Liberal election calls records given to agency

The Liberal Party has turned over records about its federal election campaign calls to Elections Canada, interim leader Bob Rae says.

Conservatives also say they're giving information to Elections Canada

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae on Tuesday accused the Conservatives of doing everything they can to deflect attention away from the so-called robocalls voting scandal. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Liberal Party has turned over records about its federal election campaign calls to Elections Canada, interim leader Bob Rae says in a statement.

The party is also asking the Conservatives to do the same.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said his party's records are available if Elections Canada needs them. A spokesman for the Conservative Party told CBC News the party "will be providing Elections Canada with everything they've asked for." Fred Delorey wouldn't provide more details in order to avoid compromising the investigation, he said. Delorey told CBC News last Tuesday that Elections Canada hadn't asked for any records.

The press release provided by the Liberal Party on Tuesday says the documents released include two sample scripts and four automated voice recordings. Financial information about the calls has already been disclosed as part of the campaign returns, the news release said. It doesn't say whether the party turned over call logs or how many scripts would have been produced over the course of the campaign.

The records turned over are a fraction of what would have been generated during a federal election campaign, but Rae's spokesman said they were to show the party is 100 per cent willing to co-operate and 100 per cent able.

"Anything they want, as we've said in the House, they can have," Dan Lauzon said.

Liberal and NDP candidates as well as MPs allege the Conservatives organized a widespread campaign of voter suppression, including illegal robocalls in Guelph, Ont., that directed voters to the wrong polling station, as well as live calls redirecting voters in other ridings and harassing calls aiming to annoy potential supporters of the opposition parties.

The Conservatives say that's not true, blaming the disorganized Liberal campaigns for harassing their own supporters.

Rae says Conservative 'rhetoric is absurd'

Elections Canada is investigating the Guelph calls and interviewing staff at a call centre in Thunder Bay, Ont., after one operator complained she was provided the wrong information to give to voters.

"The Conservatives are doing everything they can to deflect attention away from this scandal, going so far as to accuse us of misdirecting our own supporters in an attempt to suppress the Liberal vote," Rae said in the statement.

"This kind of rhetoric is absurd. These calls did not originate with the Liberal Party of Canada. If the Conservatives truly have nothing to hide, they would follow the lead of the Liberal Party and supply their documentation on the robocalls they conducted to Elections Canada immediately."

On Monday, the Conservatives went on the offensive, offering a recording of a robocall from Liberal MP Frank Valeriote's campaign in Guelph. Conservative MPs argue it was illegal because the caller gave a fake name and didn't say Valeriote paid for the call.

The Liberals argued Elections Canada had decided robocalls don't constitute advertising, but a spokesman for Elections Canada said Tuesday they do count.

The exclusion for direct calls and emails was to allow the parties to contact voters on election day, but "it does not affect the provisions under Sec. 319 or 320," which mandate that advertising must include a tag that identifies which campaign paid for it.

"Therefore while automated or live calls would be permitted on e-day, if they meet the definition of election advertising, the messages must nevertheless be tagged and reported in the election expenses reports," John Enright said in an email to CBC News.