Xtra
2 min

The poutine connection

Today in Robocon revelations, court documents
show a number of calls between the Conservative campaign office in Guelph and
RackNine – the company that did the robo-calling – despite the fact that the office
had filed no expenses showing payments to said company. (Court filings can be
found here.) And more bizarrely, the burner cellphone was
registered to a “Pierre Poutine” from “Separatist Avenue” in Joliette, Quebec –
a name that reeks of fratboyism, or the belief that an Alberta company like
RackNine would swallow it. Well, perhaps not – apparently that wasn’t the name
the individual used with RackNine, and there is a Pierre’s Poutine in Guelph,
but still.

The Conservative staffer who left his job
over the allegations has broken his silence and denies involvement, but
apparently he walked before he was pushed – which is another interesting twist. On
the Toronto Star front, Tonda
McCharles looks at the Conservative voter-ID database, while Susan Delacourt points one in the direction of its selling features. The former Liberal
candidate in Ottawa-Orleans is making fresh robo-call allegations from the last
election. On the other side, former Conservative war-room operative Jason
Lietar throws some reasonable doubt into the whole robo-call situation, which
is worth considering.

In related news, the company that made
those reprehensible calls into Irwin Cotler’s riding is under investigation by
the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association and is likely to lose its “gold seal.” (Here is a list of gold seal members.)

The Conservatives want to haul the former
Liberal staffer behind the VikiLeaks account to a Commons committee. The
problem? They want to summon him to the ethics committee, which is not, in fact,
the committee with the mandate for the issue. That committee would be procedure
and house affairs, but hey, that won’t make for as good of a headline.

New data shows the government has been overestimating the costs of OAS – which leads to the belief that this data
undermines their arguments for why OAS needs to be reformed at some vague and
distant point in the future.

The parliamentary budget officer has a new report that looks at the costs of the portion of the omnibus crime bill that
deals with ending conditional sentences and finds that it’s going to drive the
costs of incarceration way up, especially for the provinces. And it’s no
surprise that the Conservatives won’t budge on it, nor does it appear that they
even did their own costing, which is a sad state of affairs.

And music industry groups were on the Hill
to talk about the copyright bill, and they want amendments made.

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