With major changes coming to Victoria council, false advertising is not what voters need.
An email sent out early Monday from an individual with VIVA Victoria did just that.
The email claimed to be from the “Director Child Care Services” and was sent from the email address email@example.com. The email also signed off with Island Health BC.
Victoria Buzz received a copy of the email, which appeared as though it was coming from Island Health and specifically endorsing all candidates in the City of Victoria and SD61 that are part of the VIVA Victoria slate.
This group has already come under scrutiny after it came to light the slate was being endorsed by the far right-wing People’s Party of Canada.
“There are many candidates running and we understand it may be a daunting task to sift through all the information to determine which are the best candidates, representing views which align with those of us in the field of child care,” the email reads.
The full email can be seen below with the list of candidates that were endorsed:
In an email statement to Victoria Buzz, Island Health confirmed it did not send the email and would never endorse political candidates.
On Monday afternoon, VIVA Victoria released a statement denouncing the email that was sent out and said the person accused of sending it has been fired the person.
That email address has since been deleted.
“The email was the subject of much discussion on social media and allegations were made that VIVA Victoria had sent this email in an attempt to sway voters. This email was a complete and utter surprise to our organization, and we immediately issued a statement disavowing authorship,” the organization said.
“Since that time, more information has been published concerning the alleged origin of this email and an individual connected with our Elector Organization has been accused of sending it. As a result of these allegations we have parted ways with this individual and they are no longer affiliated with VIVA Victoria.”
Please read our statement regarding the email sent earlier today:https://t.co/MelHjBc4C9#VIVAVictoria condemns any efforts to misinform the public, had no prior knowledge of, did not send, and disavows this communication. #yyjpoli #YYJElxn
— VIVA Victoria (@Vote4VIVA) October 3, 2022
The list of endorsements included several names that are not affiliated with group, including Stephen Andrew who is running for mayor of Victoria.
Victoria Buzz reached out to Andrew’s team but did not hear back prior to this publication, however, he did reject the endorsement to other media outlets.
Matt Dell, who is running for council, took to Twitter to also call out the actions of the sender saying “This is very wrong. My wife is an Island Health employee and many of her colleagues for this fake email.”
This is very wrong. My wife is an Island Health employee and many of her colleagues got this fake email. Let’s keep misinformation and far-right reactionary politics out of local elections. #yyj #yyjpoli #victoriabc pic.twitter.com/RMCjUNPoqQ
— Matt Dell (@mattdellok) October 3, 2022
Victoria Buzz asked Island Health if legal action would be taken but did not respond to the question.
Election day takes place October 15th.