Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Actors Hired to Pose as Ontario Tory Supporters outside Leaders' Debate

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Actors Hired to Pose as Ontario Tory Supporters outside Leaders' Debate

Article excerpt

Actors hired to play Ontario Tory supporters

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TORONTO - Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives spent part of their day Tuesday explaining why a local candidate hired actors to pose as Tory supporters outside the first leaders' debate ahead of the Ontario election.

A group of people hoisting signs and wearing shirts with slogans supporting Ford cheered as the party leader arrived at the CityNews television studios for the debate held in downtown Toronto on Monday evening.

It later came to light that the crowd was made up of actors hired by a Toronto candidate -- a move that was wrong, Ford's spokeswoman said.

"Doug Ford has attracted record crowds since entering the race for PC leader," Melissa Lantsman said in a statement. "A local candidate made a decision to engage a casting agency. This was unnecessary and a mistake. It will not happen again."

Ford said he didn't know about the paid supporters when asked about the matter at a news conference. …

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