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Former Tory staffer urges 'guilty party' to take blame in robo-call controversy

Former Tory staffer Michael Sona poses in front of the Peace Tower in an image taken from his Facebook page.

A key Conservative campaign worker in Guelph in the last election is calling on the "guilty party" to step forward and acknowledge his or her role in the ongoing robo-call controversy.

Emerging from a week-long silence, former Conservative staffer Michael Sona is denying any involvement in the automated phone calls that directed voters in the Ontario riding of Guelph to the wrong polling station last year. Mr. Sona was the director of communications to candidate Marty Burke during the election campaign.

He resigned last week from his position in the office of Conservative MP Eve Adams, but he said he did so only because the controversy prevented him from doing his job.

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"I have remained silent to this point with the hope that the real guilty party would be apprehended. The rumours continue to swirl, and media are now involving my family, so I feel that it is imperative that I respond," Mr. Sona said in a statement to CTV News.

"I had no involvement in the fraudulent phone calls, which also targeted our supporters as can be attested to by our local campaign team and phone records."

Mr. Sona first made news during the last election when he objected to a polling station at the University of Guelph and tried to grab a ballot box. He burst into the front foyer of the campus University Centre declaring the polling station illegal, according to accounts from students who described themselves as non-partisan.

Mr. Sona has been linked to election-day automated calls in the riding of Guelph since the existence of the Elections Canada investigation came to light last week. Defence Minister Peter MacKay suggested earlier this week that Mr. Sona's resignation was related to the Guelph election.

"I think they've identified the individual that was involved in this," Mr. MacKay told CBC News, without specifically referring to Mr. Sona. "That individual is no longer in the employment of the party."

However, the opposition has continued to reject the notion that Mr. Sona, 23, was responsible for the alleged electoral fraud.

"Someone on those [government]front benches knows who did what and when and he or she cannot scapegoat some young kid for a scandal of this magnitude," NDP MP Pat Martin said in the House.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Daniel Leblanc studied political science at the University of Ottawa and journalism at Carleton University. He became a full-time reporter in 1998, first at the Ottawa Citizen and then in the Ottawa bureau of The Globe and Mail. More

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