Robocall enquiry begins Monday



OTTAWA -- The effort to unseat six Conservative MPs over allegations of using so-called robocalls to keep non-supporters from voting in the 2011 election goes before Federal Court on Monday.

The court will begin hearing testimony this week in a lawsuit funded by the left-wing Council of Canadians, which accuses the Tories of using automated phone messages to misdirect voters in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, B.C. and Yukon.

"The evidence is compelling," said the Council's executive director Maude Barlow in a statement. "It shows there was a widespread, targeted and coordinated campaign of voter suppression and electoral fraud that affected the outcomes in at least these six federal ridings."

The activists want the results in six ridings to be overturned, which would mean by-elections in ridings currently held by Conservatives.

Conservative Party officials deny the allegations and question the motives of the group behind he case.

"It is increasingly apparent that this is a political activist campaign masquerading as a lawsuit - a left-wing group is seeking to overturn democratic elections because it doesn't like how people voted," said party spokesman Fred DeLorey.

QMI Agency has learned the Tories will try to have the case tossed at the conclusion of the hearings.

Once source says the basic argument of the Tory motion to dismiss the case is that there isn't "one actual witness in any one of the six electoral districts who has testified that she or he was prevented from voting."

The source calls a lack of witnesses "fatal" to the activists' case.

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