Manitoba ex-MPs 'vindicated' with robocalls ruling
But Anita Neville and Jim Maloway disappointed judge didn't force winning MPs to vacate seats
Former Manitoba MPs Jim Maloway and Anita Neville applaud a Federal Court ruling that finds fraud occurred in the 2011 election but are saddened the judge stopped short of overturning the results in six ridings.
"Obviously, I would have liked to see him go further," Maloway, now an NDP MLA, said about Judge Richard Mosley's decision, released Thursday evening in the so-called robocalls case.
Two of those ridings were in Winnipeg.
Maloway, who was the incumbent MP in the Elmwood-Transcona riding, lost by 300 votes to Conservative Lawrence Toet. Former Liberal MP Neville lost the Winnipeg South Centre riding by just under 700 votes to Conservative Joyce Bateman.
"It's a disappointing decision in that he determined that it was not worthy of turning over the election results but we feel vindicated that the fraud was acknowledged," said Neville.
A group of voters, backed by the Council of Canadians, alleged pattern of voter harassment and misleading phone calls sent some people to the wrong polling stations.
They claimed it pointed to a co-ordinated campaign to suppress support for parties other than the Conservative Party.
"It undermined the credibility of the election," Neville said.
While Mosley found there was fraud, he couldn't determine who was responsible and said there was no evidence the Conservative Party or its candidates were directly involved.
Instead, those responsible most likely used the Conservative Party's phone number database.
If there had been any evidence a candidate or the party were involved, Mosley said he "would not have hesitated … to annul the result."
Toet and Bateman both said they are pleased with the Federal Court ruling.
"The Federal Court vindicated my team when they ruled that there was no wrongdoing by myself, my campaign team, the Conservative Party, or any of my colleagues targeted by these applications," Toet stated in an email sent Friday.
"I will continue to do what I have been doing since being elected and that is work hard to improve our community by ensuring a strong voice in government."