-- The Commissioner of Canada Elections, Mr. Yves Cote, has announced that pursuant to a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions, his office has laid a charge under the Canada Elections Act, a federal statute.-- The charge was filed on April 2, 2013 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Guelph.-- Michael Sona is charged with having wilfully prevented or endeavoured to prevent an elector from voting at an election, contrary to paragraph 281(g) of the Canada Elections Act and by doing so committed an offence contrary to paragraph 491(3)(d) of the Canada Elections Act.-- The charge relates to the investigation of deceptive telephone calls made to electors in the riding of Guelph during the 41st general election of May 2, 2011.-- On polling day for the May 2, 2011 general election, many electors in Guelph reported receiving misleading automated telephone calls falsely informing them of changes to their assigned polling station.-- Any action taken to deliberately misdirect electors and interfere with their right to vote under the Constitution and the Canada Elections Act is a serious offence. As a result, the Commissioner of Canada Elections immediately began investigating and submitted his findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions.-- The Commissioner of Canada Elections is responsible for ensuring that the Canada Elections Act and Referendum Act are complied with and enforced. The Chief Electoral Officer appoints the Commissioner under the Canada Elections Act.
"The strong public reaction to the fraudulent telephone calls made to electors in Guelph during the May 2011 general election shows how deeply disturbed Canadians were by what happened," said Mr. Cote. "I hope that the charge we filed today will send a strong message that such abuses under the Canada Elections Act will not be tolerated."
For information specific to this matter:
Public Prosecution Service of Canada Media Relations
Elections Canada Media Relations