May 29th, 2014

Fact Check: Liberals paid consultants to create fake twitter accounts

New documents show the Liberals directed high-priced consultants to create fake twitter accounts as part of an astro-turf campaign designed to suppress public criticism and manufacture the appearance of grassroots support for their plan to hit families with new tolls and fees.

“This is blatant misuse of people’s tax dollars to serve Liberal political interests. After ten years of scandal after scandal, it is time to put the Liberals in the penalty box,” said Gilles Bisson, co-chair of the New Democratic campaign.

Metrolinx, the Ontario government transit agency, is reported to have a contract with Fleishman-Hillard for $999,999 ( It appears from internal government correspondence that this contract paid for “multiple [twitter] handles and urls”.  

The plan to create fake twitter accounts and suppress criticism of the plan was overseen by senior Liberal aides, internal government emails show.  

Documents reveal Liberal aides and Metrolinx executives wanted to snuff out negative public reaction to new taxes, tolls and fees and had private consultants create twitter “handles” and website “urls” to “combat” public opposition. 

A copy of the plan states: “FH [Fleischmann Hillard] has already secured multiple handles and urls to minimize this risk”.

Metrolinx’s stated mission is “integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area”; nowhere in their mission statement does it include using high-priced consultant to create a façade of public support for Liberal campaign goals.

The documents can be found online at: