Inside Politics

For The Record: Federal Court ruling on robocalls and electoral fraud

As reported by CBC's Laura Payton moments ago, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley has handed down his ruling in the Council of Canadians robocalls electoral challenge - and it's a doozy.

Although Mosley ultimately decided not to overturn the election results in the six ridings targeted by the applicants, he concluded that there was, in fact, evidence of fraud -- and had little praise for either the arguments, or the tactics employed by the Conservative Party in its defence, which he summed up in his concluding findings on costs: 

These proceedings have had partisan overtones from the outset. That was particularly evident in the submissions of the respondent MPs. In reviewing the procedural history and the evidence and considering the arguments advanced by the parties at the hearing, it has seemed to me that the applicants sought to achieve and hold the high ground of promoting the integrity of the electoral process while the respondent MPs engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits.  
Despite the obvious public interest in getting to the bottom of the allegations, the CPC made little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset despite early requests. I note that counsel for the CPC was informed while the election was taking place that the calls about pollingstation changes were improper. While it was begrudgingly conceded during oral argument that what occurred was "absolutely outrageous", the record indicates that the stance taken by the respondent MPs from the outset was to block these proceedings by any means.  
The preliminary stages were marked by numerous objections to the evidence adduced by the applicants. The respondent MPs sought to strike the applications on the ground that they were frivolous and vexatious, to have them dismissed as champertous and to require excessive security for costs, in transparent attempts to derail this case. 

Read the full text of the decision:

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