An investigation on two fronts -

An investigation on two fronts


CBC reports that Elections Canada has expanded its investigation to RMG’s call centre in Thunder Bay. But Postmedia says Elections Canada might not be able to pursue some nuisance calls.

Volpe’s lawyer wrote to Elections Canada on April 15, 2011, to complain that for the previous 10 days constituents in the riding were receiving calls “from persons falsely identifying themselves as calling from the Joe Volpe campaign.” The email from Elections Canada suggests such calls are not forbidden by the act. “The act does not prohibit or regulate the use of telephone solicitations for a particular candidate or party, or the content of a call unless actual intimidation or false pretence can be shown,” the email said.

The harassing calls in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence had a call display showing a North Dakota number often blamed for credit card scams. Calls from the same number have been reported in a number of other ridings across the country. But the elections agency said the use of “spoofed” call display numbers “is not regulated by the Act. “Consequently in most cases compliance or enforcement issues do not arise under the Act from political calls soliciting support for a candidate or party,” Elections Canada said. “This simply recognizes the role played by free speech and communication in the democratic process, including speech that is annoying, repetitive or of a partisan nature.”


An investigation on two fronts

  1. Two fronts now, with possibly a third front opening up in Quebec?

    It seems that local campaigns in Quebec made payments to national suppliers without receiving any service from those suppliers. In and Out part duex. Perhaps it’s time that some of these local campaign financial agents were charged for filing false returns. This is not just paper-shuffling, it’s defrauding the public purse.

  2. Yet all we get from this PM is : nothing to see here folks, just another smear…. He was quick to trot out the “against the troops…. support child pornographers” memes, but has no interest in getting to the bottom of something that actually threatens democracy.
     Captain Canada indeed…..Anyone else notice how the appearance of TV ads trumpeting the Harper government’s Economic Action Plan. 

    • What we get from this PM are rewards for those known to have committed electoral fraud, and as an encouragement for others to commit electoral fraud again and again.

    • Now doubt populated with rank amateur actors from the PMO War Room. 

  3. OK, I don’t get it…

    Elections Canada says “The act does not prohibit or regulate the use of telephone
    solicitations for a particular candidate or party, or the content of a
    call unless actual intimidation or false pretense can be shown”

    How does calling and identifying yourself from the Joe Volpe campaign, when you aren’t from the Joe Volpe campaign, not constitute “false pretense”? Anyone???

    • Criminal Code – Identity fraud403. (1) Everyone commits an offence who fraudulently personates another person, living or dead,
      (a) with intent to gain advantage for themselves or another person;(b) with intent to obtain any property or an interest in any property;(c) with intent to cause disadvantage to the person being personated or another person; or(d) with intent to avoid arrest or prosecution or to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice.Marginal note:Clarification
      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), personating a person includes pretending to be the person or using the person’s identity information — whether by itself or in combination with identity information pertaining to any person — as if it pertains to the person using it.Marginal note:Punishment(3) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (1)(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    •  I thought the same thing. I can understand them saying that they are unlikely to get to the bottom of such a complaint, and unlikely to get a conviction, but false is false and they’d be better off just shrugging like the RCMP did than pretending it isn’t an infraction.

    • Elections Canada is sounding a little bit like they are intimidated. That last sentence in Aaron’s quote is a direct echo of Peter Van Loan defending the Cotler slander calls.

    •  I think they are correct, false pretense is not an offense under the act they are charged with upholding (the Elections Act), but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of it.  I think they should refer these to the RCMP or other agencies (see my comment about CRTC rules above) where the activity being reported to them does not fit exactly into their jurisdiction.  Or at a bare minimum, advise the person who lodged the complaint of that option.

  4. Whatever happened to that idea that with freedom comes responsibility?
    Doesn’t society protecting free speech provide any responsibility to ensure that said speech is not used to damage society?

    That’s why you can’t freely yell “Fire” in a movie theatre after all, because doing so hurts people for no good reason.  There are other ways people can be hurt, however, than being trampled in a theatre aisle.

  5. Spoofing the caller id is against CRTC rules, so those calls could be investigated by that agency.  Just needs someone who knows the details to file a complaint.  Is EC saying they won’t file one?