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Firm misdirected Northern Ontario voters says former employee


Julian Wolfe
April 19th, 2012


A former employee of the Responsive Marketing Group, hired by the Conservatives during last year’s election campaign, says she wrongly informed votes in a northern Ontario riding. In a sworn affidavit by Annette Desgagne she states that she called voters in the riding of Nipissing-Tamiskaming to tell them to vote at a place other than what was indicated on their election card.

Desgagne said that she made the calls off of a script given to her by the company that had been making calls to identify Conservative voters for numerous Conservative candidates.

“I talked to many people all over Canada over the three days in advance of the election, reading from the change of address script,” Desgagne said in the April 13, 2012 affidavit.

The document was given to Federal Court to support a motion to overthrow last years election results in 7 ridings. Only one of which, Vancouver Island had a legitimate polling change.

Nipissing-Tamiskaming was one of the ridings with the closest outcomes where the Liberal incumbent Anthony Rota lost by a mere 18 votes to Conservative Jay Aspin.

The affidavit also states how a supervisor named Stephanie ignored Desgagne’s concerns and told her to keep making the calls according to script.

“There was a general feeling of confusion amongst the callers as the supervisors walked the floor and repeated ‘stick to the script.’

Our concerns were ignored and we had to keep reading and repeating the same scripts about changes of address for polling stations made by Elections Canada.”

Desgagne said in the affidavit

The court challenge was presented by the Council of Canadians in the name of individuals in the affected ridings that were mislead and have claimed to be contacted fraudulently.

This is the first court action since the news of Robocall broke and is acting on 7 out of 200 ridings which Elections Canada said were effected in the last election.

The Conservatives denied wrong doing and knowledge after having Dean Del Mastro defend them while stating different positions and often stating that the entire fiasco was nothing more than a smear campaign.

Conservative lawyer Arthur Hamilton said that he will try to get the court order thrown out as he says it is “flawed” and he characterized it as a “publicity stunt.”

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But no one could have been more public than the Republican-linked firm that touted its aid for the Conservative campaign and may have broken section 331 of the Canada Elections Act leading to consequences of a $2000 fine or 6 months in prison if intention is proven.

Read more about it here: Tories got Republican Helping Hand Last May?

Are you surprised to hear the latest news about the affidavit confirming illegitimate calls were made?

Read more posts like this one.


   Categories: Election, Featured, Ontario, Robocall Scandal, Scandal

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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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