rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

The Conservatives counterattack: Day 4 of Robocalls in court

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Day 4: The Conservatives Counterattack On Thursday, the six Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs in the ridings at the centre of the legal cases put forward their arguments for keeping their seats in the face of strong evidence that the outcomes were affected by fraud.

They claim that Canadians aren't so foolish as to fall for fraudulent calls, or so easily dissuaded from voting. "There is a fundamental disrespect right now for the intuitiveness of the Canadian voter," CPC lawyer Arthur Hamilton said in court on Thursday. "They are very careful. They take their franchise seriously."

Thomas Parlee, the applicant from the Yukon who was in the courtroom agreed with Mr. Hamilton and said, "I don't like anybody messing with my vote." Yvonne Kafka, the applicant from Vancouver Island North also agrees. She takes her right to vote so seriously that she appealed to her neighbour to help her drag her ailing husband all over their riding of Vancouver Island North searching for her correct polling station after a fraudulent call misdirected her. But while they all voted, Thomas and Yvonne both believe others who were targeted did not.

The balance of the CPC MPs' argument on Thursday focused on attempting to counter the applicants' evidence.

Annette Desgagné, a former employee of RMG, believes that she made misleading calls to voters on Election Day and the two days before. Thursday, the lawyer for RMG reviewed 18 recordings of calls Annette made over three days into the six ridings involved in these legal cases. In two instances there were discrepancies between the information Annette provided to the listener, and what the listener understood to be correct. However, Annette made many more than 18 calls in those three days, and RMG refused to produce the record of those calls. Also, RMG has admitted to making calls advising that "Elections Canada has changed some polling stations" into five of the six ridings in question – despite there having been only one riding of those five in which a poll was moved. It also ignored the direct instruction by Elections Canada that parties not discuss changes in polling locations.

Finally, the CPC lawyers once again launched personal attacks on EKOS pollster Frank Graves in an attempt to discredit him as an expert witness, prompting Judge Mosley at one point to interject that some accusations were "unfair." They also began their attack on the polling data itself, which was to continue on Friday. That day, CPC lawyers should complete their submissions, and court will hear submissions from Elections Canada.

With the potential for the cases to run over to Monday, my next report back to you will wait until then.

I hope you know you are with me and the eight applicants for every moment in that courtroom this week. Thank you for continuing to follow these proceedings with such keen interest.

With hope and resolve,


Maude Barlow
National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians

Click here to donate to the Democracy 24-7 Legal Fund now!

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.