Polling firm fired over 'inappropriate' question

The chairman of the Ontario Conservative Party's re-election campaign is apologizing for a poll which asked people whether they would support a Jewish candidate.

Tom Long says the question was completely inappropriate, and the polling firm responsible for it has been fired from the campaign.

The telephone poll was conducted in Thornhill, just north of Toronto by Canadian Voter Contact. It asked voters if they would be more or less likely to vote for someone who is Jewish.

Follow-up questions asked whether the candidate's chances of voter support were any greater if the candidate happened to be the son of Holocaust survivors or a member of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

The description fits the riding's Liberal candidate, Dan Ronen. Ronen is the son of the Holocaust survivor who toured Auschwitz with Prime Minister Jean Chretien earlier this year.

Bernie Farber, head of the Canadian Jewish Congress says he's concerned that voters would be identified and targeted just for being members of the Jewish community.

The Conservative party has apologized for the actions of the polling firm.

"We've apologized to the Canadian Jewish Congress and through them to the individuals who were offended by this," Long says. "We don't even begin to try and defend this kind of behaviour, in fact, we condemn it."