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Romano and Ontario PC Party won't say if fake invoices sent to Sault donors

On Friday the Ontario NDP issued a news release calling on the Doug Ford government to return any money collected through the fake invoices
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Sault MPP Ross Romano speaks at recent event in Sault Ste. Marie. Romano's office would not answer questions about whether fake invoices were recently sent to prospective donors in the Sault. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

The Ontario PC party and local MPP Ross Romano will not say whether fake invoices were sent to local prospective donors.

On Thursday the Ontario PC party apologized for the tactic used to collect money from some prospective donors in parts of Ontario. It involved an envelope that said 'invoice inside' containing a notice saying an amount between $300 and $1,000 was due.

'At no time was it our intention to mislead our valued supporters,' said a notice from the party on Thursday. 'We regret that this correspondence was sent to a limited group of supporters by one of our vendors and will not happen again. We apologize for any confusion or frustration this may have caused.'

SooToday requested an interview with local MPP Ross Romano to ask if any of the fake invoices ended up in mailboxes in the Sault.

"I would refer you to the statement from the PC Party of Ontario and direct all questions on the matter to them," said Jennifer Lipkus, press secretary for Romano.

SooToday did not receive a response in a further email when Lipkus was asked if this is a no comment from Romano.

When reached by email, Ontario PC director of communications Stephanie Bellotto did not answer specific questions about whether the mail-outs were sent to the Sault or Algoma, referring only to the statement made Thursday.

On Friday the Ontario NDP issued a news release calling on the Doug Ford government to return any money collected through the fake invoices.

“It would have been an upsetting shock for some folks to get a $300 or $1,000 official-looking invoice from the governing party. Some might have that fake invoice in their bills-to-be-paid pile, causing them stress and anxiety,” said Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP. “People deserve so much more than a half-hearted apology, signed by no one."

The NDP release said the fake invoices may have violated federal law, which would require mail that looks like an invoice, but isn't, to carry a notice that the recipient is under no obligation to pay.

"Apologize. Make it clear that there are consequences for the people who pulled this scam. And then urgently take steps to make it right — including returning any money collected," said Horwath.