Man says robocall impersonated Alberta Party leader and supported UCP

The Alberta Party is calling for the province’s election commissioner to investigate

Jason Kenney speaks to the media at his first convention as leader of the United Conservative Party in Red Deer, Alta., Sunday, May 6, 2018. A Calgary judge has denied an injunction that would have postponed an investigation into the United Conservative Party’s leadership race until after Alberta’s April 16 provincial election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Alberta Party is calling for the province’s election commissioner to investigate after a man says he received a robocall that impersonated the party’s leader and said he supports the United Conservatives.

Bob Wispinski of Ardrossan, east of Edmonton, says he picked up his landline Saturday afternoon and the recorded voice identified himself as Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel.

READ MORE: Canada can expect election meddling, but not on scale seen in U.S., spies warn

Wispinski says the recording praised United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney and concluded by saying that he would be supporting Kenney in Tuesday’s election.

Mandel says he has never advocated voting for anyone other than the Alberta Party.

The UCP and a representative for its candidate for the Strathcona-Sherwood Park constituency, which includes Ardrossan, say they aren’t connected with the call.

The NDP won the seat in the 2015 election.

“I answered the call and it says, ‘Hi, I’m Stephen Mandel of the Alberta Party. As you know, Tuesday we’re having an election, and if you believe in Alberta, Jason Kenney has all the answers,” said Wispinski.

“At first I thought this makes no sense. Why would anybody do that? And I thought, what the hell? I’ve never heard this kind of politicking going on before.”

Wispinski, who supports the Alberta Party and is familiar with Mandel’s voice from the TV leaders’ debate and from when Mandel was Edmonton’s mayor, said it really did sound like Mandel.

He said he called a friend who is an Alberta Party candidate, who then invited him to share his information with the party.

“How many other people have been misled? How many votes have we already lost?” Mandel asked in a news release Sunday.

“With the polls opening in less than 48 hours we call on the RCMP and Elections Integrity Commissioner to take immediate action before any further damage to our campaign is done.”

Calls and emails to the commissioner’s office were not immediately returned on Sunday.

The UCP responded that all of its calls follow provincial and federal requirements, and clearly identify that they are coming from the UCP. The party also said the call “does appear to align with a narrative the NDP is pushing.”

“It is disappointing that some in this election are more interested in fear and smear tactics, as opposed to talking about their record and vision for the future,” the UCP stated.

Mitch Gray, campaign manager for Strathcona-Sherwood Park UCP candidate Nate Glubish, said their campaign isn’t connected to the calls.

“I have absolutely no knowledge of where that call originated, but it certainly wasn’t from us,” Gray said.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley said she knew nothing of the calls when asked about them at a campaign event in Calgary on Sunday.

“I’ve honestly just heard about the rumours on this. So obviously it shouldn’t happen and I certainly hope people use due diligence.”

Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Clearview and staff are providing $1,525 towards ensuring families have enough to eat over the holidays

“Food Bank usage in Stettler and other areas continues to increase.”

‘You can take the kid from the farm, but you can’t take the farm from the kid!’

Former area resident Maxine Berry reflects on growing up years in Endiang region

Red Deer-Lacombe MP, other Conservative MPs meet with AB justice minister

Calkins said the justice system is a revolving door for criminals targeting rural areas

Businesses and organizations team up for Miracle on 50th

Shop local, celebrate local on Dec. 14th

The Association of Communities Against Abuse continues to build awareness and offer support

A new support and empowerment group has also been started in Stettler

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Alberta to change drug coverage for 26,000 patients, expects to save up to $380M

Patients being treated with biologics on government-sponsored drug plans must switch to biosimilars

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Pet medical neglect cases on the rise in economically ailing Calgary

Alberta’s unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent in November compared with 4.4 per cent five years ago

Alberta premier opens war room to promote ‘truth’ about energy industry

Effort includes a $2.5-million public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-oil advocacy groups

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read