'We’re sending people to the wrong place' - Macleans.ca

‘We’re sending people to the wrong place’


Tonda MacCharles finds a call centre in Thunder Bay that was employed by the Conservative party.

Annette Desgagné, 46, said it became clear to her — after so many people complained that the “new” voting locations made no sense or were “way the hell across town” — that the live operators were, in fact, misdirecting voters. “We’re sending people to the wrong place,” Desgagné recalled telling her supervisor.

She said she has no way of knowing whether in fact the poll station locations she gave listeners were wrong addresses or phony locations. But she said the “feedback” elicited by the script was so negative, “we started getting antsy.” She said she and a few other workers at the call centre were perplexed enough that they began telling the voters they should double-check their poll location with their local Elections Canada office, which was not part of the script. Desgagné, alone, said some workers shortened their script — although they weren’t supposed to — and said “… I’m calling from Elections Canada …”

Susan Delacourt focuses on the script.


‘We’re sending people to the wrong place’

  1. We were victims of misinformation.

    We were told to go to a particular elementary school to vote. When we got there, the doors were shut, the lights were off, and it was clear that we were in the wrong place. After a few minutes walking around the school looking for clues, we found an Elections Canada poster directing us to another poll location several blocks away. We had a baby with us, who was not in a particularly good mood, and we considered just going home. However, our advantage was that we voted early, and could have simply voted another day. But it wouldn’t have been the case if it was voting day.

    The misinformation was a result of Elections Canada mailing us the wrong address. EC had written the wrong school/address on the card mailed to us. While it was a mistake, unintentional I’m sure (perhaps the result of an event beyond EC’s control, like the school wasn’t available anymore?), it had the same effect : discouraging people from voting. If we had gone with a cranky baby on election night, we most certainly would have just gone home. Elections Canada never investigated the mistake, never apologized, nothing. We were disappointed with the way EC handled the situation.

    • So “libreals did it too!” is now “Elections Canada does it too!”

    • There’s a big difference between EC making a mistake (and trying to correct it, based on the notice they left at the school) and a call centre providing misleading or false information on behalf of a client – intent.

      • I agree. I wasn’t trying to compare the two. I was just pointing out that even when there’s a planned change in voting location, EC could have done a better job of getting the word out.

    • Obviously you don’t know about the vast conspiracy against those who have babies, commonly referred to as “breeders.” Those in the know suggest it was started by powerful but shadowy figures in the restaurant industry. They want you to stop breeding, Mike, and they’ll stop at nothing to achieve their diabolicol goals. It’s not your vote they are after, Mike, it’s your cranky baby.

    • I recall someone who had received the card for the advance voting poll which was a different place than where he was supposed to vote on election day. He showed up at the place where I was voting, but I think he was supposed to vote somewhere else, and without a car, he probably just did not vote. But I’m pretty sure it was his own mistake, mixing up the advance and election day sites.

      • I’m in Alberta; haven’t heard of any fraudulent calls being made in Alberta, but you wouldn’t expect the Conservatives to bother with such calls in Alberta now, would you?

  2. Wow.  Are the Cons are going to throw a bunch of underemployed kids under the bus for unwittingly following their illegal orders?

  3. She said she has no way of knowing whether in fact the poll station locations she gave listeners were wrong addresses or phony locations

    former employee

    Desgagné’s recollection of the job was largely corroborated by two other women contacted Sunday by the Star. Neither wanted to be named.

    Uh-huh. Yeah, this is pretty damning stuff, all right. 

  4. Delacourt is right. Somebody needs to produce this script. Ideally RMG. Along with the person who supplied it. It can’t be that hard.

    • If/when this happens, what will be the next fake hurdle? 

      • Glad to see that you consider little things like hard evidence as “fake hurdles” in your mission. You have a fabulous legal career ahead of you.

        • I think GMFD is just displaying a little frustration with regards to the political climate in Canada under the Harperistas.

        • They would also need to provide evidence that it was the actual script that was used, and not something they just whipped up yesterday…

          •  “Why, I heard the watermark was one that was out of date and hadn’t been used since 1999.   I’m just not convinced yet! And how convenient they came up with this script EXACTLY when it was put into question.  Surely we must give the government the benefit of the doubt?”