Kamloops MP Cathy McLeod wants to wait for the conclusion of an Elections Canada investigation before deciding on whether to use in the future the company involved in the robocall scandal embroiling Ottawa.
The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP acknowledged she used the services of RackNine Inc. during the last federal election campaign, but said she is unaware of any issues in the local riding.
McLeod said she used the company during the first week of the campaign to call people to ask for support and volunteers on her campaign.
“This is a fairly effective way to get out a lot of calls in a short period of time,” she told KTW.
According to Elections Canada’s campaign-financing summary for the riding, McLeod spent $328 in the May election for RackNine’s services.
She said only a few companies have the technology and capacity to do the work.
The issue of robocalls came into the spotlight in recent weeks after residents in a Guelph, Ont., riding complained of misleading robocalls, which directed them to the wrong polling station.
Since then, it’s been reported Elections Canada has had more than 31,000 complaints from as many as 70 ridings across the country.
When KTW asked McLeod why she didn’t use local volunteers to do the calling, she said she did use some, but the robocall service was a cost-effective way of reaching thousands of households in the riding.
She explained RackNine has the technology to deliver the phone calls, but it was her message recorded on the calls and sent out to residents.
She said she has heard from some supporters who weren’t happy about receiving the robocalls, but added it is up to each candidate during a campaign to weigh the value of engaging in the practice.
The MP said she supports the Elections Canada investigation, adding if anyone is found in violation of the rules, they should be prosecuted.