A young Conservative staffer involved in a controversial 2011 election campaign in the Ontario riding of Guelph has just left the office of MP Eve Adams.
Michael Sona, 23, had been working for about a week in the office of Ms. Adams, the Conservative MP for the Toronto-area riding of Mississauga–Brampton South. A source said Mr. Sona resigned Thursday evening after his name started circulating in the media in relation to automated crank calls made in Guelph on election day last year.
There is no public evidence Mr. Sona had any link to the matter, which is being investigated by Elections Canada. His departure from Ms. Adams's office came less than 24 hours after the Ottawa Citizen revealed that the crank calls were made used a robo-call company in Alberta that frequently worked for the Conservatives and other right-wing parties.
The voter-suppression case has spurred Bob Rae to call for an emergency debate in the House. In a letter to Speaker Andrew Scheer, the Interim Liberal said the democratic rights of Canadians are sacred.
"This debate is necessary because denying someone the opportunity to vote, is to deny them the most basic right that exists in our democracy," Mr. Rae said. "These reports undermine the reputation of Parliament and cast a shadow over the legitimacy of all Parliamentary proceedings."
Mr. Sona first made news during the last election when he objected to a polling station at the University of Guelph. The director of communications for Conservative candidate Marty Burke, Mr. Sona 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.
"It was a big scene. He seemed aggressive and angry and was quite loud," said student Brenna Anstett, who was voting at the time. "And then he went to make a grab for the ballot box."
Elections Canada later ruled that the 241 votes cast by "special ballot" at the university were valid.
According to his Facebook account, Mr. Sona was born in New Jersey and studied history at the University of Guelph.