Conservative Party Of Canada Admits To Mysterious Push Poll Robocalls Into Saskatchewan
Conservatives behind mysterious Sask. robocall campaign
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.