The investigation into fraudulent robocalls in Canada escalated this month, as elections Canada said that 7000 calls had gone out across the country.
In February, complaints emerged about fraudulent calls to voters in the Ontario riding of Guelph, misdirecting them to non-existent polling stations during the national election. Since then, voters in ridings across the country have come forward.
Marc Mayrand, chief electoral officer at Elections Canada, has now opened 250 case files on 800 individual complaints, covering ten provinces and one territory.
The calls have been traced to RackNine, an Edmonton-based company that operates an automated calling service. It was hired by the Conservative Party of Canada for its national election campaign.“It's absolutely outrageous. It should not be tolerated It should be sanctioned severely,” said Maynard.
Maynard was called to testify to a parliamentary committee while many Canadian media were involved in a lock-up interview with finance minister Jim Flaherty. Flaherty was announcing the Canadian budget.
Canada's CBC found in an investigation this month that many voters who had received robocalls had previously been contacted by the Conservative Party and had told it that they would not be voting for it. Some claim to have received misleading calls attempting to redirect them to incorrect voting locations, that they then tracked to Conservative Party offices.Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues to deny Conservative Party involvement in the robocalls affair.