Seeking Dean Del Mastro

by Aaron Wherry

Liberal MP Scott Andrews has formally requested that the ethics committee be recalled to hear from Dean Del Mastro.

“Mr. Del Mastro says he wants a process put in place by which he can clear his name,” said Mr. Andrews. “By proposing this meeting, the Liberal Party is providing Mr. Del Mastro the opportunity, with full Parliamentary immunity, to respond to these very serious allegations. This is a process that he has been asking for and we hope that he will put his money where his mouth is, agree to appear and provide the documents that he claims will exonerate him.”

As Kady O’Malley notes, Mr. Andrews needs three more members of the committee to second his request before the committee can be recalled, but it appears unlikely that the NDP will support Mr. Andrews. Charle Angus tells me he is happy to talk with Mr. Andrews about this proposal, but he is not sure how effective and appropriate a committee hearing would be—would it, for instance, draw enough witnesses to explore the charges involved?—and he is concerned about providing Mr. Del Mastro with a platform to speak with immunity.

If this is about a gong show then count me out. I want to know that we’re getting a serious investigation of what happened there and it’s done fairly. And I also don’t see the point of giving a forum to allow someone who is under investigation by Elections Canada, or potentially by the Director of Public Prosecutions, to walk in, say what they want to say in a majority-controlled Conservative committee and then walk out with immunity.

Mr. Angus wrote to the Justice Minister today to propose that the various allegations be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Below, the text of that letter.

Dear Hon. Robert Nicholson,

I am writing with regard to the growing allegations of illegal campaign contributions to Dean Del Mastro’s 2008 election campaign.

In addition to previous reports around a personal cheque and possible overspending on voter identification work, recent reports in the Ottawa Citizen[i][ii]have raised further questions concerns about the legality of some campaign contributions by employees of Deltro Electric Ltd. to Mr. Del Mastro’s election campaign. With these growing allegations, including eyewitnesses, we are concerned the issues surrounding this campaign financing scheme have gone beyond the potential violations of the Elections Act.

We believe these alleged offences fall under federal jurisdiction, potentially crossing several federal laws. Those laws and sections that could be in violation include:

· Conspiracy to commit fraud over $5000 Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada

· Making a false claim in a return Section 239(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act

· Collusion to circumvent contribution limits and concealing the source of a contribution, Section 405.2(1) and Section 405.2(2) respectively of the Canada Election Act

At this stage I propose that this matter be referred to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the RCMP Commercial Crimes Unit for further investigation and other law enforcement authorities, as appropriate.  

According to his mandate, The DPP is responsible for providing prosecutorial advice to law enforcement agencies on investigations that may lead to prosecution under federal laws and for prosecuting criminal offences under federal jurisdiction. It is with this mandate that I believe inclusion of the DPP is appropriate to ensure that all law enforcement agencies are directed accordingly in their investigations.

In the wake of the Sponsorship Scandal, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution was established to oversee these types of prosecutions and ensure freedom from possible or apparent political interference.

Given the evidence already made public and the possible involvement of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, it is not only within your mandate to refer this issue to the independent office of the DPP, I believe it is your responsibility to do so.

These are seriously allegations involving a senior member of your government and I trust you will ensure that the investigation, and the laying of charges if appropriate, are done free of any possible conflict of interest.

These allegations must be investigated not just for the sake of the public interest, but to maintain the integrity of the democratic process. Above all else, the criminal justice system must prevail – if crimes were committed the perpetrators must be held to account.

Regards,

Charlie Angus, MP
Timmins-James Bay

[i] Dean Del Mastro donors produce cheque copies that support reimbursement allegations, Ottawa Citizen, June 27, 2012

[ii] Del Mastro donors offer to speak to Election Canada if given immunity, Ottawa Citizen, June 28, 2012




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Seeking Dean Del Mastro

  1. As much as I dislike DDM, I dislike committees turning into a partisan gongshow even more. I would love to see a party or parties take a stand and stop allowing this nonsense from clogging up committee time. Do we really think Scott Andrews and Charlie Angus are neutral arbiters determined to get at the truth? Let Elections Canada, and if need be, the RCMP to figure out whether Del Mastro did anything wrong. Committees should go back to making sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed in legislation and to hear from expert witnesses about the impact of said legislation. The downfall of the committee structure as been one of most worrying parts of the last 8 years.

    • I don’t like the concept because if he’s guilty I want to see some jail time, dammit! This government has taken away a Young Offender’s ability to get his act together and not be dogged for the rest of his life over whatever stupid mistake he made, you’ve got peaceful protestors being detained whenever and for however long, you’ve got minimum sentences so even if the case is full of strange and quirky things that means a person shouldn’t be punished, it doesn’t matter, and you’ve got six marijuana plants equating to a traffickers sentence, whether you sold an ounce of pot or not. Absolutely, he should have a fair trial and not be convicted ahead of time, but for God’s sake don’t give him immunity because he’s a politician!
      What’s interesting now is whether the Conservatives support the motion, or not.

      • Yes, because of cuts to funding, Young Criminals will no longer be able to get their act together. That funding was the only way a kid can learn from their mistakes and improve themselves. That is what the government is for after-all, improving every member of society by giving them money for whatever.

        Peaceful protesters being detained whenever violence and property damage are happening. “Peaceful protesters” don’t hang around and condone riots. Growing marijuana has been illegal since before Harper came around. Easy escape: don’t grow it without a license.

        Seems to me your idea of a perfect Canada is one where a kid steals a car, gets a federally funded University education, where they’re allowed to riot and destroy cities anytime they don’t get what they want. Then turn that education around into a grow-op for which they shouldn’t be punished. Sounds great.

        • Wow, Jenn’s point hijacked and found at the side of the road: LoudSigh off and running after his own tangent. You seem to miss the point, buddy — she says she hopes the Cons, who want to make as many Canadians criminals as possible, will also ensure their own face charges and jail time if found guilty of breaking the laws and lying about it. Your diatribe is bitter, irrelevant and condescending.

        • Uh, actually, the kids’ names can now be published, which means a hard(er) time finding a job as an adult.
          Peaceful protestors who are kettled and arrested, while the ones committing the violence and property damage are given a free pass–did you not see ANY reporting of the G20 protest?
          Marijuana licenses? Gone. Saw it yesterday.
          But, you know, great to see you are keeping up with facts.

  2. We should have had a public inquiry into party corruption before the Cons even had a minority. Now the need is even greater. One crooked group investigating another, isn’t going to get to the bottom of anything.

  3. “If this is about a gong show then count me out.”

    Of course it’s gong to be a gong show. It’s Dean del Mastro, for one thing, and a Harper Cabinet troll as well.

    I think the committee should be recalled just for the entertainment value of the entire Canadian Conservative establishment having to throw another overwrought tantrum when they would rather be schmoozing on the BBQ circuit.

    My god, Brian Lilley might miss his summer vacation! Imagine how toothy his sneer will be when he knows he’s missing Caesars on the dock! I predict a spittle-flecked camera lens…

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