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Robocall Scandal: RCMP Raid Racknine


Julian Wolfe
February 28th, 2012


robocalls, voting, election, fraud

Racknine recently got a visit from the RCMP who obtained a search warrant into the company in hopes to find answers about over 40 ridings filled with allegations of misleading robocalls. Racknine has been asked to hand over data, like emails and billing records that link it to the Conservative campaign in Guelph, Ontario where the accusations started.

The RCMP are also asking for all records of a disposable cellphone number that was traced from Joliette, Quebec.

Opposition parties recently slammed the Conservatives claiming that they were behind a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign and today during Question Period, Harper challenged the opposition to bring forward evidence. Meanwhile, the Conservatives say they are conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

The RCMP and Elections Canada are looking into calls in 18 ridings.

If the robocalls wasn’t enough, it was found yesterday that a call center in Thunder Bay was facilitating scripted recruits as part of a live deliberate misleading scheme, claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Conservative Party.

“We would call these (voters) and they would say ‘we went there and that’s not a real place,’” a woman who worked for Responsive Marketing Group Inc as a call operator said, asking to maintain anonymity.

“The whole call center (noticed it was happening).”

“We called the RCMP. We actually told our supervisor about it.”

Employees were told to stick with the script and management did nothing about the advisory.

In the days approaching election day, Elections Canada said it changed 127 polling stations.

Last week, Conservative staffer Michael Sona resigned his post after being linked to robocalls. According to CTV, sources say Sona is not “tech savvy” and “couldn’t have done the robocalls on his own,” stating that he was “thrown under the bus.”

Commons speaker Andrew Sheer, initially a Conservative MP, rejected Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae’s urge for an emergency debate citing investigations being conducted by Elections Canada and the RCMP.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are looking into overturning election results in selected ridings where they suspect they lost due to the ‘dirty tricks’ campaign. Rae said earlier this week that about 27 ridings may have been lost due to this scandal.

The former Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley said the latest news and the amount of ridings that are involved in this scandal worries him, along with the fact that it may be difficult to trace the guilty party.

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   Categories: Accountability, Conservative, Election, Robocall Scandal, Scandal

steve

On Monday, the longest campaign in modern history will come to a close and if current polls are any indication, Canada may be seeing a change in government after 9 years of Conservative rule under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Accountability was his calling card in 2006 and today, accountability may very well be one of the defining reasons for his departure.

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In its length, in its cost and in its debate schedule, this election is unusual. The first and possibly only real debate of the campaign ended and here are the highlights of what happened.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper left Rideau Hall this morning with Governor General David Johnston’s approval to drop the writ and Canadians are now officially headed to the polls on October 19. For the first time since fixed election date legislation was brought in by the Conservative government, a fixed election date has been followed.

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