Elections Canada Now Collecting Victim Impact Statements

If you talked to Elections Canada about getting a robocall referring you to Old Quebec Street as your polling place on May 2, 2011, then you might have gotten an e-mail like the one below.

Senior Investigator Al Mathews is now gathering victim impact statements to present to Guelph Judge Gary Hearn when the Sona trial reconvenes next month for the the sentencing portion. It’s uncertain how the statements will impact the sentencing, and its uncertain what kind of sentence that Michael Sona might get considering that he’s the first person to be convicted under the Elections Act, but it will be interesting to see how many statements that the Crown gets back. Is there enough lingering anger about robocalls to create tremendous response? Will people be eager to see anyone punished, even if it’s Sona, and only Sona, that’s being punished?

Court is back in session October 17.

Dear Elector;

On May 2, 2011, the date of the 2011 federal General Election, numerous individuals in Guelph received a false message purporting to be from Elections Canada, which directed electors to the wrong polling location. You subsequently reported receiving such a call.

On August 14, 2011 (sp?) Justice G.F. Hearn convicted Michael Sona of the offence of preventing or endeavouring to prevent an elector from voting, in connection with the above-noted false message. Sentencing submissions will take place on October 17, 2014. As a victim of the offence, you are entitled to file a Victim Impact Statement with the Court, should you wish to do so.

A Victim Impact Statement is simply a written statement from a victim of a crime that describes the financial, physical, or emotional impact the crime had on them. In completing a Victim Impact Statement, it is important that you describe only the impact that the false message had on you. You should not comment on the facts of the offence, nor should you provide comments about the accused or indicate the sentence that you think is appropriate.

If you wish to file a Victim Impact Statement, please complete the attached form in either format and return it to me no later than September 22, 2014. Your statement will be forwarded to the Crown prosecutors who will review it and file it with the Court if it is admissible. Please note that a copy of your statement will also be provided to Mr. Sona’s lawyer, who may ask the judge for permission to cross-examine you on the contents of your statement.

If you choose to complete a statement, please send your completed, signed statement to me at the address below by mail or as an email attachment. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the email address or number below.

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