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Comox Valley Common Sense mailout still attracting flak

Ronna-Rae Leonard, re-elected to Courtenay council, has appealed to Elections Canada to investigate how Comox Valley Common Sense came up with a mailing list before the Nov. 19 municipal election.

The group endorsed 14 candidates combined from Courtenay and Comox. Leonard, not among those endorsed, is concerned about a CVCS card that was delivered to her house but addressed to her deceased mother, who had not lived at the residence.

The matter will be forwarded to a federal commissioner.

"It is an issue of privacy," said Leonard, whose mother's taxes went to Elections Canada. "We'll see how it proceeds."

She isn't the only one upset with CVCS. Besides the mailing list mystery, Comox resident Leona Black would like to know who paid for the cards and what CVCS received in return for endorsing candidates.

"Who gave the holder of our personal and private information the freedom to give or sell this to a political group with questionable ethics?" Black said in a letter to the editor.

She suggests Cause for Concern would be a more suitable moniker for CVCS. She also challenges group members to reveal themselves and their long-term goals.

"You were given no authority to provide personal and private information to anyone other than for use in your business," Black writes. "It may be illegal or even criminal to provide this information to others; at the very least it is highly unethical."

Leonard questions whether provincial legislation requires groups such as CVCS to disclose the source of their list.

CVCS did not want to comment on the matter.

"If they won't now (disclose the source of the list), to me that says that in three years they won't have any credibility if they want to continue on as a campaign organization," Leonard said. "In the end if you're a legitimate organization, you need to be upfront about things."

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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