Since I'm on the run today and there's not really much to report, I'm going to do a briefer than usual summary and leave the links with you.
And to get it out of the way: there is still no word on when we can expect a ruling on Etobicoke Lakeshore from the Supreme Court. I think they've hired whoever Elections Canada uses to manage their communications strategy.
A few hours after I posted last Friday, McGregor and Maher struck again and there's a bit of good news and a bit of bad news. The good news is that there are again signs of Elections Canada investigating fraudulent phone calls in ridings in addition to Guelph, including in Ottawa, Toronto and Burlington.
At this point their efforts appear to be limited to asking questions of both campaign workers and of people who complained about receiving the calls. In a couple of cases, the complainants have been asked to provide information about their telephone service providers at the time the calls occurred but there's no report here of any production orders issued to those service providers. Hopefully that's still to come.
The bad news is what amounts to a warning that even if Elections Canada were to forward their findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions, we might never know unless the latter does decide to press charges. Here's the passage from the article.
Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Cote refers any findings of wrongdoing to Director of Public Prosecutions Brian Saunders to decide on laying charges.
It appears, though, that the public may never know if the case has been referred to Saunders. Both Elections Canada and Saunders' office are refusing to say whether any report from investigator has been referred to prosecutors.
Dan Brien, a spokesman for the DPP, said it's up to Elections Canada to make that information public, while Elections Canada spokesman John Enright said in an email, "I cannot comment upon any of the steps related to an investigation or on the timing of those steps."
It's seems entirely possible that this investigation could just fade away and no one would actually tell us. Awesome.
The application to overturn the results in seven ridings that's being backed by the Council of Canadians was back in court again this week, but only briefly. The applicants wanted to submit additional evidence and the Conservatives were initially attempting to prevent it. But the CPC had a change of heart.
Arthur Hamilton, a lawyer for the party, said Thursday morning that he and a lawyer for the Council of Canadians, which is acting for voters trying to overturn the results in seven ridings, had agreed to argue the merits of the new evidence before the judge at trial, rather than fighting about whether the material should even be filed.
So why doesn't the sight of Arthur Hamilton being just a bit more conciliatory make me feel any better?
Remember when I joked that Dean Mastro had gone to the cottage to lay low? I still don't know if he actually has a cottage but the laying low part is no joke. He's become The Quiet Man (with apologies to John Wayne). He's still listed as a member of the Ethics Committee but he's missed five meetings. Neither he nor his lawyer are responding to requests for interviews and no one on the CPC side is responding to requests for comment.
The Chief Electoral Officer, on the other hand, continued to have a higher than usual profile this week, including delivering a speech to the Economic Club. Mayrand continues to promise that come next March, he'll have a report on suggested legislative changes to deal with the kind of advances in technology that have brought us the robocon investigation. As for the investigation itself, he continues to assure us that it's being pursued diligently without providing any specific information.
And that's the news. It's still a waiting game on pretty much every front.