OTTAWA — The Conservatives scrambled Thursday to distance themselves from fraudulent “robocalls” sent out during last year’s federal election and attempted to direct suspicion toward a young campaign worker.
In response to a Postmedia News-Ottawa Citizen report that found an Elections Canada investigation has traced the robocalls to a call centre with Conservative connections, Prime Minister Stephen Harper denied his party was involved in the attempt to mislead voters.
“In this case, our party has no knowledge of these calls,” Harper told reporters in Iqaluit. “It’s not part of our campaign.”
Anyone found responsible would face the full consequence of the law, Harper said.
Later in the day, a Conservative-friendly media organization cited two anonymous Conservative party sources and reported that a staff member who had worked on the campaign of Guelph, Ont., Conservative candidate Marty Burke was a person of interest to the investigation.
The pre-recorded election day calls received in Guelph and other ridings represented themselves as coming from Elections Canada and told voters their polling stations had changed locations, which was not the case.
[canada.com/23 feb 2012]