An anti-Conservative robo-call has surfaced from the 2011 federal election campaign in Guelph – one the Liberals are now claiming responsibility for having funded.
Conservatives accuse the Liberals of deliberately obscuring the fact they were behind the call, a charge the Grits deny.
The recorded message – circulated to the media by Conservatives Friday – attacked Guelph Tory candidate Marty Burke as anti-choice.
It says he believed “that under absolutely no circumstance should a women have the right to choose” to have an abortion.
“Government should not be able to force their beliefs on to me,” the woman delivering the anti-Conservative message said.
She identifies herself as Lori, or Laurie McDonald of Guelph.
“The race in Guelph is very close. Vote strategically on Monday to protect our hard earned rights from the Conservatives and Marty’s extreme views.”
The ad does not mention it was funded by the Liberal campaign for Frank Valeriote.
Mr. Valeriote acknowledged the anti-Burke robo-call should have identified it was funded by his campaign.
His staff said however that he claimed it on his expenses for the political race and Elections Canada knows about the calls.
Mr. Valeriote said the hard-hitting robo-call can’t be compared to the fake ones that Elections Canada is investigating, where someone impersonated the election agency and sent voters to the wrong polling station.
His staff said that the robo-call they funded was a response to “lies that were being spread about Frank's position.”
Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro is alleging the Liberals used a fake return phone number to make the anti-Burke calls.
“If he wasn't trying to intentionally mislead the recipients then why did he use a number and exchange that he knew did not exist?”
Mr. Del Mastro said the number identified as making the call was 226-209-3758.
Jeffrey Valois, a spokesman for Mr. Valeriote, said the Valeriote campaign was not using a fake return number.
“The number used was an outgoing-only local number through our call centre, Prime Contact and is a common practice,” Mr. Valois said.
“The campaign claimed the election expense and Elections Canada is aware of the calls. The only oversight is still that Mr Valeriote did not tag the call with his name,” he said.