Robocall allegations surface on final day of Que. election campaign
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 3, 2012 2:23PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 3, 2012 10:27PM EDT
QUEBEC -- Allegations of unethical robocalls, which surfaced following the last federal election, have now sprouted on the last full day of the Quebec election campaign.
The Quebec Liberals filed a complaint Monday with provincial police over allegations of trick phone calls before Quebecers head to vote.
The governing party says it has learned of a series of automated calls falsely made in the party's name in the Quebec City region.
The alleged message was spoken mostly in English in the overwhelmingly francophone region. Other calls were made in Laval, a suburb north of Montreal, by people using an "aggressive tone" and claiming to be representing the Liberals, according to the party.
"All these calls are false and obviously emanate from an organization or individuals who want to harm the Liberal party," the Liberals said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Quebec's provincial police couldn't immediately confirm an official complaint had been filed.
Voters are set to cast their ballots Tuesday. Polls place the Parti Quebecois ahead of the Liberals and the upstart Coalition party.
PQ Leader Pauline Marois and Liberal Leader Jean Charest spent the final day in the Quebec City area, where polls suggest Francois Legault's Coalition party could steal several seats from the Liberals.
Marois has been pressing for a majority mandate to set her sovereigntist agenda in motion.
"We don't want to find ourselves in an election (again) in six months," she said in Quebec City.
Charest, meanwhile, continues to warn of economic turmoil if voters elect the PQ.
At a sod-turning for Quebec City's $400-million arena, Charest repeated his claim that a sovereigntist government could jeopardize the city's chances of bringing back NHL hockey.
He told reporters it was more likely a team would return in "an economy that's doing well rather than an economy that's doing poorly."
Legault, meanwhile, made a final pitch in the hotly contested ridings north and south of Montreal, in the 450 area code, which some analysts say could decide the election.
"It will be very close, it will be very close," he said in Mascouche, north of Montreal. "Our data shows us that the Coalition could be in government if we get votes in the 450."
Officials continue to investigate allegations of fraudulent and misleading phone made during the 2011 federal election.
A number of residents say they received automated phone calls from someone claiming to be from Elections Canada and directing them to a wrong or non-existent polling station.
While the misleading phone calls appeared to target non-Conservative voters, the Conservative party insists it had no involvement in any such scheme and says it is assisting the investigation.
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