Some local voters are complaining to the Burnaby Neighbourhood House about a robocall they received saying the organization is endorsing NDP candidate Kennedy Stewart. The problem is the calls aren’t coming from the neighbourhood house.
Antonia Beck, executive director of the neighbourhood house, said it’s definitely not them, as the organization would never endorse a political party or candidate.
“That’s so inappropriate, right? We work hard to be non-partisan and be respected in the community. We would never tell anybody who to vote for. We want people to vote, that’s the message we get out,” she told the NOW.
Beck said she’s received about five phone calls from people complaining. She also called Elections Canada to file a complaint.
The NOW contacted Stewart, who’s running in Burnaby South, and he said his office has also received complaints about the automated voice messages.
“It’s not from us,” he said. “It’s obviously somebody trying to make people angry at me.”
Stewart said it’s not the Burnaby Citizens’ Association either, whose members have been helping on his campaign.
Stewart said he hasn’t heard the message and he doesn’t know what number the calls are coming from. If it’s a U.S. phone number, that’s a clue there’s something more nefarious going on, he explained.
“People go to jail for this stuff. It’s entirely illegal,” he said. “It’s interfering with the election. People just can’t go blasting robocalls.”
Too many calls can have a suppressive effect on voters, he added, and those using the technology have to properly register with the CRTC.
Stewart also said he's lodging an official complaint with the CRTC.
Have you received one of these robocalls? Record the number and the message if possible and contact Jennifer Moreau at the NOW: 604-444-3021.
(Note: We're not even sure at this point if these are actual robocalls, or someone calling pretending to be an automated message. Again, if anyone gets a call, please contact me.)