Sentencing Digest – 2006 General Election

Accused: William Harrison of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Manitoba.
Offence: On January 23, 2006, influenced electors to vote or not to vote for a particular candidate by writing graffiti in the voting compartment about a particular candidate.
Facts: William Harrison pled guilty to contravening paragraphs 166(1)(a) and (c), thereby committing an offence under paragraphs 489(2)(c) and (3)(d) of the Canada Elections Act.
Sentencing Date: March 20, 2007.
Sentence: $100 fine.

Accused: The accused of Toronto, Ontario.
Offence: Voted at the general election of January 23, 2006, knowing that he was not qualified as an elector, as he was not a Canadian citizen.
Facts: The accused pled guilty to contravening paragraph 5(a), thereby committing an offence under paragraph 483(a) of the Canada Elections Act.
Sentencing Date: July 14, 2006.
Sentence: Absolute discharge. Before sentencing, the accused had performed 30 hours of community service. The Court took into account the youth of the offender and the fact that he did not intend to affect the vote. However, the Court stated that it did not accept the offender's premise and motive for committing the act, concerning the need for proof of citizenship. The Court commented that there are reasons why proof of citizenship is not required and that such a requirement could deprive eligible voters from voting.

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