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Radio station suspends anchor who was doing communications work for B.C. Liberal candidate

The B.C. Liberals' new logo is featured on top. Their old logo, below, predominantly featured their party leader's name. Some have speculated the party is attempting to distance itself from its controversial leader.

A Kelowna radio station has pulled one of its news anchors from the air after disclosures she was doing significant communications work for the B.C. Liberal agriculture minister's re-election bid.

Wendy McLeod, also a reporter, will be off the air for the duration of the campaign, said Don Shafer, vice president and regional manager for Astral Radio – B.C. Interior.

On Thursday, he said Ms. McLeod, who works at AM 1150, was given provisional permission to work on Norm Letnick's campaign to win re-election in Kelowna-Lake Country.

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"She did, but our understanding was that she was doing behind the scenes work from licking envelopes to answering calls to putting signs in lawns. We didn't know she was going to be the communications spokesperson for Norm," he said in an interview.

"When we learned that this morning, we made sure she wasn't on the air."

But he said Ms. McLeod, who has been with the station for about a year, will remain with the station. He described her as a talented newscaster, who has made a mistake.

Mr. Shafer said Ms. McLeod does a lot of volunteer work in the community and is well thought of and respected. "When she said she wanted to do some volunteer work for one of the campaigns, we didn't think that much of it – and we probably should have asked more questions."

Mr. Letnick said, in an interview, he had heard about the issue while knocking on doors, and that he thought it a matter between Ms. McLeod and her employer.

"I have over 100 volunteers so I am not in a position to check everyone's situation. It's up to them to check their situation for themselves."

He said he has been so busy door knocking and at all candidates debates that he has not even had a chance to talk to Ms. McLeod.

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Ms. McLeod was not available for immediate comment on the matter.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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