Elections Canada evidence confirms widespread voter suppression campaign
By: Council of Canadians:
Evidence filed in the Federal Court today includes detailed accounts from voters targeted by fraudulent or harassing calls intended to discourage them from voting in 56 ridings across Ontario, BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec (the ridings are listed below), likely in violation of the Canada Elections Act.
The evidence includes voters in three of the six ridings where applicants are seeking to overturn the results in a court action that will be heard beginning December 10.
The Information to Obtain Production Orders (ITO) from Elections Canada Investigators S. John B. Dickson and Andre Thouin, as well as an accompanying motion from the applicants, can be found at www.canadians.org/election. Direct links to the applicants’ motion are also included below, in three parts.
Investigator Dickson writes that “if the calls were as reported by the complainants, the caller or the person or persons who caused the calls to be made … knew the information to be false and thereby did wilfully prevent or endeavour to prevent an elector from voting in an election” in violation of the Canada Elections Act.
“This evidence confirms what the applicants have been saying all along – the voter suppression campaign was widespread and stretched far beyond the riding of Guelph,” says Garry Neil, Executive Director of the Council of Canadians, which is supporting the cases. “It also shows that more than a thousand Canadians came forward to Elections Canada, although many of them are reluctant to be named publicly.”
Investigator Dickson writes about 279 complaints from the 36 ridings outside Quebec, although the data being sought through the ITO only concerns voters who were Shaw telephone subscribers, since Shaw has records about all calls made to its subscribers. Investigator Thouin’s ITO indicates there were 857 complaints in 20 ridings in Quebec from people who were Videotron subscribers. Investigator Dickson notes that 1,399 voters from 247 ridings complained of receiving misleading or harassing phone calls during the 2011 federal election, which Elections Canada is continuing to investigate.
“This new and compelling evidence should be of deep concern to all Canadians, regardless of political stripe,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “It points to a widespread voter suppression campaign. It is clear to us that the integrity of May 2011 election process, in at least the six ridings that are subject to the legal challenges, has been so compromised as to call into question the results.”
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