Cherise Seucharan, Howl Staff
An investigation by the Ottawa Citizen has revealed that 14 highly contested electoral ridings in Ontario have been hit by live calls from people posing as Liberal candidates. These calls are different from the recently discovered “robocalls,” which were pre-recorded calls that incorrectly informed voters that their polling locations had been changed. Both of these types of calls occurred in early May 2011, in the follow up to the last election. Elections Canada has now undertaken an investigation.
The calls were targeted at Liberal voters, and it has been suspected that the fake callers fraudulently used a secure Liberal voters’ calling list. Those who received calls reported that the callers were rude and called at inconvenient times, such as dinner time or even the middle of the night. One man reported that his caller mimicked a South Asian accent like that of his Liberal candidate.
Opposition leaders, including Bob Rae, have been outspoken about the calls, publicly calling out the Conservatives for using fraudulent tactics to sway voters. Conservatives have been defensive about the Elections Canada probe which is investigating the case. However, there has been no conclusive evidence that these calls were being made by Conservative members.
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Photo Credit: Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS