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Monday, April 29, 2013

Part 2: Elections Canada continues to avoid answering questions over botched robocalls investigation

Ever since I uncovered the disturbing bias present in individuals hired to investigate the “robocalls” during the 41st election, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people demanding I further dig into the “robocalls” investigation.


You asked for it and Elections Canada has responded.

My request was as follows:

1. A list of all individuals and companies hired for the "robocalls” investigation;

2. The addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of these companies or individuals;

3. The documentation provided to Elections Canada to facilitate the hiring of these individuals and companies;

4. The reasoning by Elections Canada for hiring these individuals and companies;

5. The reasoning by Elections Canada for paying these individuals and companies the contracted amounts, usually in the amount of $78.444.35; and

6. Whether any individuals or companies hired for the "robocalls" investigations have been fired, terminated, disciplined, or other subject to negative employment action, and the reason for this action."

Questions 1 and 2

As previously reported, many of the investigators are private individuals or companies hired under contract to work for Elections Canada.  Except for one, they have no website, email address, telephone number, or any publicly-available information.

Elections Canada’s response:

o   CEO: Marco Perron
o   August 29, 2012 to November 30, 2012
o   Contract amount: $214,700.00
o   Job description: System Audit Services
·         John Dickson Professional Corporation
o   No company website
o   President: S.J.B. Dickson
o   50 Settlers Way, Kemptville, Ontario
o   March 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
o   Contract amount: $168,500.00
o   Job description: Investigation Services
·         S.H. Neville & Associates Ltd.
o   No company website
o   President: S.H. Neville
o   19 Marchvale Drive, Kanata, Ontario
o   April 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
o   Contract amount: $78,450.00
o   Job description: Investigation Services
·         Raymond Lincourt & Associes
o   No company website
o   President: Diane Lincourt
o   6590 Windsong Avenue, Orleans, Ontario
o   April 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
o   Contract amount: $78,450.00
o   Job description: Investigation Services

Questions 3 and 4

What I was looking for: why were these individuals hired? How were bids solicited?  How many companies or individuals submitted applications for these positions?  What hiring process was undertaken to ensure only the best investigators were working on a case supposedly so crucial and essential to protecting Canada’s democracy?  Why are these roles contracted out to private companies rather than Elections Canada employees?  What experience do the companies and individuals noted above have in investigating supposed elections irregularities?

Elections Canada’s response:  “No records could be located.”

Question 5

What I was looking for: as noted previously, several of the contracts awarded to investigate the “robocalls” were in the odd amount of $78,444.35.  Why was this?  Did someone choose to set the contract at this rate, or was this simply coincidence?

Elections Canada’s response: 



Of course, this pricing table raises the question: if investigators are paid to a maximum of $70,000.00 including travel, why the contracts at $78,000+?

Question 6

What I was looking for: to account for any discrepancies between my previous findings and the current request, I wanted to ensure I captured an accurate picture of all individuals or companies working the investigation.  As well, to ensure the “robocalls” investigation was being conducted by only the best, most qualified individuals, I wanted to ensure the public record was clear if any investigators had been terminated, and the reasons if they were.

For instance, 7147660 Canada Inc (owned by Tom Ritchie) was given a $78,444.35 contract from March 12, 2012 to March 31, 2013 which was then bumped to $102,174.35.  Yet he was not listed in Elections Canada’s response to Question 1 above.  Why not?

Elections Canada’s response: “No records could be located.”

Are these responses acceptable to you? Has Elections Canada fulfilled their obligations in responding with open, accessible, transparent information related to the original questions I asked?

If not, you can help by submitting your own ATI request or by donating money to keep this investigation going.  ATI requests cost $5.00 each, which is a nominal amount, but it adds up after repeated and deliberate stonewalling to avoid answering the questions being asked.