OTTAWA – Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro, who was found guilty last week on three counts of violating the Canada Elections Act, says he is resigning his seat in the House of Commons.
Del Mastro, a former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was convicted of exceeding spending limits during the 2008 election, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document.
In a dramatic and emotional speech in the House, Del Mastro says he doesn’t want to be a distraction or require his fellow MPs to vote on his fate.
On Tuesday, the Conservative government said it would back an NDP motion to suspend Del Mastro without pay — a motion that has now been withdrawn.
Del Mastro was expelled from the Conservative caucus on the day he was charged in September 2013, and currently sits as an Independent.
Del Mastro, whose wife gave birth to their first child — a girl — on Sunday, has said his lawyer has asked a judge to re-open his defence in order to introduce new evidence before sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 21.