Judge convicts MP Dean Del Mastro on campaign overspending charges

Judge convicts MP Dean Del Mastro on campaign overspending charges

The now-Independent MP is charged with overspending during the 2008 federal election campaign


LINDSAY, Ont. — Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, once a political pitbull who defended his party from partisan claims of dirty electoral tricks, has been found guilty of exceeding spending limits during the federal campaign in 2008.

Del Mastro was also convicted of failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document. He was found guilty on a fourth charge, but that charge was stayed.

The now-Independent MP, a former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, now faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, as well as the prospect of losing his House of Commons seat.

Del Mastro sat with his hands folded in his lap and a serious look on his face as Justice Lisa Cameron delivered her verdict in a courtroom in Lindsay, Ont.

“The defence evidence does not raise a reasonable doubt about the allegations; further, the evidence I accept does prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Cameron said.

Much of the case pitted Del Mastro’s testimony against that of Frank Hall, the president of a now-defunct data consulting firm called Holinshed, whose alleged services lay at the centre of the case.

Cameron said she had concerns about Del Mastro’s testimony and had to reject his evidence on key issues.

“I have concerns about the credibility of this evidence, specifically its veracity on contested issues revolving around Holinshed’s provision of election services in the fall of 2008. There are a number of inconsistencies and improbabilities,” she said.

“At times the way in which he testified led me to believe that he is avoiding the truth….On a number of occasions Del Mastro did not answer the questions put to him in cross examination, he frequently obfuscated the evidence.”

Cameron also found that Hall, who was alleged to have altered the dates on contracts for voter identification, “essentially turned a blind eye to the machinations” of Del Mastro.

She did, however, find that it was “clear” that the work Holinshed was doing for Del Mastro was an election-related service.

Outside the courthouse, Del Mastro sounded a defiant tone as he vowed to hold on to his Commons seat, hinting — but not saying outright — that he intends to appeal the decision.

“We’ll take one step at a time. I’ve always maintained, and I maintain ardently, that I have in no way broken any laws governing elections,” Del Mastro said.
“I would suggest we’re going to take a very hard look at this ruling and we’ll come up with a plan going forward.”

During the trial, Del Mastro denied Hall’s claim that Holinshed provided hundreds of hours of voter-ID calling for the campaign — a claim that was supported by emails between Hall and Del Mastro that were found on his computer by investigators.

Del Mastro testified that he rebuffed Hall’s efforts to get him to buy Holinshed’s voter ID services, and denied ever receiving or sending the emails in question.
He also said he was not familiar with spreadsheets attached to some of those emails, which Hall said he had been sending regularly to Del Mastro’s campaign as part of the voter identification services he was providing.

He did acknowledge that he had discussions with Hall about new riding mapping software that was under development by Holinshed to identify the political leanings of would-be voters in a particular constituency.

Del Mastro said he told Hall he was interested in buying the software — called GeoVote — and gave Holinshed a $21,000 personal cheque in 2008 as a deposit when Hall said he needed one.

The Crown, however, said the cheque was actually to pay for voter ID calls, putting Del Mastro over the limit both for personal contributions and overall campaign spending.

The prosecution has also pointed out that while the cheque was dated for August, prior to the election period, Del Mastro’s account only had sufficient funds to cover it in October, when it was cashed.

The Crown also alleged Del Mastro tried to use backdated invoices to make it appear Holinshed had only charged his campaign a fraction of the overall cost of its services during the election period — an allegation the MP firmly denied.

Del Mastro told court that GeoVote never ended up working for his campaign and that it became the subject of a small claims court case Hall tried to bring against him that was ultimately abandoned.

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Judge convicts MP Dean Del Mastro on campaign overspending charges

  1. Guilty.

  2. The apple don’t fall far from the tree.

    • These are just the major scandals, in all to date since 1993, there have been or
      are still active, over thirty six RCMP investigations of criminality.
      Chretien’s Shawinigate, fired the president of BDBC for refusing loan to friend.
      Chretien still owned shares in golf course, lied to Parliament and Canadian’s.
      Pettigrew’s HRDC Job Training Grants Scandal, over $1 billion missing, Auditor
      General blocked from investigating, dumped in the lap of Jane Stewart who took all the
      heat and eventually resigned.
      Alan Rock’s Gun Registry Fiasco, over $2 billion wasted, questionable contracts
      blocked from investigation by Auditor General.
      Paul Martin’s CSL received over $162 million from taxpayer’s pockets, Auditor
      General blocked from examining contracts and loans. Curiously that is almost the exact
      ammount that Paul Martin owed the loan syndicate for his purchase of CSL from Paul
      Desmairis of Power Corporation.
      Sponsorship Scandal, Gomery Inquiry, total whitewash, Gomery not allowed to look
      at Earnscliffe contracts.
      Earnscliffe Contracts Scandal, contracts let by Paul Martin while Finance
      Minister in response to Sponsorship, because his friends weren’t getting in on the pork
      Technology Partnerships Scandal, Auditor General blocked from investigating by
      Martin and Emerson.
      The Dingwall Scandal, Liberal’s paid him severence when he
      Dingwall implicated in the Technology Partnerships for illegal lobbying and
      receiving illegal fees.
      Private Foundations Scandal, $9 billion disappeared, no accounting, Auditor
      General blocked from investigating.
      Income Trust Scandal, destroyed $22 billion in retirement savings value of
      Canadian’s, well connected Liberal’s profit from insider trading. He who had a meeting with
      Bay Street insiders, one of them a best friend, just hours before he made the
      announcement that the government wouldn’t be taxing Income Trusts.
      Auditor General blocked from investigating several crown corporations and
      agencies,among those are Canada Post, Via Rail, Export Development Corporation, Canada
      Wheat Board, Canada Investment Development Corporation, etc.
      Going back to Trudeau, the Auditor General has never been allowed to investigate
      the creation, acquisitions and operations of Petro Canada while a Crown Corporation.
      Maurice Strong, who has been named in the UN Oil for Food Scandal and is of
      interest to the FBI, was Trudeau’s appointee who was responsible for PetroCan’s creation and
      operation. When PetroCan bought Petrofina, that companies book value was $562
      million, yet Maurice Strong paid $2.5 billion taxpayer dollars for it. Mr. Strong is also
      Paul Martin’s mentor and is responsible for bringing us the Kyoto Accord, which is
      nothing, but a socialist vehicle for wealth redistribution, good thing Climategate happened when it did.
      Remember these are just the highlights, there are so many instances of
      misappropriations of under $50,000 it boggles the mind.

      • Why do you think the liberals were voted out, but It seems its O K for the conservatives to continue to do the same thing without having to be transparent. You Hypocrite! At least Chretien or Martin didn’t hide in a closet when times got tuff, they came before cameras and answered questions instead of hiding behind 20 million dollar a year security fence that surrounds your guy every day and allows him to only answer 4 questions once a month. Almost a million starving people in this country using food banks and we’re wasting fortunes in tax dollars to put a shield around Harper, you should be ashamed to say your a conservative..

  3. Who appointed him Parliamentary Secretary? Who made him the point man on electoral fraud?
    Why does the conservative biased Canadian media give Harper a “bye” on this?
    Where are the editorials laying the blame at Harper’s feet? Where is the accountability?

    • He belongs to a long list of candidates who were a part of the Harper Henchperson Apparatus. This was one of Steves go to persons like Duffy, Wallin, Wright, Brazman, should I continue. I think it has something to do with what they call Judgement. Of course you wouldn’t know anything about that I guess.

    • Harper is also running Ponzi schemes with the taxpayers money, he is always robbing Peter to pay Paul to keep all government ministries afloat. Like taking money from the RCMP to pay for resources in other departments.

  4. Sorry, Dean….

    You were a good MP…….but you were found guilty.

    time to leave.

    You broke the rules, you have to face the consequences. We wouldn’t stand for it if a Liberal did it (Liberals would)…we won’t stand it because you were a Conservative.

    • Your man is caught red handed and convicted and you magnanimously admit he should resign, and then take a dig at the Liberals. How honourable you are.

      • Conservatives have gotten in trouble while spending their own money or accepting private money, exceptions are Duffy and Wallin, but I personally have never considered either of them Conservative.

        Liberals have accepted bribes too, but their preferred method is stealing from taxpayers.

    • Hilarious. You are such a liar.

      This is only part of a culture of “win at all costs, but in particular win at the cost of the taxpayer”. These people cheat. They cheated in 2006 (they were also convicted of that), and they just kept on cheating. Funny, if they were truly so popular you would think they would try to win on their own merit.

    • lol, yup, another one “Thrown Under The Harper Bus” just to help save his Dear Leader’s a$$.

  5. Did he use Taxpayers money? No
    I’m still waiting for my cut of the $40M the Libranos stole during Adscam……..

    • Yes he did, he cheated in an election to become a MP, and he has been paid since 2011 by taxpayers. He should be made to repay the money he collected illegally because he cheated to get elected.

    • John A MacDonald accepted dirty money in the Pacific scandal. When are the Conservatives going to pay that back?
      And don’t get me started on brown bag Mulroney…

      • Heck, I would settle for a repayment of tax dollars of all that advertising their economic plan over the past few years. A good place to start would be to repay us for that little campaign style show he gave us last week.

        • The Liberals spent far more on government advertising year over year than the Conservatives.

          • Because simply saying stuff magically makes it come true?

            The CPC have spent millions and millions of tax dollars advertising a program that does not even exist. But more to the point, they spent millions and millions of tax dollars advertising their election platform.

            But it is really cute how you complain about LPC spending but give the CPC a pass when they do it.

          • Not complaint or pass.

            Factual information………..look it up.

      • The Beauharnois scandal was a Canadian political scandal around 1930. The Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Company had given $700,000 to the ruling Liberal Party of Canada in the run-up to the 1930 federal election in exchange for the right to change the flow of the St. Lawrence River through building an hydroelectric power station.

        The scandal “tainted” the reputation of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, although it was not discovered until the year after he had lost the election. Later commentators have suggested it was the “most famous” example of political bribery in the decade

        • Undoubtedly outshone by the many accomplishments of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Sadly for Harper he will not have the same advantage.

          • Go back to school.