Volpe files complaint over U.S. calls

Toronto Liberal Joe Volpe is asking Elections Canada to investigate reports that residents in his riding are being harrassed by calls from a U.S. number claiming to represent his campaign.


Toronto Liberal candidate Joe Volpe has asked Elections Canada to formally investigate reports that residents in his riding are being harrassed by repeated calls from a North Dakota phone number claiming to represent his campaign.

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Volpe — an incumbent candidate in the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, who is seen as vulnerable to a potential Conservative breakthrough in Toronto — says angry residents have called him to complain that they have been contacted four or five times in the past week.

One such call was also received by a volunteer at Volpe's campaign office in Toronto, the complaint says.

Volpe's campaign said it believes these calls break election rules, because they originate from the U.S., and it's not known who is behind them.

"We believe this matter warrants investigation as it appears there may have been an infringement of campaign rules in Canada and/or violation of the Canada Elections Act," the campaign said in a letter to Marc Mayrand, Canada's chief electoral officer. 

"At the very least we know the consitutents in the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence are being harassed by continuous telephone calls from individuals disguising themselves as volunteers of the Joe Volpe Campaign."

The Conservative Party, and their local candidate Joe Oliver, say they know nothing about the calls.

"All calls from our campaign are proudly identified as being on behalf of Joe Oliver and the Conservative Party of Canada," a campaign worker told CBC News in an emailed statement earlier this week.

"All calls made on behalf of the Joe Oliver campaign are made from within Canada. We have no contract with any company in the U.S. to do calling on our behalf."




Dave Seglins

CBC Investigations

Dave Seglins is an investigative journalist whose recent work includes exposés on global ticket scalping, offshore tax avoidance and government surveillance. He covers a range of domestic and international issues, including rail safety, policing, government and corporate corruption.