Robocalls inappropriate, says Peter MacKay
Elections Canada, police should investigate if more allegations emerge
The Conservative Party does not need to look into "robocalls" made during the last federal election any further, Defence Minister Peter MacKay says.
"It's certainly not something our party condones," MacKay said Sunday of the fraudulent calls to voters. "It's inappropriate behaviour to say the least."
Such calls, known as a voter-suppression tactic, are illegal under the Elections Act. Both the NDP and the Liberals say at least 34 federal ridings were targeted during the last election, including two in Nova Scotia.
Voters in the Ontario riding of Guelph complained they were deliberately misdirected to non-existent polling stations through an automatic or "robodialing" operation.
Nine Conservative campaigns used the services of Racknine, the call centre whose services were used for the fraudulent calls in Ontario. That company was linked to the fraudulent calls.
Last week, a federal Conservative staff member resigned after it was reported that Elections Canada was investigating the calls. Michael Sona, who until Friday worked in Conservative MP Eve Adams's office, also worked for Conservatives in Guelph, Ont. There is no public evidence he was involved in the robocalls.
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Although he believes the case was isolated, MacKay said further action would be warranted if more people were involved.
"If there is information that is out there that's really an issue for elections Canada, or further, if there's criminal activity involved, that information should be given to police," he said. "Really if it's broader, if there are more individuals, then I think it's an investigation for Elections Canada."
In Nova Scotia, Sydney-Victoria Liberal MP Mark Eyking said Liberal supporters in his riding received late-night calls sending them to polling stations that didn't exist, but the calls came from an individual. He said he didn't file a complaint after his election victory.
- In an earlier version of this story, CBC News reported that Peter MacKay said calls directing people to wrong or non-existent polling places were isolated incidents. What he in fact said was "I think they've identified the individual that was involved in this."Mar 13, 2012 5:46 PM AT