2 min

Tracking the robo-call dollars

As people try to track the money trail,
interesting questions are turning up with regard to the calling company RMG,
especially when certain candidates in Quebec are being billed for their
services, and yet they weren’t aware what RMG actually did for them in their
campaign. Also, Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott – who accused Elections Canada
of being the cause of much of the robo-calling – details the amount of central
control the Conservative party has over the voter lists here.

It’s another NDP opposition day today, and
this time they’ll be debating a motion to give the chief electoral officer more
powers. While the Conservatives voted this down at committee previously,
they’ve indicated they’ll support it this time.

More elections shenanigans are shaking out
as Robocon revelations continue to roll out, and last night CBC reported on a
massive number of late-registered voters into Joe Volpe’s riding – without
addresses – and lo and behold, Joe Oliver won. This isn’t the first time I’ve
heard of such tactics (and not always employed by the Conservatives, either),
and often by the time scrutineers have noticed the pattern, it's been too late for
Elections Canada to do anything about it. Hopefully this added riding will help
to fix those loopholes.

Jason Kenney told the Economic Club of
Canada that the government's looking at letting the provinces cherry-pick immigrant
candidates from the backlog in order to speed the process. No word on how to
deal with foreign credentials recognition, however, which is another big
barrier to skilled immigrants.

It looks like BC will join Alberta in creating unconstitutional Senate “nomination elections,” but still under
protest because of the province's under-representation. (You guys do know that
the Senate is divided up on regional lines rather than provincial ones, right?
Just checking.)

Plans obtained for a prison refit in
Kingston include a provision to allow for double-bunking in cells. You know, a
practice that we’ve signed international conventions against, and which is a
hindrance to rehabilitation and a danger for inmates? But don’t worry, the
Conservatives say, we don’t want to introduce double-bunking as a matter of
course; we just want to be sure facilities can handle it in case we need to
do it in emergencies. Sounds a bit dodgy, don’t you think?

In case you missed my story on the main
page of xtra.ca, the homophobic and anti-feminist group REAL Women has been
invited to be a partner organization to award Diamond Jubilee medals to
Canadians they feel deserve them.

And some anonymous person has been
sending little wooden churches covered in religious sayings to all senators,
with a handwritten letter inside.

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