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Elections Canada must disclose its rulings on 2,284 complaints since 2004, and all its future rulings, to prove that it enforces the federal election law properly and effectively

Elections Canada should re-open investigation into 2008 election robocalls in B.C. riding

Canada Elections Act must be changed to make anonymous phone calls to voters illegal and impossible

"We Canadians will want to know exactly what happened, and who did it.  We will not rest, because our democracy is at stake here, we will not rest until we know."

Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former Chief Electoral Officer
CBC's The National, Friday, March 2, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

OTTAWA -- Today, Democracy Watch again called on the Commissioner of Elections Canada and the Director of Public Prosecutions to release the results of investigations and the rulings on 2,284 complaints received by Elections Canada since 2004 about which they have never disclosed any details.  Democracy Watch first issued this request last November.

Democracy Watch also called on federal MPs to cooperate and strengthen the Canada Elections Act to make it illegal for any phone-calling company to allow calls to voters from an anonymous person or organization, and to make it illegal to make calls about things overseen by Elections Canada or the law (such as changes to polling station locations, resignations of MPs and by-elections).  This change is needed as soon as possible to ensure the integrity of by-elections, and all future elections.

If the Commissioner and Director refuse to disclose the rulings and details about the 2,284 complaints by the end of this week, Democracy Watch calls on a parliamentary committee to compel the Commissioner and Director to disclose this information at a hearing next week or when Parliament re-opens on March 26th after the March break.


"Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and it is likely the robocall scandal is the tip of the iceberg and that there are many situations which raise serious questions about whether the federal election law has been properly enforced since 2004," said Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch.  "Elections Canada must disclose the details of its rulings on 2,284 past complaints to assure Canadians that it enforces the law properly and effectively," 

Very strangely, former Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley has opposed public disclosure of rulings on past complaints (more than 800 of the 2,284 complaints were made between 2004 and 2006 when he was CEO) but has called for full disclosure of exactly what happened and who did what in the robocall scandal.

"If someone is not sent to jail as a result of the robocall scandal, the system will have failed," said Sommers. "And if Elections Canada does not disclose its rulings on past complaints, and all future complaints, Canadians will not be able to tell whether the system works fairly and properly in all cases."


Democracy Watch also called on the Commissioner of Elections to re-open its investigation into the 2008 robocall situation in the Saanich-Gulf riding in B.C. because as far as is known the Commissioner did not seek court orders or subpoena records from robocall and telecommunications companies to track down who arranged and paid for those calls.


"It seems clear from the 2008 robocall scandal in a B.C. riding that Elections Canada has not been taking complaints as seriously as needed to properly enforce the law," said Tyler Sommers.

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Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179

Democracy Watch's Voter Rights Campaign page


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© 2012 Democracy Watch