09/21/2015 12:42 EDT | Updated 09/21/2015 12:59 EDT

Hoax Website Targets Tories, Asks For Donations To 'Conservative Legacy Fund'

"This is not a Conservative Party of Canada website."


The Tories are the subject of a strange hoax website soliciting donations for a so-called "Conservative Legacy Fund."

An IP search of the domain conservativelegacyfund.ca shows the website was created a week ago.

The site lists a fake rationale for the fund, describing it as "coming together to support Conservative leaders who were convicted by a biased court system while defending Canadian values."

Clicking "Donate Now" on the fund page redirects to the Conservative Party's actual donation page, which solicits money on behalf of leader Stephen Harper and his party. Navigation tabs at the top also link back to the Tories' website.

"This is not a Conservative Party of Canada website," Tory spokesperson Stephen Lecce told The Huffington Post Canada by email Monday.

The fake website features a large photo of former Tory MP Dean Del Mastro. The site says he and former staffer Michael Sona "both sacrificed their personal freedom to ensure Conservative victories in federal elections."

"Their dedication to the core principles of the Conservative cause helped us lead Canada on a path to a future of unlimited possibility."

Both were convicted of electoral fraud offenses.

Harper is campaigning Monday in Del Mastro's former riding of Peterborough. A reporter asked the Tory leader how much damage Del Mastro's conviction and the images of his former parliamentary secretary being led to a police vehicle in shackles did to his party.

"Well I think they're obviously an unfortunate reflection on the actions of that individual but we have a good strong organization and candidates, so I'm very optimistic about that area," he said.

Elections Canada warns of dirty tricks

Meanwhile, The Canadian Press has released details of a May 2014 presentation by Elections Canada warning of the potential for dirty tricks in this election.

The presentation on threats to electoral operations warns that voter suppression techniques gaining traction in the United States were likely to spill into other countries.

The presentation cited four stages of a successful voter suppression plan, including preventing non-supporters from going to the polls through scare tactics, misinformation, or systematic challenging of registrations, as well as preventing non-supporters from voting by contesting eligibility or identification, and through intimidation.

It came months before Sona was convicted of participating in a scheme to misdirect voters in Guelph, Ont. to fake poll locations during the 2011 election campaign.

With files from The Canadian Press


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