In the process of making an unrelated announcement yesterday, Dean Del Mastro emerged to plead innocence and lament for the questions being raised about his campaign. And also to proclaim the Prime Minister’s greatness.
He spoke about the effect of the allegations on the Del Mastro name, that of his late father, which appears on the sign above his family`s car dealership. “This does bother me. I grew up a poor farm kid,” he said. “We didn’t have a lot growing up. My two heroes in my life were my mother and father.”
But he said he was bolstered by the prime minister`s ongoing support. “I think Prime Minister Harper is the greatest leader in the industrialized world,” he said. “I`ve always appreciated the trust he placed in me.”
As to matter of the cheques to employees of his cousin’s company, Mr. Del Mastro apparently deferred questions to his cousin (said cousin subsequently declined to speak with the Citizen). As to the question of whether Mr. Del Mastro has been contacted by Elections Canada, the Citizen reports that the agency offered to take a “cautioned statement” that could be used against him in court, but Mr. Del Mastro declined. He apparently called the Peterborough Examiner to explain.
After an early version of this story appeared at www.peterboroughexaminer.com, Del Mastro called The Examiner, repeating that he would not agree to meet with Elections Canada if a cautioned statement is a requirement. “It’s not a dialogue,” he said. “It’s questions without a back-and-forth dialogue. I have to have a process.”
Del Mastro said repeatedly he wants “a process” for dealing with the allegations, and that hasn’t come yet. “If (Elections Canada) wants to come to Peterborough to interview me, I’d be happy to do so,” he said. “I can’t clear my name through a cautioned statement.”
While Del Mastro told The Examiner weeks ago that he would release documents proving his innocence, he has not done so, and said again Wednesday that he wouldn’t. “I’m not going to prove it to the media, and I don’t think I should have to,” he said. “If I thought The Peterborough Examiner could defend me, clear me of this, I would do it,” he said.