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Friday, August 10, 2012

Crucial robocall claimant revealed to be a liar

Does the name Annette Desgagne ring a bell?

She's the call centre worker who was conscripted to the pro-robocall conspiracy side.  As a former employee of Responsive Marketing Group (RMG), a call centre doing calls for the Conservative Party during the last election, Desgagne approached dumpster-diving "journalists" Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor with stunning revelations.

Desgagne alleged that she was ordered to deliberately mislead voters by calling and telling them their polling station had changed.  She even put these allegations in writing, filing an affidavit for the pro-robocall conspiracy Council of Canadians.

It's pretty convincing and convenient, especially for the "journalists" who have been attempting to ram this non-existent scandal down our throats for months now without the slightest shred of evidence.

But she made it all up!

Andrew Langhorne, Chief Operating Officer of RMG, released a detailed affidavit of his own yesterday, including the actual scripts Desgagne and her fellow employees were told to use.

Neither RMG nor the Conservatives ever told call centre employees to contact non-supporters, and it was always clear that the caller was to immediately identify themselves as calling from the Conservative Party. In fact, the entire script was:

“Hi, I’m calling for (name from list),”
“This is (first name) with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives."
"Your candidate (Candidate name) asked me to call you.”
"Elections Canada has changed some voting locations at the last moment,”


at which point the caller asked the voter to verify the information on their voter information card, and if the information was different, the voter was told the new polling address.

Of course, Elections Canada did change some polling locations, and these calls only went to Conservative supporters, meaning it was in the Conservatives' interest to give accurate information.

In fact, RMG has tracked and listened to Desgagne's calls, and in the 20 calls she made she stuck to the script!  Even in Desgagne's affidavit she acknowledges her fellow employees were going off script without manager or Conservative Party approval (page 4).

So we have a call centre employee who followed her script and did nothing wrong.  Yet when the fake story broke that the election was unfair, Desgagne surely saw dollar signs.

Was she approached by the Council of Canadians? The NDP? The Liberal Party? Another left-wing front group? As an RMG employee involved in the 2011 election, was she paid to file a bogus affidavit to support a bogus lawsuit just to stir up headlines and bonus cheques for Maher and McGregor?

This fake "scandal" has been dead since it broke headlines. These are the real questions that need answering now.