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Robocall Complaints

August 26, 2012 by  

Robocall Complaints, The number of complaints about fraudulent or misleading telephone calls in last year’s federal election has almost doubled, according to court documents filed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections. By mid August, Elections Canada had received 1,394 complaints “alleging specific occurrences” in 234 of Canada’s 308 federal ridings, the lawyer for the elections watchdog says.

That’s up from the more than 700 specific complaints that the commissioner’s office publicly reported in March to clear the air after an online campaign attracted 30,000-plus expressions of concern by Canadians.

But the elections commissioner, in his latest court offering, declined to respond to a number of other disclosure requests by advocacy group the Council of Canadians.

“Like all law enforcement agencies, the Office of the Commissioner treats complaints and the office’s ongoing investigations in confidence and discloses neither the information collected nor the source of the information, except as necessary for law enforcement purposes,” wrote John Laskin, representing the commissioner’s office.

The letter goes on to “emphasize” that the total number of complaints and ridings “does not provide any indication of whether complaints are … substantiated, or whether complainants reported their voting behaviour to have been affected.”

Allegations of fraudulent and misleading phone calls designed to suppress the vote of targeted constituents during the May 2, 2011, election are currently being investigated by the commissioner’s office.

Marc Mayrand, the chief electoral officer, said this spring that the investigation “touches on the fundamentals of our democracy, how we elect our representatives. I can’t see anything more serious than that in our democratic institutions.”

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