Head of Elections Canada confirms witnesses not co-operating in robocalls case

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand is shown in Ottawa on March 29, 2012.
Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand is shown in Ottawa on March 29, 2012. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Canada’s chief electoral officer is confirming for the first time that Conservative party workers failed to co-operate with his investigation of fraudulent robocalls.

Marc Mayrand appeared before a House of Commons committee where he asked MPs once again for legal changes that would give the elections watchdog greater power to compel testimony from witnesses.

Mayrand says the Conservative party’s lawyer took three months to respond to robocalls inquiries from Elections Canada after the 2011 election campaign – an investigation that is still ongoing.

Speaking to reporters later, Mayrand went even further, citing evidence that three Conservative campaign workers in Guelph, Ont., refused to speak to investigators and that scheduled meetings were cancelled at the last minute.

Mayrand also says the Commissioner of Canada Elections has expressed concerns over the delays and complexity this has added to his robocalls investigation.

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During the hearings, Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski expressed concern about the toll the ongoing investigation is taking on his party – but Mayrand says the lack of co-operation is where the delays started.

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