Friday, March 02, 2012

About those election call tapes being reviewed

Updated below.

This was a report from CBC initially posted yesterday afternoon: "Election call tapes under review by Conservatives." The report was last updated early this afternoon. Here's the key excerpt:
The Conservative Party is reviewing tapes of every call made by the Responsive Marketing Group call centre in Thunder Bay, Ont., in the last election before Elections Canada investigators arrive next week, CBC News has learned.

Investigators are planning to interview the centre's staff, which the Conservative Party hired to make phone calls to identify and rally supporters in the 2011 federal election.

Conservative Party spokesman Fred Delorey denied that Conservative officials are reviewing the tapes.

"The Conservative Party is not reviewing tapes from the last election," he said in an email to CBC News.

And election commissioner William Corbett has assigned veteran investigator Ronald Lamothe, who was the lead on the in-and-out probe into 2006 election spending, to head inquiries in Thunder Bay, the Toronto Star reported.
An update(s) to the report today may have included the denial from Fred Delorey that Conservatives were reviewing the tapes.

Here's the Star report on it from Thursday:
As Lamothe heads to Thunder Bay to interview former RMG call centre workers, Conservative party officials have undertaken a massive project to review audio recordings of every call made by RMG staff on the party’s behalf in the last campaign, a source said. A spokesperson for the Conservative party denied that a review of the calls was taking place.
Source says yes, there is a review. Conservative party says no, no review. Huh.

An intention to expand the investigation to Thunder Bay was publicly revealed on Wednesday. Then cue Thursday's reporting, above, that the Conservatives were reviewing tapes. Friday morning, Elections Canada releases an official statement confirming the robocall investigation at large. As far as we know, Elections Canada is not on the scene there in Thunder Bay, yet.

Just noting the developments on this bit of the story in particular.

Update: Noted from the Postmedia report on RMG on Friday:
RMG issued a statement late Wednesday night asserting that it did not engage in voter suppression calls in the campaign and saying the company would contact Elections Canada to work with the agency.