Toronto councillor blasted for 'incredibly misleading' election robocalls

A Toronto councillor seeking re-election is calling herself a "John Tory-candidate" in robocalls, even though the mayor hasn’t made any endorsements in this year’s council race.

Eglinton-Lawrence candidate accuses Christin Carmichael Greb of trying to confuse voters

Ward 16 Coun. Christin Carmichael Greb, who is seeking re-election in October's election, has sent out robocalls claiming to be a 'John Tory-candidate.' The problem: she hasn't won the current mayor's endorsement this year. (Christin Carmichael Greb/Twitter)

A Toronto councillor seeking re-election is calling herself a "John Tory-candidate" in robocalls, even though the mayor hasn't made any endorsements in this year's council race.

Christin Carmichael Greb currently represents Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence — now Ward 8, following the province's changes to the city's electoral landscape — after narrowly winning the 2014 election by capturing just 17 per cent of the vote.

Beth Levy, one of nine candidates hoping to unseat the rookie councillor in this year's race, said she was shocked by what she heard in the robocall.

"It's incredibly misleading," Levy told CBC Toronto on Tuesday.

Carmichael Greb begins by telling voters she's "Your John Tory-candidate," before going on to say she's aligned with Tory and "incredibly proud of the work we've done."

While it's true that Carmichael-Greb almost always supports Tory's agenda, voting with the mayor 88 per cent of the time, according to data compiled by journalist Matt Elliott, it's also true that she hasn't won Tory's endorsement in 2018.

"The mayor has not endorsed any council candidates," said Tory's campaign spokesperson Keerthana Kamalavasan in an email.

But when CBC Toronto approached Carmichael-Greb at her ward's all-candidates meeting, she said of Tory, "He has told me that I'm his candidate in the area, adding, "At the beginning of the campaign, I was endorsed."

The issue wasn't brought up by any of the six candidates at the meeting on Tuesday evening.

But Levy said she believes the calls are "dishonest," and confusing for Toronto voters already struggling with the confusion of a changing ward structure. She said some of her supporters have called Tory's office to demand answers about the call.

However, Levy said she's not sure if she'll file a complaint with the integrity commissioner, noting Carmichael Greb didn't explicitly say she'd been endorsed by the current mayor.

CBC Toronto has contacted Carmichael Greb's campaign and is awaiting a response.

Toronto's election day is Oct. 22.

About Ward 8: Eglinton-Lawrence:

  • Population: 114,395
  • Population density: 5,046 per square km
  • Homeowners: 24,290
  • Renters: 19,930
  • Percentage of low-income residents: 14 per cent
  • Unemployment rate: 7.5 per cent
  • Motorists (driver or passenger): 26,545
  • Public Transit Users: 20,030
  • Active Transportation (walk or bike): 3,545
  • Source: Statistics Canada 2016

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