Chauveau residents denounce repeated PCQ robocalls | Elections Quebec 2022

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Residents of Chauveau denounce repeated automated calls from the PCQ | Élections Quebec 2022

Éric Duhaime knocks on the door of Chauveau, where he wants to be elected and his entry into the National Assembly.

Residents of the riding of Chauveau, in Quebec, denounce automated telephone calls from the Conservative party. Dozens claim to receive calls from Éric Duhaime's party several times a week and even a day asking if they intend to vote for him.

It's harassment and I'm not for that at all, says Gilles Arial, citizen of Chauveau for about six years.

The resident reports receiving calls around supper time or late in the evening. We ask him who he is going to vote for, without trying to convince him.

He's called us at least 4-5 times in the same week. I think that's enough. Once, it could have passed, but 4-5 times is too much, I don't agree with that at all. I think it's harassment, believes Mr. Arial.

Gilles Arial

Radio-Canada spoke with a dozen citizens of the riding of Quebec who say they live the same reality.

Questioned about this way of doing things, the candidate in the riding and leader of the party, Éric Duhaime, indicated that he was not aware of these calls.

Conservative leader Éric Duhaime speaks in front of his campaign bus, Saturday, in the riding of Chauveau .

I am not aware. I know that there are calls being made, door-to-door calls being made, all kinds of solicitations being made, we are in an election campaign, but the particularity you are telling me about, I am not not aware.

The Conservative Party of Quebec confirms having hired a firm, Stratcom, to sound out the voting intentions of Chauveau voters. Four calls were indeed made last week between Monday and Thursday. One per day per phone number, we are assured. The Party recalls that it is normal to proceed in this way during an election period.

Elections Quebec has no legal authority to regulate this kind of practice.

The electoral law [in Quebec] does not regulate the way in which voters can enter into relationship with voters, says Julie Saint-Arnaud Drolet, spokesperson for Élections Québec.

“Compared to the solicitation that can be made, for example, by telephone, it is not the electoral law that comes to mark this kind of intervention there. »

— Julie Saint-Arnaud Drolet, spokesperson for Elections Quebec.

The electoral law regulates party advertising from a financial point of view. There are also certain periods when there is an advertising ban scheduled, i.e. the first seven days of the election period and the day of the election itself.

The organization adds that it does not provide voters' phone numbers to political parties. This is not information that is on the electoral list and sent to the parties.

Élections Québec does have the power to recommend, however, adds Ms. Funny. It is possible that in the future there will be a framework provided for in this area […]

At the federal level, the Canadian Parliament adopted in 2014 the Act respecting the Election Integrity, which amends the Canada Elections Act and makes the CRTC responsible for maintaining a voter contact registry.

This means that individuals and groups who make phone calls to Canadian voters for purposes related to a federal election may need to register with the CRTC, the organization's website says. /p>

Concretely, candidates or parties are not required to register in this register, if they use their own telephone services to communicate live with voters .

In contrast, any entity using a robocall or calling service provider to contact voters must do so.

Violators can face fines ranging from $500 to $15,000.

With information from Marie Maude Pontbriand

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