Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer who came under fire for unsolicited texts to Canadians in four provinces came out defending and justifying the texts that urged Canadians to fill up their vehicles with gas.
Late last week and over the weekend, the party sent messages to people in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan that warned gas prices were set to spike.
Those four provinces refused to put a price on carbon emissions and, as of Monday, have seen the federal government impose a carbon tax of $20 per tonne on them. The price is projected to rise to $50 per tonne by 2022. While the starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas, individuals in those four provinces will receive income tax rebates, averaging between $248 to $598, to offset costs.
Though Conservatives pulled contact information from their own database of supporters, a couple of media outlets reported the party used software that generates numbers at random based on provincial area codes.
The messages also promoted a Conservative party petition against the carbon pricing plan.
Scheer told reporters that Canadians shouldn’t be concerned about how the phone numbers were used.
“I can assure you that all the rules were followed as it relates to communicating with Canadians on that,” he said. “It was a helpful tool to remind people in the four provinces that are going to be paying this tax that they had one final opportunity to fill up the tank before the cost of gas went up.”
The Tory leader said the party received “very positive feedback” from people who appreciated the reminder, saying the mass-texting campaign was an “innovative” way to communicate directly with Canadians.
Some twitter users complained about these texts while others were happy to be reminded to fill up as doing so before the carbon tax kicked in on April 1 saved them a few bucks.
While Scheer has received criticism from some quarters over these annoying texts, many Canadians are expected to complain even more loudly in the weeks and months as prices of everything start to go up. -CINEWS