The election commissioner reports 31,000 complaints

A statement from the office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

o The Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections confirms that it is investigating complaints received regarding robocalls placed at the 41st general election in 2011.

o Elections Canada has received a high volume of complaints in recent days as a result of MPs and political parties calling on the public to send information to the agency. More than 31,000 contacts have been initiated with Elections Canada by Canadians. Elections Canada is reviewing these and will take action as appropriate.

o The Commissioner of Canada Elections has the authority, during periods of high volume, to contract additional resources or call upon other law enforcement agencies, such as the RCMP, to lend assistance and expertise.

o Like all law enforcement bodies, the Office of the Commissioner generally does not confirm or deny the existence of a complaint or referral, nor does the Commissioner disclose information on the investigations or reviews that he conducts.

The Commissioner’s approach to information disclosure is dictated by three important considerations having to do with the public interest:

1)      The need to protect the presumption of innocence and privacy.

2)      The need for the Office of the Commissioner to carry out its compliance and enforcement responsibilities in a manner that is consistent, effective, impartial and in conformity with applicable law.

3)      The need to maintain public confidence in the fairness of an electoral process carried out in accordance with the Canada Elections Act.

o       Elections Canada will provide a report to Parliament in due course in regards to this matter.