Harper denies ‘robocall’ allegations, accuses opposition of smear campaign

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says allegations the Conservatives were behind misleading and harassing calls to voters in the last federal election are nothing but a smear campaign by the NDP and Liberals.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says allegations the Conservatives were behind misleading and harassing calls to voters in the last federal election are nothing but a smear campaign by the NDP and Liberals.

Harper told the House of Commons the Conservatives Party “can say absolutely and definitely it has no role in this.”

Elections Canada is investigating reports that voters in Guelph, Ont., received calls from a phone number with a 450 area code directing them to the wrong polling station.

Phone records show the number behind the Guelph calls belonged to a cellphone registered to “Pierre Poutine” of “Separatist Street” in Joliette, Que.

Elections Canada’s chief investigator says in a sworn court document that the clearly fake name was likely used to cover the tracks of whoever was behind misleading and harassing calls to Guelph voters.

The phone records show the number registered to Pierre Poutine twice called Edmonton-based call centre RackNine Inc., on April 30 and May 1.

The records also show phones associated with Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke and the Guelph Conservative riding association made a total of 31 calls to RackNine between March 26 and early May.

Mathews concludes in the court document that it is reasonable to believe Burke’s campaign did business with RackNine and that the relationship is related to the misleading calls directing Guelph voters to the wrong polling station.

The claims, which have not been proven in court, are laid out in an Information to Obtain a Production Order filed in an Edmonton court in November.

RackNine has confirmed someone used its automated dialling service to make the phoney calls.

The company insists it did nothing wrong and that it is helping Elections Canada and the police in their investigation.

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