N.S. MP claims robocalls made to voters during election

A Nova Scotia MP says his riding was targeted by a dirty tricks campaign in the last federal election.

A Nova Scotia MP says his riding was targeted by a dirty tricks campaign in the last federal election.

So-called voter suppression tactics are being investigated after voters in Guelph, Ont., were deliberately misdirected to non-existent polling stations through an automatic or "robodialing" operation.

The calls were tracked to a firm that works for the federal Conservatives.

Nine Conservative campaigns used the services of Racknine, the call centre whose services were used for the fraudulent calls. It's not unusual to use call centres for legitimate campaigning.

The company and Prime Minister Stephen Harper deny involvement or knowledge of the dirty tricks.

"I had some sense something was wrong," said Mark Eyking, a Sydney-Victoria Liberal MP. "It's being harassed. People were asked to go to location that didn't exist."

Eyking said a dirty tricks phone campaign was directed at Liberal supporters and the late night calls were from a person. He said he didn't file a complaint after his election victory.

Conservative Cecil Clarke, who ran against Eyking in the 2011 federal election, denied any knowledge.

Localizing the story

Conservative campaign worker Todd Graham questions the Liberal story.

"Given what's happening in another part of the country, people are looking to tie it in to activities in the local area. I can tell you that the local riding association and the campaign to elect Cecil Clarke didn't involve themselves in anything like that," Graham said.

The federal NDP meanwhile claim South Shore-St. Margaret's was one eight ridings targeted for robocalls, saying they have received emails from voters. In that race, Conservative Gerald Keddy beat New Democrat Gordon Earle.

Then-NDP riding association president said he doesn't recall it happening.

"I don't remember it coming up as an issue," said Wolfgang Ziemer. "Something may have off to the side mentioned it on the side. But I don't remember it — we debrief after the election and it did not come up in my memory."

Elections Canada will not comment to CBC News. The federals Conservatives say that they are unaware of any allegations outside of Guelph.