Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have said, “Move along. Nothing happening here.” But the government office with the mandate to investigate citizen complaints into the last election thinks that maybe 31,000 complaints relating to the Conservative dirty tricks Robo-Call scandal deserve a look-see.
The Conservatives also rose in Parliament and brought up a campaign of harassing phone calls, originating in North Dakota, that plagued former Liberal Minister Joe Volpe’s Toronto riding during the election. The Liberals themselves were responsible for the calls, the Conservatives claimed. Volpe himself hired a company in North Dakota called Prime Contact and we have a copy of the cheque, the Conservatives said.
Then NDP MP Charlie Angus corrected them.
Mr. Speaker, they are going to need to get some better researchers, because there is a firm in North Dakota with the same name but it actually does not work for the Liberal party.
Oops. Yes, there was Canadian company with the same name.
And the harassing phone calls from the USA? Harper openly admitted they had happened after dismissing the complaints for days. And as soon as he believed he could deflect the blame onto someone else.
I’m betting a Conservative researcher somewhere got fired today, courtesy of Stephen Harper.
Here is the Elections Canada press release in regard to the robo-call investigation.
The Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections confirms that it is investigating complaints received regarding robocalls placed at the 41st general election in 2011.
- Elections Canada has received a high volume of complaints in recent days as a result of MPs and political parties calling on the public to send information to the agency. More than 31,000 contacts have been initiated with Elections Canada by Canadians. Elections Canada is reviewing these and will take action as appropriate.
- The Commissioner of Canada Elections has the authority, during periods of high volume, to contract additional resources or call upon other law enforcement agencies, such as the RCMP, to lend assistance and expertise.
- Like all law enforcement bodies, the Office of the Commissioner generally does not confirm or deny the existence of a complaint or referral, nor does the Commissioner disclose information on the investigations or reviews that he conducts. The Commissioner’s approach to information disclosure is dictated by three important considerations having to do with the public interest:
1) The need to protect the presumption of innocence and privacy.
2) The need for the Office of the Commissioner to carry out its compliance and enforcement responsibilities in a manner that is consistent, effective, impartial and in conformity with applicable law.
3) The need to maintain public confidence in the fairness of an electoral process carried out in accordance with the Canada Elections Act.
- Elections Canada will provide a report to Parliament in due course in regards to this matter.