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Alberta NDP says text messages to ‘random mobile numbers’ are just another outreach method

The City of Saskatoon is testing its notifynow system on May 9 beginning at 6 p.m. CT.
The Alberta NDP has been reaching out to potential voters using text messages. File / Global News

The Alberta NDP Caucus appears to be branching out in their techniques to engage potential voters, and the new approach could come as a ding or vibration in your back pocket.

Text messages have been sent to what the caucus calls “random mobile numbers,” asking whether the recipients are supportive of initiatives like the pipeline fight.

“Hi! This is Mike from Alberta’s NDP Caucus,” reads one text message sent to a Corus employee.

“Have you heard the news? Rachel Notley and her caucus have been fighting hard for Alberta’s pipeline jobs. Do you support their actions on the pipeline?”

READ MORE: Heckling accusations dismissed in Alberta legislature

The text goes on to say the recipient can reply with the word “STOP” to stop getting the messages.

See below for a text message exchange with a Corus employee.

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Several viewers contacted Global News saying they’d gotten similar messages from people who went by Reah, Mike and Rachelle, all saying they were from the NDP caucus. Some raised concerns about the validity of the messages.

In an emailed statement from the NDP Caucus, caucus chair and Edmonton-Manning MLA Heather Sweet said the texts are sent using a program that “generates random mobile numbers to text.” She said when a person replies, they’re engaging with a volunteer on the other end.

“Like door-knocking, attending events, etc. this is just another method of outreach,” Mariampillai said.

“Albertans who opt in to interact with our volunteers have the opportunity to ask questions and get information back through conversations with real people.”

She went on to say the NDP wants to give all Albertans an equal chance to give their input on initiatives.

READ MORE: Alberta suspends ban on B.C. wine after Horgan backs down on restricting bitumen

In a text message exchange with a Corus employee and NDP volunteer, the volunteer also encouraged the recipient to sign a pro-pipeline petition created by the NDP.