The first charges in the Robocon Scandal have been laid against Michael Sona.

Most interesting in this, is that Sona’s lawyer has signalled they intend to shift the blame to the Conservative Party:

Neither Mr. Sona or I will be making any public statements beyond the following statement at this time.

Although the charge is disappointing, it represents an opportunity for Mr. Sona to finally address the allegations in a court as oppose to in the media and resolve it permanently. I cannot help but comment, that if the government was interested in the public being fully informed and the issue of robocalls being properly addressed, a Full Public Inquiry would be called, rather than a charge laid against a single individual who held a junior position on a single campaign and who clearly lacked the resources and access to the data required to make the robocalls. I am confident the public agrees.

Norm Boxall
Counsel for Michael Sona
Bayne Sellar Boxall

I continue to believe this scandal has the potential to stick, and be an issue come 2015. Stay tuned.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Federal Politics, Scandals

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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14 Responses to Robocon

  1. Luke

    “… they intend to shift the blame to the Conservative Party.”

    I am wondering whether this is why Elections Canada recommended prosecution, and the prosecution went ahead with it. Because from the various articles I’ve read by Maher and McGregor, Sona sounded like a really unlikely perpetrator of this whole scheme. Maybe he had a two-bit part or something.

  2. Martin Levenson

    Now, IF the Conservatives are smart, they’ll get out in front of this issue and pass legislation that would make a recurrence of this impossible. That way, if they’re found culpable in any way, they can claim the issue has been addressed.

    IF the Conservatives are smart….

  3. Salamander

    Just imagine .. !

    During such a trial, Canadians could meet Harper Canada’s backroom & war room troglodytes ! Jenni Byrne, Ray Novak, Senator Finley, Stephen Lecce.. Cmon down ! We need to depose you !

    You too, Stephen Harper, surely you know something or have an opinion or vague recollection of the events back then.. after all, it was you who hired all these folks.

    Hello PMO and Privy Council ! Hi there Matt Meier. Calling all
    Robocallers, LiveCallers and Election Consultants and ‘shadow MP’s’ ! Any data miners and data geeks n wanks recall their job description & got their dated pay records ?

    Spin to us please.. Andrew MacDougall, Fred DeLorey.. Yo Arthur Hamilton, the ‘Go To’ Conservative lawyer mixed up in this case right up to your ears, will you claim client/solicitor privilege?

    It will fascinating to see what judge will hear the case and who will prosecute it. Too bad Arthur Hamilton may be so conflicted and conflated he must recuse & excuse himself.

    What political grubs, thugs, cronies, homies & parliamentary aides & secretaries & spokespersons will suffer collective amnesia as required ? Or relocate to Thailand ?

  4. John

    Its funny how most of the media especially the evening news buried the story of Sona being charged yesterday. Even the news about the lawyer husband of a Liberal senator from Sask. taking money oversees after a dispute with the CRA has got more coverage today and it has come the very next day, curiously they did not release the 449 other names of people taking money overseas just Mr. Merchant’s lol.

    • Luke

      The Sona story broke the day before. It was on the front page of HuffPost Canada, National Post, and CBC, at least.

    • Paul O

      Mr. Merchant’s situation drew additional attention because there had been a Liberal Senator complaining about the issue. That the complaint raised questions about another Liberal Senator (by way of her husband) became newsworthy of itself.

  5. Paul O

    I have no idea whether Sona was involved in any way with what went on in Guelph. And I believe that what is alleged to have happened is improper, unethical, and has no place in an election campaign.

    But the problem becomes the standard being set by Elections Canada: if a phone call the night before an election is somehow preventing people from voting, then what about the polling staff who open a poll three hours late? How does that not prevent people from voting? Yet nobody has been suggesting charges be laid against those elections officials for apparently denying voters their franchise.

    • CalgaryGrit

      I think if an election official deliberately opened a polling station three hours late for the purpose of denying people the vote, it would be perfectly acceptable to charge them.

      • Paul O

        That’s a whole different problem: people able to ‘get away’ with what might be criminal behaviour because they are able to lie about their motives for their acts.

        Who can prove if someone ‘slept in’ or if they intended to delay the start of polling with nefarious intent.

        So a phone call is considered “preventing a voter from voting” while actually keeping the doors locked is not.

        • Marc from soccer

          Yes, a phone call is considered that because Elections Canada believes it can prove the phone calls were made with the intent to stop people from voting.

          No, the polling station opening late is not considered that because Elections Canada has no way to prove the the staff were late because of traffic, late transit, or an organization screw-up.

          That’s how the justice system works. Innocent til proven guilty; not charged and taken to court unless the crown thinks they can prove guilt with evidence.

          This is pretty simple to understand.

  6. Paul O

    I still maintain that the Liberal Election Platform convinced probably hundreds of thousands of electors to not cast a ballot. Will we see charges filed against any senior Liberals for influencing a voter to not vote?

    Once you open the door to wild theories on what constitutes “preventing a voter from voting”, who decides where to stop?

    • CalgaryGrit

      I can likely find you a few anonymous Liberals who would all be for charging anyone who had anything to do with the 2011 Liberal election campaign… 😉

  7. bluegreenblogger

    Just a guess, but I suspect that EC pushed for charges against Sona based on a probability of convictinghim. but more importantly so that additional actors could be compelled to testify. And I suspect that the CPC has been holding bcak their response to the NDP motion to ‘fix’ robocalling precisely so that they can ‘fix’ the problem at the opportune moment, like when the 6 riding court case is judegd, or when EC lays charges, like it just did.

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