Voter fraud alleged in Toronto riding

TORONTO — Elections Canada may or may not be investigating allegations of voter fraud in the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence during the 2011 federal election.

A March 7 CBC News report unearthed evidence that some 2,700 unregistered voters got on the voters’ list late in the campaign in the north Toronto riding. Many did so by providing either false addresses or no addresses at all on their voting cards, which is in violation of Elections Canada rules, CBC reported.

Conservative Party candidate Joe Oliver won the riding by more than 4,000 votes over longtime Liberal MP Joe Volpe.

Diane Benson, a spokesperson for Elections Canada, told The CJN it’s policy to “not deny nor confirm” whether her agency is investigating the allegations.

Oliver did not respond to requests for comment by the The CJN's deadline. He told reporters last week he would co-operate with Elections Canada if it decides to launch an investigation, but said he had not been contacted by the federal elections body.

Marianna Gagliardo, a constituency assistant at Oliver’s riding office, said she was aware of the allegations but as of last Friday had not been contacted by Elections Canada about the matter.

Meanwhile, Volpe has referred all questions on the subject to his lawyer, Tony Pascale.

Neither Volpe nor Pascale could be reached for comment, but Pascale told CBC last week that he wanted Elections Canada to investigate, because there were “an inordinately high number of voters registering who were not on the voters list in order to cast ballots.”

Volpe had held Eglinton-Lawrence for the Liberals since 1988.

According to the 2006 census, the riding has a population of about 110,000, 39 per cent of whom were immigrants. About 17 per cent were Jewish and 11 per cent Italian.