The 2008 campaign of the Tory who is recognized for skillfully repeating the same defenses every time opposition MPs ask questions about the robocall scandal is currently under investigation by Elections Canada. News of the investigation came out on June 6.
Dean Del Mastro’s campaign manager is accused of hiding a campaign contribution of $21,000 from the candidate himself, well over the campaign limit of $2,100. There are also accusations that Del Mastro’s campaign overspent on their allowable expenses as well.
Del Mastro, who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, went on live television unannounced after apparently hearing about the investigation only when reporter Stephen Maher called to ask him about it. He also says his official agent for the 2008 campaign has not been notified of any investigation.
On CBC’s Power and Politics, he said that the check was for various different contracts with one company, Holinshed Research Group, and only one of those contracts was related to the campaign. In his election expenses posted online, there is an expense paid to Holinshed totaling $1,575 according to CBC.
Why he wouldn’t have provided himself with some protection by writing a separate check for election related expenses, he did not say.
According to the report by Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher, the same reporters who broke the robocalls story, Holinshed was also involved in a small claims suit against Del Mastro concerning expenses incurred after the 2008 campaign. It is in the documents submitted to the small claims court that Holinshed refers to being hired for $21,000 worth of voter identification work during the election. Del Mastro told CBC that the small claims case was dismissed by a judge.
Interestingly, Holinshed was also the recipient of a grant for $125,000 as part of the Harper government’s Economic Action Plan.
Photo Credit: Leadnow Canada