Maude Barlow. Chairperson, Council of Canadians
Last Thursday’s Federal Court ruling on the robocalls election fraud case is “a powerful victory”, says Maude Barlow, the chairperson of the Council of Canadians. Her organization supported Canadian voters who legally challenged the results of the May 2011 Federal election in eight ridings impacted by the U.S.-style voter suppression.
Judge Richard Mosley declared made these startling declarations in his ruling:
- “I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election.”
- And: “there was an orchestrated effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election campaign by a person or persons with access to the [Conservative Party’s] CIMS database.”
- And, the fraud: ”struck at the integrity of the electoral process by attempting to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates.”
- Finally: “This form of ‘voter suppression,’ was, until the 41st General Election, largely unknown in this country.”
And yet, the Zimbabwe-style election fraud wan’t enough to annul the results in eight ridings challenged in the case.
In a letter dispatched to supporters after the announcement of the ruling, Barlow said:.
In a clear and bold statement, Judge Richard Mosley wrote: “I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election.”
While his ruling stopped short of annulling election results, this is a powerful victory for Kay Burkhart,Ken Ferance, Yvonne Kafka, Bill Kerr, Sandra McEwing, Tom Parlee, Jeff Reid and Peggy Walsh Craig – the eight brave Canadian voters who launched their legal challenges and the thousands of us who continue to stand behind them.
The judge raised grave concerns that the fraudulent calls “struck at the integrity of the electoral process by attempting to dissuade voters from casting ballots for their preferred candidates. This form of ‘voter suppression,’ was, until the 41st General Election, largely unknown in this country.”
From the outset, the eight applicants argued that the fraudulent robocalls were widespread, targeted and centrally organized – which is precisely what Judge Mosley found. “I am satisfied that it has been established that misleading calls about the locations of polling stations were made to electors in ridings across the country, including the subject ridings, and that the purpose of those calls was to suppress the votes of electors who had indicated their voting preference in response to earlier voter identification calls,” and that “the most likely source of the information used to make the misleading calls was the CIMS database maintained and controlled by the CPC [Conservative Party of Canada], accessed for that purpose by a person or persons currently unknown to this Court.”
Of course the CPC will try to paint this as a victory, but they have nothing to celebrate. That is unless an attempt to steal the election using their database, to which only senior Conservative Party members have access, is a cause for rejoicing. This is a serious indictment of the CPC.
Judge Mosley himself praised the eight applicants for their virtue, while chastising the Conservative MPs. “It has seemed to me that the applicants sought to achieve and hold the high ground of promoting the integrity of the electoral process while the respondent MPs engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits.”
And Mosley even made special note of their shameful obstructionist tactics, stating, “Despite the obvious public interest in getting to the bottom of the allegations, the CPC made little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset despite early requests. I note that counsel for the CPC was informed while the election was taking place that the calls about polling station changes were improper. While it was begrudgingly conceded during oral argument that what occurred was “absolutely outrageous”, the record indicates that the stance taken by the respondent MPs from the outset was to block these proceedings by any means.”
Now you and I need to step up to support Kay, Ken, Yvonne, Bill, Sandra, Tom, Jeff and Peggy once again. The Federal Court has found fraud and this isn’t over.
The applicants have an automatic right to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada – and the Council of Canadians is committed to standing with them every step of the way.
As of this very moment, we’re launching an urgent public appeal to raise the $70,000 needed to cover the applicants’ Supreme Court appeal.
They only have eight days to file, so there’s no time to waste. And the only thing standing in their way is legal costs.
Can they count on your support? Your contribution of $24, $52 – or as generous as you can be – will help them pursue this to the highest court in the country.
Such an unprecedented attack on the most fundamental of our democratic rights demands nothing less.
With hope and resolve,
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