For those who do not already know, that Voter Information Card you receive in the mail that tells you where to vote is printed out in the first week of the election campaign. They print out a whole bunch of mailing labels, a whole bunch of cards with poll locations all them, and then bring in an army of low wage temp workers to stick the proper label on the proper card. There are thousands of workers sticking labels on millions of VIC cards in a rush to get them to Canada Post by the end of week two, and mistakes happen. Thousands are returned by the post office to EC riding offices for a variety of reasons, be it incorrect address or the elector being deceased. Most of the temporary workers are efficient and effective workers, but there is always at least one absent minded, seemingly competent, worker in that room.
During the last election, Elections Canada changed 127 poll locations during the campaign (and at a national average of about 900 voters per location), that would mean that roughly 115,000 voters (give or take 10,000) had their poll locations changed mid election. How did EC inform all of these people that their polls had changed? They can't call everyone because they don't have every voter's phone number (that is not mandatory information, and many people don't want to volunteer it). The best thing they can do is mail out new VIC cards, hope they arrive in time and that the elector shreds the old one. It does seem strange to instruct the parties not to call people to inform them that a poll location had been changed. That doesn't help get the vote out. Changing any poll location will create a mass of confusion among those affected, so when you had the media last week reporting on alleged "massive electoral fraud", anyone who received a phone call they didn't like or were informed that poll locations had changed, suddenly thinks they might have been the victim of attempted fraud (with the real kick in pants being that the overwhelming majority of complainants actually did get to vote).