Today’s report from the Commissioner of Canada Elections makes very clear that a lack of evidence is the key reason the investigation cannot proceed – a problem that can be traced back to things like a refusal to cooperate and shortcomings in the law.
“This changes nothing. It would certainly be a mistake for Conservatives to try and claim victory here. Let’s not forget there are still charges in the Guelph case – where fraudulent calls were traced back to the Conservative Party’s database,” said Charlie Angus, NDP Ethics critic.
“Conservatives cheated in the 2006 election, were caught and pled guilty. Conservatives cheated in 2008, and are awaiting trial. And in 2011 fraudulent voter calls were traced back to the Conservatives’ database – while the Conservative Party has routinely dragged its heels and failed to cooperate.”
New Democrats pointed out that when Federal Court Judge Richard Mosely considered this case he strongly criticized the Conservatives, saying they made "little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset.” Judge Mosely is the only person who has considered this case in a full court hearing.
“To make matters worse, under the Unfair Elections Act it will be even harder for the Commissioner to investigate these sorts of problems – and easier for parties to try and cheat,” said Angus.
“It seems Conservatives are happy with shortcomings in the law – and stubbornly refuse to give the Commissioner the power to compel testimony, something the NDP, the Commissioner and many experts have called for.”