The Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister – the man whose job it has been to deflect any accusations of voter fraud or mis-spending coming from the opposition – is now facing calls for his own resignation. This comes as Elections Canada is alleging that Dean Del Mastro filed false documents and withheld information about his election expenses after the 2008 campaign. Elections Canada has an affidavit from one of their investigators.
Del Mastro is accused of exceeding his spending and donation limits during the 2008 federal election. There are reports that Elections Canada is refusing to meet with Del Mastro and his lawyer until he gives a cautioned statement – basically, until he grants that he knows his rights.
Elections Canada started investigating the matter after a small claims case filed by Holinshed, a company that Del Mastro wrote a check to for $21,000. Elections Canada had to go to court to have a judge order the company president to produce the documents connected with Del Mastro’s campaign.
Postmedia’s writing team of Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor are reporting that a memo stating $10,000 was mistakenly paid by Del Mastro’s campaign to the company did not come from anyone at Holinshed.
The duo have also reported on another funding issue with the Del Mastro campaign. Apparently three people have come forward alleging that they were asked to donate $1,000 to the campaign and were refunded the $1,000 and given a $50 bonus. These people are all reported to work or have worked for David Del Mastro, Dean Del Mastro’s cousin.
If true, it means that the campaign essentially took more in donations from that company than they’re legally allowed to give. The Elections Act also forbids helping others to conceal the real source of a donation. On top of the $50 bonus, each of the fake donors would have received a tax receipt.
It should be mentioned that David Del Mastro’s company is not in Dean Del Mastro’s riding, but that 12 employees of the Mississauga company are listed as donors of $1,000 to his campaign. The limit for personal donations to an election campaign is $1,100.
Facing a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison, Del Mastro is no longer the attack dog. The Prime Minister now has to stand and defend him. Opposition members are demanding he step down from his position, saying that he can not stand up every day and defend the government’s ethics while under investigation for election fraud.
Photo Credit: Peter Blanchard