Soccer moms call foul on election e-mail
Soccer moms call foul on election e-mail Say use of 3,000-name list wrong Bethany Lindsay, North Shore NewsPublished: Friday, November 14, 2008
PARENTS of some North Shore soccer players are complaining that the executives of their sports club have misused an e-mail list by endorsing candidates for the upcoming municipal election.
The message from the North Shore Girls Soccer Club was sent out on Sunday, and endorses full slates of council and school trustee candidates for both the City and the District of North Vancouver.
"We get so many e-mails as is. It's just totally against privacy issues, I think," said mother Carmencita Walsh. "That e-mail (list) is supposed to be just for communication regarding times and dates for soccer games."Email to a friendPrinter friendly Font:
The unsigned e-mail, which was sent to the families of more than 3,000 members of the NSGSC, begins: "To get soccer the practice and playing fields necessary, we need municipal politicians who will support the development of additional facilities."
It goes on to say that the recommended candidates were chosen after an all-candidates' meeting sponsored by the North Vancouver Community Sport and Recreation Council on Oct. 30.
During the meeting, one of the questions asked to all candidates was, "Are you in favour of additional artificial turf fields to be built, if elected, within your next term of office? If so, how many do you feel are required and where should they be located?"
According to the e-mail, the endorsed candidates were those whose answers proved they are "most supportive of the needs of the soccer community." Answers were scored independently and tabulated by Mac Nelson and Mike Brown, both members of the council.
The NSGSC e-mail was sent from Nelson's club account; the club's executive approved distributing the recommendations at a meeting on Nov. 4.
Soccer parent Nadine Garland said that the e-mail is an irresponsible and unethical use of members' addresses to promote a political agenda. She believes that the e-mail should have included a transcript of the candidates' answers to the question so that parents could choose for themselves.
"Let us make an educated decision," Garland said.
Several other parents have expressed their concerns about the email to the North Shore News, complaining that their email list is not meant to be used for political purposes
The list of endorsed candidates includes school trustee candidate Barry Forward, who is the NSGSC's registrar. He said he had nothing to do with either creating the slate or sending it out to the club's members. Campaign commitments prevented him from attending the Nov. 4 meeting when the executive opted to distribute the e-mail.
The slate has also been circulated by the Lions Gate Soccer Association and the Mount Seymour Soccer Association.
The e-mail from the Mount Seymour group includes a disclaimer that reads: "This information is sent for information purposes only."
The endorsed candidates for the district are Roger Bassam, Robin Hicks, Mike Little, Doug Mackay-Dunn, David McKee, and Lisa Muri for councillor, and Forward, Cyndi Gerlach, Jane Thornthwaite, and Linda Williams for school trustee.
For the city, the recommendations are Bob Fearnley, Guy Heywood, Craig Keating, Cheryl Leia, Kelly Nielson and Sam Schechter for councillor, and Linda Buchanan and Susan Skinner for school trustee.