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NEWS: Former MP takes voter interference case to court, April 23

CBC reports, “Former Liberal MP Boris Wrzesnewskyj says he expects his court case contesting the results of the last federal election could be resolved May 2, one year after Canadians went to the polls. Wrzesnewskyj, who’d been an MP since 2004, lost his Etobicoke Centre seat in Toronto by 26 votes to Conservatve MP Ted Opitz.”

“Wrzesnewskyj alleges in an application filed in Ontario Superior Court that there were ‘widespread incidents of mistake and error, voter intimidation and active voter interference’ that contributed to the final result and that the number of irregularities is bigger than the 26-vote difference between him and Opitz. …While there were a number of reports on May 2, 2011, about disrupted voting at a polling location at a seniors’ centre, Wrzesnewskyj has focused his case on a number of voters who didn’t have proof they lived in the riding and had to have people vouch for them. He said he did so in order to speed up the case.”

“The court case begins April 23 and Wrzesnewskyj and his lawyers expect the judge could rule on May 2. …If Wrzesnewskyj proves his case, the judge will throw out the results and Etobicoke Centre will have a byelection.”

GlobalNews adds, “‘How can we have confidence in a system where we are not sure whether or not this person that’s elected actually reflects the will of the electorate on the day of the election,’ said former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj… He alleges the local Conservative campaign temporarily shut down a Liberal-friendly polling station on May 2 – the exact type of behaviour he was tasked to report during the six overseas elections he presided over as an international observer. ‘People overseas look at us at being the Boys Scouts of the world when it comes to elections,’ he said. ‘Something has changed and we are now aware of things that took place that have no place in Canada.'”

The Council of Canadians is canvassing its members and other Canadians to determine the extent to which “robo-calls” and other dirty tricks during the May 2011 federal election may have undermined basic democratic principles in ridings across the country. For more on that, please see http://canadians.org/election/survey/index.html.