Michael Sona, the former Conservative staffer convicted in the 2011 robocalls scandal, was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in jail for what the judge called “an affront to the electoral process.” Justice Gary Hearn called his task “a difficult and troublesome sentencing.” The Crown had wanted Sona, 26, to spend at least a year and a half in custody for his role in a scheme to misdirect voters on the morning of the 2011 federal election. Sona hung his head and typed on a BlackBerry, his family members beside him in tears, as Hearn delivered his decision. Sona will also spend 12 months on probation.
Sona is a youthful, first-time offender, but that can’t be allowed to overshadow the seriousness of the case, Hearn said. “Individuals such as Mr. Sona, notwithstanding the lack of record and their apparently good character, must appreciate that this type of an offence is a affront to the electoral process,” he said. Sona’s conduct, he continued, “simply cannot be classified as anything less than very serious.”
Sona, given his background in government service, presumably supported the right of people to a free and fair vote, Hearn said. “He took very active steps to see that this did not happen and the sentence must be such that the serious nature of this conduct is made apparent to those similarly inclined.”