Toronto

Liberal fired for pamphlet trashing

A volunteer for Liberal candidate Joe Volpe has been dismissed after he was photographed removing Green Party election material from mailboxes in Eglinton-Lawrence riding.

Was photographed removing Green Party literature from mailboxes

Orla Hegarty, a campaign manager for Eglinton-Lawrence Green Party candidate Paul Baker, claims she saw a campaign worker for Liberal candidate Joe Volpe remove these Green Party pamphlets from mailboxes and put them in this recycling bin. ((Orla Hegarty/Picasa))

A volunteer for Liberal candidate Joe Volpe has been fired after he was photographed removing Green Party election material from mailboxes in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence and replacing them with Liberal pamphlets.

The man, who has not been identified, was captured in a series of photos removing Green Party pamphlets from mailboxes while canvassing on Friday.

Orla Hegarty, a volunteer campaign manager for Green Party candidate Paul Baker, took photos of the Liberal canvasser removing Green Party literature and posted them using Twitter.

Volpe told CBC News on Monday the volunteer has been dismissed from the campaign.

"I don't engage in that nor do I condone this kind of campaign behaviour," he told CBC News. "The issue with that canvasser was brought to our attention by the Green Party candidate and that canvasser was released by the campaign. I don't engage in dirty tricks campaigns and I don't condone them."

Hegarty also claims she witnessed — but did not photograph — Volpe himself removing Green Party literature from mailboxes, a claim Volpe denies. The photos show Volpe and the campaign worker leapfrogging each other as they knock on doors in the riding.

Baker has filed an official complaint with Elections Canada.

CBC News political blogger and parliamentary reporter Kady O'Malley has followed the story on her blog, and said the episode should serve as a cautionary tale for candidates of all parties as the campaign enters its final week.

"It's something that, to be frank, a lot of people think happens in a lot of campaigns all the time, the sort of sly removal of literature and replacing it with your own," O'Malley said.

"This time it was not only caught on video but it was also broadcast to the world and it's becoming a bit of a headache for one campaign team. It's a bit of a cautionary tale to all campaign teams that you never know who might be watching."