adam pham

Toronto not impressed with local PC candidate's campaign tactics

Politicians, as a group, have a reputation for being shady — but there's a huge difference between fudging some facts and intentionally trying to trick people with sneaky bombardments of mailbox garbage.

The latter tactic, as Parkdale-High Park Progressive Conservative candidate Adam Pham is learning this week, could not only tick off your potential constituents; it could land you in hot water with the legal system.

Pham, a multilingual real estate agent with a Ph D. in education, is currently running to become the next Member of Provincial Parliament for Parkdale-High Park.

He is a member of the Ontario PC Party and says he's running in support of Doug Ford as our province's next Premier.

With longtime NDP incumbent Cheri DiNovo now retired from politics, this is a competitive riding. It's also quite large, with over 100,000 voters who, today, must choose between Pham, Liberal candidate Nadia Guerrera, NDP candidate Bhutila Karpoche or the Green Party's Halyna Zalucky.

Pham is definitely one of the better known candidates of the bunch right now, but not for the reasons he might have hoped.

Several different threads have popped up on Reddit in recent days to slam the PC candidate's aggressive and, some might say, invasive distribution of campaign materials.

First, there are the hydro meter magnets.

Campaigners for Pham have reportedly been slapping red magnets on hydro boxes affixed to private homes in the area, much to the furor of residents who accuse them of trespassing and tampering.

"Hydro One CEO salary for 2017 is $6.2 million," reads the magnet. "Kathleen Wynne and Nadia Guerrera think YOU should PAY his salary with your hydro bill."

Locals say that Pham's team also recently put some scary-looking campaign materials on the windshields of local cars. "NDP violation... fight the car tax" read the yellow sheets of parking ticket-sized paper, which, obviously, are meant to look like parking tickets.

Over the past few days, critics have become particularly heated over red and white postcards that read "Liberals for Adam Pham."

The flyers are believed to have been designed so that they look like they're from the Liberal Party, and they encourage supporters of that party to strategically vote for PCs in an attempt to thwart the NDP.

Only one small, difficult-to-read, divergent line of text on the side of the card indicates that it was authorized by Pham's campaign.

Parkdale-High Park Progressive Liberal candidate Nadia Guerrera is having none of it.

Her campaign issued a cease-and-desist notice against Pham's campaign on Wednesday, as well as a formal complaint to Elections Ontario.

"It has come to our attention that Adam Pham's campaign is distributing a misleading and defamatory campaign ad," reads the letter from a lawyer representing Guerrero's campaign. "The PC Ad is published on red card stock, designed to appear as if it is OLP literature. It is not."

The letter says that Pham must stop distributing the cards immediately, and that he must issue a full retraction and apology to avoid legal action.

"These types of 'dirty tricks' have no legitimate place in Ontario politics," continues the letter. "It is a disturbing affront to our democratic processes, to  say the least."

Pham has not yet responded publicly to Guerrera and the public's allegations, though a volunteer for his campaign did answer someone who asked about the hydro meter magnets on Facebook yesterday.

"It is not illegal. Prior to rolling out this imaginative way of communicating about the Liberal government's failure at fixing the Hydro mess, our team sought legal advice," reads the reply.

"Some people have told us they feel it is "almost criminal" to pay someone $6.2 million per year when other CEOs are earning much less."

Lead photo by

Adam Pham

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