Burlington mayoral candidate Marianne Meed Ward is flagging numerous resident reports of an election focused telephone campaign as “dirty politics.”
The downtown councillor says residents started calling and emailing her on Sunday, Aug. 26, about a survey being conducted by a Toronto firm. It allegedly involved the dissemination of various false statements that the caller claimed were made by Meed Ward with residents being asked to rate their support for them on a scale of one to ten.
“They’re appalling, it’s race-baiting, it’s anti-women. They’re just unbelievably negative and outrageous statements that no decent person would ever say and I certainly didn’t,” Meed Ward stressed.
Residents, she says, relayed that the statements had to do with hijabs, domestic abuse and employment.
Fellow mayoral candidate Mike Wallace has responded with a statement denouncing the telephone campaign. “I wish to assure the voters in Burlington that neither I nor any member of my team is involved in this quite negative campaign tactic,” writes Wallace.
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From what the downtown councillor has gathered from residents, no other candidates in the race are mentioned on the call but questions do arise about developments in her ward and the business community.
Meed Ward says it’s unclear who paid for the firm’s services but that they must have “deep pockets.”
She says she plans to file a complaint with the Market Research and Intelligence Agency and launch an investigation into whether the survey is a violation of third-party advertising rules.
As for the firm itself, she says they have yet to respond to her request to cease and desist.
“It is a civil offence and so we are looking at options for filing a defamation claim.”
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