Saturday, 23 April 2011

Elections agency probes harassing calls

Elections agency probes harassing calls
Elections Canada has launched a formal investigation into complaints by various Liberal candidates in Ontario that someone is making repeated phone calls to voters, purporting to be Liberal supporters — often at odd hours, including the middle of the night.

The Liberal Party is blaming rival operatives for setting up the harassing, late-night phone calls that ask residents to vote Liberal. The calls seem to be targetting ridings expecting close races.

A CBC News investigation has been chasing down numerous complaints from local Liberal campaign offices across Ontario, including Oakville, St. Catharines, Haldimand-Norfolk, Simcoe Grey, Guelph, Eglinton-Lawrence, St. Paul's and Mississauga East-Cooksville. The calls have also happened in Egmont, P.E.I., and St. Boniface, Man.

... Conservative spokesman Alykhan Velshi said the party isn't involved, "period."

"The only party with access to the Liberal Party member list is the Liberal Party. Are you certain they aren't making the calls to their members?" he said.

The call targets are not limited to Liberal Party members, however. CBC News' Dave Seglins has spoken to NDP and Conservative supporters who also got bombarded with calls.

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