MP defending decision amidst robocall controversy in Bay Ward

A Liberal MP is defending her decision to send robocalls on behalf of her husband running for city councillor.

Residents in Bay Ward received a call recently saying, “I am Anita Vandenbeld... and I am asking you to vote for my husband Don Dransfield.”

Vandenbeld is the MP for Ottawa West-Nepean. She says she always wanted to be open and transparent about her relationship with Dransfield.

Don Dransfield is running for city councillor in Bay Ward.

Vandenbeld says, “I think the most important thing is that we are open and transparent. About our relations and about our affiliations”

The robocall continues to say “As your Federal MP I am looking for a municipal counterpart that is going to fight for as hard for the people in our community as I do.”

Vandenbeld says she did not break any rules.

But former Liberal MP Marlene Catterall says this is breaking the rules of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.

“I have to say I don’t think it was appropriate,” says Catterall, pointing to Section 9 of the Code.

The section says, “ A Member shall not use his or her position as a Member to influence a decision of another person so as to further the Member’s private interests or those of a member of his or her family, or to improperly further another person’s or entity’s private interests.”

Many voters say whether or not they broke the rules, they do not feel it was appropriate.

One such voter, Margaret Thomas, says “I think that is just not right.  I don’t like seeing the partisan politics in the municipal venue. We have enough partisan politics!”