Rallies decry robocalls

Protesters armed with placards and megaphones gathered in a number of Canadian cities across Canada on Sunday to call for a public inquiry into the robocall election fraud scandal.

Protesters armed with placards and megaphones gathered in a number of Canadian cities across Canada on Sunday to call for a public inquiry into the robocall election fraud scandal.

There were modest turnouts of several dozen in Halifax and Montreal while local media outlets estimated the turnout in Toronto was in the hundreds.

In Winnipeg, former Liberal MP Anita Neville joined more than 100 protesters.

Neville lost to Conservative Joyce Bateman in the riding of Winnipeg South Centre in the 2011 election, and some Liberals have said robocalls may have hurt Neville’s campaign.

Protest organizers are calling for a full public inquiry into the robocall scandal, in which thousands of voters got phone calls directing them away from the proper polling stations in last May’s election.

Montreal demonstrator Alexandra Smith says she wants someone held accountable for the robocalls to ensure Canada has fair and transparent elections.

The Liberals and New Democrats accuse the Conservatives of being behind the calls — a charge Prime Minister Stephen Harper denies.

Elections Canada is reviewing more than 31-thousand reports of Canadians receiving robocalls.

About 42,000 people have signed an online petition for a public inquiry into the matter.

Protests were planned in other cities including Calgary, Regina and Victoria.

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