Transit robocalls irritate residents

Referendum ballots arrive in the mail this week with No side leading in polls

Robocalls about this spring’s transit tax referendum has resulted in Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read receiving dozens of calls from frustrated and irritated residents.

Read said the complaints started on Sunday, coming to her by phone and e-mail, after city residents were contacted by a recorded message from the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

“Apparently it’s (Township of Langley mayor) Jack Froese basically indicating that there’s a town hall meeting tonight (Monday) for the south of the Fraser,” said Read.

“So our residents are offended that a message went out to them for a town hall meeting that’s for the south of the Fraser.”

Froese was hosting a telephone town hall event for one hour to answer questions about the referendum. Other mayors are doing the same thing, to coincide with residents getting their referendum ballots in the mail this week.

“There’s confusion. I don’t think we know whether the robocalls came to Maple Ridge in error, if they came on purpose, if we’re not invited, or expected to participate in the town hall for the south of the Fraser,” Read said.

Taken in the context that some recent newspaper advertising about the referendum advised Mission residents to vote Yes, it looked like another gaffe, said Read.

“There seems to be some confusion, given that Mission isn’t even a part of Metro,” said Read.

She said robocall recipients take it as a foul-up by those running the transit referendum.

“Our residents seem to be taking it not politely – they’re upset about it,” said Read.

A spokesperson from the Mayor’s Council said that the telephone town hall events were available to anyone in the region.

They are over-the-phone question-and-answer sessions designed to augment information on the mayor’s council website, mayorscouncil.ca. There also will be in-person town hall events in the region.

Read agreed that the “Yes” campaign by the Mayor’s Council is well financed, but hasn’t been a well-oiled machine in this part of the region.

“The missed advertising and the robocalls are not in their favour.”

Residents should get their ballots in the mail over the coming days. If they have not received them by March 27, they should contact Elections B.C.

Just Posted

Being Young: ‘Golden period,’ after exams

I should be plenty entertained over the summer.

Presbyterians of Port Hammond

The core group of the Ladies Aid were the wives of the men on the managing board.

Easter egg hunts and fun for families

More events scheduled for Sunday in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

Victoria ‘reviewing options’ for removing convicted councillors

Pitt Meadows lobbied for change after David Murray’s sex assault conviction

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read