Elections Canada chief to brief MPs on robocalls Thursday

The head of Elections Canada will appear before a House committee Thursday to talk about the investigation into fraudulent election phone calls.

Marc Mayrand asked for chance to talk about the fraudulent election calls scandal

Marc Mayrand, the head of Elections Canada, will appear before a House committee Thursday to talk about the investigation into fraudulent election phone calls in Guelph, Ont. in the last federal election. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Canadians may get more information on the fraudulent robocalls controversy as the head of Elections Canada appears before MPs later this week.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand will appear before the procedure and House affairs committee Thursday morning after putting out a statement asking for the chance to update MPs about the ongoing investigation in Guelph, Ont. coming out of the May 2, 2011 election.

A notice for the committee meeting says the subject is "allegations of wrongdoing" during the 41st general election.

Mayrand's appearance, the timing of which was decided by the committee's Conservative chairman Joe Preston, comes at a time when many reporters will be "locked up" in the annual federal budget briefing, without access to the internet, and on a day when a lot of the public's attention will be on the budget.

Elections Canada has spent almost a year piecing together evidence in an attempt to track the source of fraudulent phone calls, claiming to be on behalf of the election agency, that directed voters in Guelph to the wrong polling station.

Reports of similar calls, both automated and live, have since surfaced in other ridings.

But the agency has answered few questions, citing the investigation, leaving many hungry for more information.

In the March 15 statement, in which Mayrand asked for the chance to update MPs, he urged Canadians not to jump to conclusions.

"Like all law enforcement bodies, the office of the commissioner generally does not disclose information on its investigative activities in order to protect the presumption of innocence and privacy," he said.

"In this regard, I advise caution about drawing conclusions based on possibly inaccurate and incomplete information."