British Columbia

Misleading election call traced to Conservatives, says B.C. woman

A B.C. woman has told CBC News she received a series of calls during the 2011 federal election campaign from a number that she traced to the Conservative Party.

Woman says repeated calls asked for donations then claimed polling place changed

A Mission, B.C., woman says she was given misleading information by the Conservative Party a few days before the May 2011 federal election.

Astrid Dimond said she had been called six times for Conservative donations during the last election. After a seventh call, she said she did an internet search on the caller’s phone number, which had shown up on her call display. 

"It came up as the Conservative Party in Victoria," Dimond said.

The next time she received a call from the same number, she told the caller she was supporting the NDP in the election in the hopes the calls would stop.

Two days before the election, Dimond said she got another call from the same number.

"[The caller] just said, ‘Did you know the polling station had changed,’ and basically, I said, ‘No it hasn't,’ and that was the end of the conversation. I wouldn't let her continue because I knew it was a falsehood."

Dimond said some of her neighbours were getting similar calls and they all knew the information was wrong.

Complained to Elections Canada 

Dimond said she sent a complaint to Elections Canada about the aggressive and ultimately misleading calling.

In an email response to Dimond, the federal agency said that, "no issue of compliance or enforcement arises."

However, the agency also suggested it was already aware that misleading or nuisance calls were being made.

"Your complaint will also be considered in context with a broader inquiry ongoing with regard to irritating calls that have been occurred during this general election campaign," Elections Canada said.

The "robocalls" issue has dominated House of Commons question period for most of this week.

The riding in which Dimond lives — Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission — has been held by Conservative Randy Kamp since 2004.

CBC News has been told about suspicious calls in nine B.C. ridings:

  • Burnaby-Douglas.
  • Burnaby-New Westminster.
  • New Westminster-Coquitlam.
  • North Vancouver.
  • Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission.
  • Prince George-Peace River.
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands.
  • Vancouver Quadra.
  • Vancouver South.

With files from the CBC's Mike Clarke and Eric Rankin