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The Conservatives counterattack: Day 4 of Robocalls in court

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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,

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Maude Barlow
National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians

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