Appearance of partisan pitch on Stephen Harper's Twitter account raises questions

OTTAWA – Messages sent from the prime minister’s Twitter account are drawing attention to how Stephen Harper is using the social media service.

Harper encouraged people to sign up for the Conservative party mailing list Monday via what many consider his official Twitter account.

Government policy forbids the use of federal social media accounts and other public communications for partisan purposes.

But Harper’s office says the account used to send the partisan pitch is one of two used by the prime minister and isn’t his official government account.

Last month, Harper sent a tweet that expressed condolences for the death of a Hamilton man who had been missing for a week.

He was criticized for failing to express similar sentiments when the remains of an aboriginal woman who had been missing for seven years were discovered around the same time.