Sorry! Who would have thought a document labelled “INVOICE” was not an invoice?

Do you suppose anybody at the Ontario PC Party or in Doug Ford’s office looked at this completely fake, fraudulent, coercive “fundraising” document presented as an invoice and stopped to think:

“Gee, sending out this manipulative and fraudulent document might make recipients think the team around Doug Ford is made up of manipulative people, capable of fraud?”

Because then there’s a really high risk that the very next thought in that person’s mind might be, “Hey, I wonder if any of the OTHER information Doug Ford is sending out – for example, on COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccination safety – is in any way manipulative or fraudulent? That makes me worry.”

Speaking as a recipient of the “fundraising” letter, That’s EXACTLY what I am thinking.

So the Ontario PC party, led by Premier Doug Ford, sent out a fraudulent, coercive fundraising document disguised as an invoice to a party full of loyal members, many of whom are senior citizens and lifetime supporters who pay their bills promptly. Maybe they might confuse a document headed by the word “INVOICE” in text an inch high with the words “BALANCE DUE” at the bottom with an actual invoice with a balance due. Mistakes happen. This could happen in any organization, really.

Well, no, not really. The “fundraising” package arrived in a custom-printed envelope which read on the outside “invoice enclosed.” Such a project requires multiple layers of planning; writing; editing; graphic design; approval and sign off by at least one person in authority (but usually far more than one); and then colour printing, folding, stuffing, and mailing using the Ontario PC Party’s mailing list in a variable-print process that provides personalization and unique mailing address for each individual recipient. Projects like that don’t happen by accident, or without approval.

In a serendipitous coincidence, the media images stored in my website library include this photo directly next to the Fake Invoice image. So in order to post the Fake Invoice image, I have to look at this and think, “Well, those two proud Conservatives are rolling over in their graves, for sure.”

The Party is scrambling to blame the supplier, Responsive Marketing Group, as though all of the above steps could serendipitously take place while no one who runs the Party that runs the province knew about it. This means that either there is a spectacularly incompetent group of people running all three organizations, or someone is lying.

I would like to think that when somebody from the Party apologizes for the fraudulent fundraising letter and says in a statement “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,” that means the Party regrets that this correspondence was sent, and that it will not happen again, and that they are sorry for any confusion caused.

Actually, I think it means the Party is sorry it got CAUGHT confusing members. Anyone with eyes to see and a brain to think can see the Party in fact confused the members quite intentionally. The mistake to be sorry about was the getting caught part; I do believe they are sorry about that.

These are the people providing us with information on COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine safety.

That makes me worry.