“Justice Gary Hearn said although he does not believe Sona acted alone, there was enough evidence to convict him of the crime. “I am satisfied Mr. Sona was involved in the scheme very actively,” Hearn said. He said Sona is guilty of at least aiding and abetting the robocalls…” (Global News)
This result creates a dilemma for the Harper Conservatives… Once again robocalls are in the news. This time someone who was a working Conservative staffer during the commission of the crimes has been found guilty. Further, the judge carefully deliberated over the evidence and ascertained that there likely was a wider conspiracy, however there was sufficient evidence to convict Sona.
More questions are created by this verdict than Stephen Harper can possibly hope to sweep under the rug. The judge indicated Sona at least was guilty of “aiding and abetting”. Aiding and abetting whom? The general public is not going to believe it was ‘pirates’, or the ‘Parliamentary Shenanigans Pixie’ that tried to obstruct voting during the 2011 General Election.
And what of Elections Canada? The Harper Government has made moves over their tenure to further shackle the agency. To limit EC’s investigative reach. The public will want to know if this was a move made anticipating the results of some of the robocalls investigations. Can a neutered election agency handle further malfeasance by the (likely) still at large gang who Sona “likely aided and abetted”? Is our electoral process permanently tainted? Will we need to call in UN elections observers?
The Harper Government may try to sweep the whole scandal away with the Sona scapegoat, but Justice Hearn’s verdict is not likely what they expected. The words “aiding and abetting” paves the way into further investigation of the work of Sona’s colleagues and superiors, as well as a possible appeal. A few weeks in prison should be enough for Mr. Sona to realize that under Harper’s bus is not the place he wants to be.