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Elections Canada wants greater punishment powers in wake of robocalls debacle

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand waits to appear before the Commons ethics committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Oct. 4, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Elections Canada is seeking greater powers to punish anyone caught impersonating one of its officials in the wake of the robocalls affair.

The agency today released a long-anticipated report into false or misleading telephone calls made during the last federal election.

The report does not shed light on the identity of the mysterious figure known as "Pierre Poutine," the person responsible for a rash of misleading calls in ridings across the country.

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But it does makes a number of recommendations aimed at preventing a similar episode in future election campaigns.

The report urges the government to create a new offence that includes hefty fines and jail time for anyone caught pretending to be an Elections Canada official.

It also calls for greater powers to compel witnesses to testify and produce documents to investigators.

Elections Canada is still investigating reports of false or misleading telephone calls made across the country.

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