Unlike Wildrose, Tories followed robocall rules, official says
President of Progressive Conservatives says CRTC has not contacted his party
In the wake of the Wildrose Party’s fine for improper robocalls, the Alberta Tories say they followed the rules and do not expect any similar reprimand.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) fined the Wildrose Party $90,000 for robocalls it made ahead of the 2012 provincial election.
The calls were in contravention of CRTC regulations that say the name of the party sponsoring the call, an address and contact telephone number need to be included.
Party association president Jim McCormick said the Tories have not been contacted by the CRTC in connection with robocalls.
"We have not had any inquiries from the same organization, so obviously as I understand it, it’s a complaint driven process, so certainly we weren't aware of any on what we have done."
McCormick said his party knew the rules and followed them.
The CRTC will not reveal whether any other provincial political parties in Alberta are under investigation.
Fine sends important message, says political scientist
University of Calgary political scientist Melanee Thomas said she doubts the fine will have much effect on the party’s popularity.
"I get the impression that for people who are not Wildrose supporters, this would help solidify an already negative view," she said.
"Were this closer to an actual election then I would say it would have the potential to be quite damaging, but at this point it probably doesn’t."
She does say the fine sends an important message for all parties.
"I'm glad there is an independent agency that is stepping in and saying 'there are rules, they have to be followed and these are the penalties.'"
Automated calls upset many Albertans in the last provincial election.
Elections Alberta received about 800 complaints, most from people frustrated with the frequency of calls or having their phone ring in the middle of the night.
Those complaints were passed on to the CRTC.