Politics

Conservatives won't block new evidence in robocalls case

Lawyers for the Conservative Party have dropped their objections to new expert evidence being entered in the ongoing legal battle over robocalls in last year's federal election campaign.
Seven Conservative MPs' 2011 election victories are being challenged in court by voters backed by the Council of Canadians. The MPs, clockwise from top left: Kelly Block, John Duncan, Jay Aspin, Joyce Bateman, Joe Daniel, Lawrence Toet and Ryan Leef. (Conservative.ca/CBC)

Lawyers for the Conservative Party have dropped their objections to new expert evidence being entered in the ongoing legal battle over robocalls in last year's federal election campaign.

Arthur Hamilton, a lawyer for the party, said Thursday morning that he and a lawyer for the Council of Canadians, which is acting for voters trying to overturn the results in seven ridings, had agreed to argue the merits of the new evidence before the judge at trial, rather than fighting about whether the material should even be filed.

The case is scheduled to be heard Dec. 10 to 14.

The evidence includes a fresh affidavit from pollster Frank Graves, who says the robocalls scheme was widespread across the country.

Thursday's development does not mean the Conservatives accept Graves's findings, only that they no longer object to the affidavits being in the court record.

The Conservatives had earlier argued that the new evidence would upset the timetable of the case, and have also suggested that Graves is not an independent expert.

With files from Terry Milewski

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