Election fraud / robocalls

Seven Canadians took a stand against election fraud

In March 2012, the Council invited Canadians to share their experiences of dirty tricks that had been played on them during the election and to learn about their legal rights. Hundreds of people responded with stories of fraud, harassment, and other voter suppression techniques in ridings across the country.

The story of North Bay resident Peggy Walsh Craig, in the riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming, is typical of what the Council heard. Shortly before Election Day, Walsh Craig received a telephone call with a pre-recorded message claiming to be from Elections Canada.

“I remember quite clearly it said that due to higher than expected voter turnout, the location of my polling station had changed,” said Walsh Craig. “I was confused by the call and ended up voting in the advance poll just to be certain.”

The Council subsequently decided to support legal challenges in seven ridings where electors came forward and the margin of victory was small.

Robocalls have their day in court

The robocall case had its day – actually, six days – in court from December 10 to 17, 2012. Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow attended every day, and shared her thoughts on the proceedings and what they mean for our democracy. Read her daily updates of the courtroom drama.

A victory for democracy

That this case even made it to court is a significant victory. The Conservative Party lawyers repeatedly tried to have it thrown out, used delay tactics to slow the case down, and needlessly drove up legal costs. Those costs are being paid for by the Council of Canadians, thanks to the generous donations of people like you.

Canadians are now very aware that vigilance is required to defend our democracy. With the public now far more educated because of this case, these voter suppression tactics are unlikely to succeed in future elections.

In addition, new evidence came to light, which otherwise may have remained secret. This includes a study from EKOS Research and important documents from Elections Canada.

Election fraud – a timeline

November 2012
Backgrounder: Canadian electors contest the outcome of the May 2011 federal election (PDF)

December 7, 2012
Federal Court judge admits new evidence in case (PDF)

December 10, 2012
Federal Court summary: Canadians take robocalls to court

December 17, 2012
Council of Canadians celebrates first victories of the robocalls case

May 24, 2013
Breaking: Federal Court finds election fraud!

VIDEO: Election Fraud Press Conference on May 31, 2013 - Part 1

June 24, 2013
Conservatives seek “modest” $355,907 in election fraud case costs from individual applicants

September 9, 2014
Council of Canadians calls for reopening of robocalls investigation