What happened in Thunder Bay?

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As part of its challenge to the election results in seven ridings, the Council of Canadians has obtained (and now released) an affidavit from Annette Desgagne, a call centre worker with Responsive Marketing Group in Thunder Bay.

About 3 days before election day, the script changed in a manner that was noticeable to me. When a new script was being implemented, we would have to specifically log off and log back into the system. This time, the scripts we were to read to the listeners concerned changes to the locations of their polling stations. The new scripts we were to read did not identify that we were calling on behalf of the Conservative Party nor did we mention the local Conservative candidate…

I started to become concerned about the Change of Address Calls, because several listeners with whom I spoke, questioned me about the new polling location I was providing. For example, I recall one woman in Winnipeg telling me that the address I just gave her was over an hour away. I tried to problem solve this over the phone with her for a few minutes, but she was sure the new address was wrong. There was a phone number at the bottom of the screen in front of me that I was to give people if they had further questions. That lady said she had called that number but that it was not a correct number.

Elections Canada specifically asked all political parties to refrain from calling voters about changes to polling station locations. But Ms. Desgagne says she recalls calling voters in Nipissing-Timiskaming, where apparently no changes were made.

RMG says callers were scripted to identify themselves as calling from the party and that the calls weren’t specifically about changes to polling station locations.

RMG issued its own statement, saying it called only Conservative supporters in the days leading up to the vote and that the scripts used by call workers clearly indicated they were calling on behalf of the party. “(It) would make no sense for RMG to give identified Conservative supporters incorrect voting information,” the company said…

RMG claims that its callers did not make change-of-location calls, but, rather, made get-out-the-vote (GOTV) calls that included polling address confirmations. “The scripts indicated that Elections Canada had changed ‘some’ polling locations — not that ‘their’ (that individual’s) location had changed,” the company said.

What happened in Thunder Bay?

  1. Someone associated with the council of Canadians has bad things to say about the Conservatives ? Shocked! Just shocked!

    The thing I find fishy about the story is that the call recipient in Winnipeg supposedly dialed a number and said it was incorrect.

    Does she have two phone lines ? Did she put the call center worker on hold ? Did she call back ?

    Just bizzare.

    •  Opposition Harper would have been ashamed of this kind of attempt to muddy the waters.

      Prime Minister Harper probably paid for it.

    • Well if you find the story fishy, then by all means let’s toss the affidavit.

      Desperado.  Why would anyone defend such activities unless paid to do so?

      • No need to toss it, just cross examine on it.  Then let’s chat again.

  2. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. What more will we find out? At least if this case is permitted to move forward, we will see more than Elections Canada is willing to share.

  3. Well, someone is lying, but only Ms. Desgagne put forward a sworn affadavit.  I’ll put more weight on the honesty of a sworn affadavit of an employee over the press release of a communications officer any day.

    Aaron, is this being reported anywhere else in the MSM?  This is the first that I’ve seen reference to the sworn affadavit.

  4. I wonder when the Cons will start leaking info about LIbs or NDP shenanigans. 

    Elections Canada clearly allows a little illegal behaviour every election – there are always dodgy forms, dead people voting, vote early, vote often. I wonder what guidelines EC follows because it appears some illegal behaviour is investigated but not really punished. Individual partisans tend to get rambunctious, hard to stop them, just make sure Party’s aren’t involved in electoral fraud nation wide?

    • EC investigates complaints from people who put their name forward.  You should use their complaint form (online) and report the always dodgy forms, dead people voting, vote early, vote often incidents that you are aware of.

    • Minimalizing this will not make it disappear.

  5. Thats my photo :D exciting.

    • Don’t Lie, James.

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