The last unresolved legal appeal of the 2011 robocalls scandal is at an end after the Federal Court of Appeal tossed out a bid to overturn the federal election results from Guelph, Ont. The judge’s ruling states that a looming federal vote in October now makes it moot to further challenge the 2011 election outcome — notwithstanding a raft of as-yet unsolved Election Act offences. Kornelis Klevering, who ran for the Marijuana Party in Guelph, was seeking to overturn the Liberal victory in the riding on the grounds that thousands of eligible electors may have been misdirected by fraudulent, automated phone calls purporting to come from Elections Canada. Klevering, however, launched his legal challenge of the Guelph election results too late under the rules, and a succession of courts rejected his suit on the grounds there was no evidence the fraudulent calls affected the actual election outcome.
A single, junior Conservative party worker, Michael Sona, was convicted and sentenced to nine months in jail for his role in the Guelph voter suppression scandal — a sentence that is being appealed by both Sona and the Crown.
Justice Wyman Webb, writing the unanimous ruling of the three-judge Federal Court of Appeal panel, found that Klevering’s late application was enough on its own to dismiss the case.
But Justice Webb also wrote that even if Klevering’s appeal were to go ahead, “it is unlikely that any such hearing could be concluded before there is another general federal election, which would render his request to annul the 2011 election in Guelph moot.”