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Tuesday, February 05, 2013 

Conservative Party Of Canada Admits To Mysterious Push Poll Robocalls Into Saskatchewan

Conservatives behind mysterious Sask. robocall campaign

Earlier this afternoon, Conservative spokesperson Fred DeLorey admitted that his party was, in fact, behind the recent rash of anti-redistribution robocalls that have been reported throughout Saskatchewan over the last few days. 

According to DeLorey, the calls "should have been identified" as coming from the party, but, due to an "internal miscommunication," were placed under the name of Chase Research. 

DeLorey was quizzed about the calls by Postmedia reporter Glen McGregor last week, but refused to admit to the calls, instead insisting that the party was "not polling" -- a position that he maintains even now, claiming that the campaign is just another part of the "host of things" that the party is doing to "communicate with voters and get their feedback." 

His full statement: 

In regards to the calls last week that went into Saskatchewan concerning redistribution, the calls came from the Conservative Party.
There was an internal miscommunication on the matter, and the calls should have been identified as coming from the Conservative Party.
As I said in the past, we are not polling on this issue, we already know where people stand - 75% of people who attended the public hearings and submitted written submissions opposed these drastic changes to the boundaries. 
But we are doing a host of things to communicate with voters and get their feedback.
Not only were these changes opposed by 75% of the public, but an actual member of the commission also opposed these changes, which led to an unprecedented Dissenting Report by the boundary commission.
We agree with the Dissenting Report of Commissioner David Marit on the basis that:
o   These drastic changes were opposed by 75% of the public who presented at the Commission's public hearings;
o   There will be fewer MPs representing urban areas than under the previous maps, a fact pointed out by the residents, city-councillors, and business leaders in Regina and Saskatoon;
o   Because of population growth, the next boundary commission will have to change the ridings back to rural-urban blends; and
Rural Saskatchewan plays a vital role in supporting the urban population centres and it only makes sense to have MPs that represent both rural and urban areas to reflect that important characteristic of the province.

Conservatives admit they were behind “push poll,” following analysis of phone message:

OTTAWA – A forensic voice-analysis expert has matched a voice recording from a mysterious company that sent out a robocall “push poll” about Saskatchewan riding boundaries to the firm that was used to send out the infamous “Pierre Poutine” calls in the last election.
After initially denying any involvement, the Conservatives said Tuesday that they had failed to identify themselves as the source of the voice-broadcast to Saskatchewan residents last week.
The party blamed an “internal miscommunication” for the failure to identify itself and the origin of the call.
Liberal MP Ralph Goodale filed a complaint with the CRTC Tuesday morning, alleging the failure to name the source broke telemarketing rules — the same offence for which Liberal MP Frank Valeriote’s riding association was fined last year.
The pre-recorded message sent to some Saskatchewan residents last Thursday told recipients that proposed changes to the province’s riding boundaries would pit urban areas against rural ones, and offend “Saskatchewan values.”
The robocall was presented as an interactive public-opinion survey – an American tactic called “push polling” – but appeared designed to rally opposition to changes to the ridings that would help opposition parties at the expense of Conservatives.
The originating number of the call, shown on recipients’ call displays, was answered by a generic voice recording saying no one was available to answer.
But on Monday, a recorded male voice on the outgoing message identified the line as belonging to “Chase Research,” a company that does not seem to exist in Saskatchewan.
The voice sounded similar to the voice of Matt Meier, owner of Edmonton-based RackNine Inc., the company whose equipment was used to launch more than 7,000 misleading calls directing voters in Guelph to the wrong polling station in the 2011 federal election.
The same voice and company name, Chase Research, was also heard on another number affiliated with a “push poll” sent out to Alberta residents during last year’s provincial election.  That call offered a highly prejudicial poll asking recipients voters which kinds of tax increases proposed by Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford they favoured.

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