Elections Canada

Elections Canada

April 24, 2014 10:02 ET

Commissioner of Canada Elections Issues Report on Deceptive Communications Investigation

GATINEAU, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - April 24, 2014) -

- Mr. Yves Côté, the Commissioner of Canada Elections, has released a report outlining the findings of the investigation into deceptive communications - commonly known as "robocalls" - that occurred during the 41st federal general election of May 2011.

- The report describes the nature of the complaints received and, in broad terms, how the investigation was conducted. The report also summarizes the evidence that was gathered. In addition, it describes some of the difficulties that were encountered in the course of the investigation. The report touches only briefly on robocalls in the electoral district of Guelph, which are the subject of a separate investigation.

- The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether there was enough evidence to recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions that charges be laid for violations of the Canada Elections Act in relation to nuisance calls or calls providing incorrect poll location information outside the electoral district of Guelph.

- The Commissioner has concluded that, following a thorough investigation by his Office, the evidence is not sufficient to provide reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed. Therefore, the Commissioner will not refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

- The Honourable Louise Charron, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, conducted an independent review of the investigation. The observations and conclusions of Ms. Charron's review offer strong support for both the overall quality of the investigation and the finding that there are no grounds to believe that an offence was committed. Ms. Charron's review is published as an appendix to the Commissioner's report.

- The Commissioner decided to release a report as soon as possible following the completion of the investigation given the unprecedented public interest in this matter and the importance of demonstrating transparency and thoroughness in the investigative process.

"The concern expressed by Canadians during this investigation demonstrates the high value they place on their democracy and the rule of law," said Mr. Côté. "Canadians must continue to have confidence in the electoral system, and, in my view, they have every reason to do so. However, when they believe their rights as electors are being interfered with, they should contact my Office without delay."

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