wouldn't have made any difference to the outcome. But the attempt to influence the election in such a way is scandalous.
"It's very, very damaging when you have these kinds of things happen in an election and it is particularly damaging for Canada because we send people out around the world to help people run fair elections," said McDonald.
McDonald said if they can figure out where the calls came from, the Liberals will make an official complaint to Elections Canada.
People in the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, won by Green Party leader Elizabeth May, also were bothered by similar calls, May said.