CBC News has found still more problems with the voters list in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence during the last election. The defeated Liberal candidate, former MP Joe Volpe, has now demanded an Elections Canada investigation and the winner, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, says that's fine with him.
"If Elections Canada asks for the material," said Oliver, "of course we're entirely open to do that and we welcome any investigation. I don't know if it's needed or not."
But Liberals in the riding say it's definitely needed because, they say, Conservative tactics crossed the line.
Eglinton-Lawrence resident Marsha Sands said she personally received a rude and misleading phone call from a female caller who claimed to be calling from Liberal headquarters.
Trouble was, Sands took the call as she sat in Liberal headquarters as a volunteer for the Volpe campaign. After she tried to find out who was really calling — from a U.S. number — the caller said she was with a research company and hung up.
"This is not dirty tricks," Sands said. "What was going on is illegal."
Sands, who's worked on Volpe's campaigns for 10 years, added: "Since this robocall and all the little schemes that went on in last year's election, we're no different than the people that we point fingers at, like China, Russia. What's the difference?"
Now, though, the problem is not just misleading calls. Elections Canada has already dismissed the Liberals' complaint about that.
What's new is that an influx of unregistered voters somehow got on the voters list in Eglinton-Lawrence without providing the address information that Elections Canada requires. At least 2,700 such applications were approved and signed by an elections official so that the applicant could vote. But an examination by CBC News shows most of them have address problems. Some give addresses of a bank or a UPS store, where nobody lives. Others have no address at all. And most have no previous address — which is required to ensure that voters aren't on the list at both old and new residences.
In the riding, news of these problems is causing complaints.
"You know, if they couldn't provide sufficient evidence of their riding address then they should not have been allowed to have voted, so I'm very disappointed that that would have taken place," resident Kim Froats told CBC News.
Another odd feature of the voters list in Eglinton-Lawrence is that 12 members of one family all got on the list using four different current addresses, but without giving any previous addresses at all. An Elections Canada official said that, without that information, the applications would not have been approved or signed by an elections official.
However, all of the hundreds of forms examined by CBC News show, beneath a notation saying, "office use only," the signature of an "authorized official."
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