Robocall Poll on Casinos A Preview of Our Next Wedge Issue? - 2012-04-05
Last month, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation announced that it intends to build a resort casino somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, and now Mayor Rob Ford appears to be taking up the cause. He's been touting the job-creation potential of the proposal (though the economic benefits of casinos are notoriously hard to measure), and has even said he'd be open to a referendum.
Last night, reports began circulating on Twitter that residents in different parts of the city were receiving robocalls inviting them to take part in a phone poll designed to gauge their feelings about the prospect of a resort casino in Toronto. The poll also sought their opinions of their local councillors, as well as the mayor.
We have a recording of the robocall, provided to us by local activist Dave Meslin, embedded above. The call is conducted by a recorded male voice, who, at the end, identifies a company called "iFusion" as being responsible for putting the whole thing together. That name doesn't register on Google, but the phone number that the robocalls originated from does, as city hall observer Jonathan Goldsbie was the first to point out. The number is associated with a virtual call centre company called Campaign Support, whose administrative contact uses the same email address as Amber-Joy Kouvalis, wife of Nick Kouvalis, Rob Ford's former campaign manager and chief of staff. Kouvalis is head of Campaign Research, a political research consultancy.