Summary Investigation Report on Robocalls


9. This report outlines the findings of the Commissioner's investigation into complaints of nuisance telephone calls and calls providing incorrect poll location information in electoral districts other than Guelph during the 41st general election, held from March 26 to May 2, 2011.

10. The Commissioner is the independent officer responsible for ensuring compliance with and enforcement of the Act. As such, he has the authority to initiate investigations of possible contraventions of the Act, which is what he did here.

11. If the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that an offence has been committed, he may refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions in accordance with section 511 of the Act. The Director of Public Prosecutions has sole authority under the Act to decide whether charges will be laid.

12. Elector misdirection in Guelph was the subject of a separate investigation by the Commissioner. One charge under the Act resulting from the Guelph investigation is now before the court in Guelph.Footnote 3

13. Although these events of the 2011 general election raise a number of other issues, many of which were mentioned in the Chief Electoral Officer's report of March 26, 2013, Preventing Deceptive Communications with Electors, they were not the primary concern of this investigation. The purpose of the present investigation was a narrower one – that is, to determine whether there was enough evidence to recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions that he consider initiating a prosecution for violations of the Act in relation to nuisance calls or calls giving electors incorrect poll locations outside of Guelph.

Footnote 3 Some Guelph electors, however, did receive nuisance and misdirection calls unrelated to the matter currently pending before the court. As well, a small number of the Guelph misdirection calls were in fact sent to electors living outside of Guelph.

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