ConCalls: Dean Del Mastro Investigated – UPDATED

Dean Del Mastro (DDM) has been under Elections Canada investigation during most of the RoboCon scandal hoo-haw since March, and Postmedia uncovered why. It’s in regard to a $21,000 personal cheque DDM wrote to his campaign’s tel-intelligence company, Holinshed Research Group, which suggests based on the election expense report filed for his 2008 effort, that he exceeded his contribution limit, and his campaign expense limit. Oops. It’s not proven in court, but it looks bad given what we can see so far.

He whined on Power N Politics last night that Elections Canada hadn’t informed him he was being investigated. Why would they want to give a shout to someone whom they might need to raid to get evidence from prior to its destruction? I know Elections Canada let the wonderfully innocent in-tel-igence company RMG review its tapes and logs once claims of criminal activity at a live-call centre were alleged in an affidavit. Not everyone mentioned in an investigation gets the same consideration, I guess.

The company his campaign used, Holinshed, appears to have been sold off last year.

Before the news flooded Google, here are some of the top results for doing a search regarding Holinshed yesterday. There was a civil court dispute between DDM’s campaign and Holinshed about work done for the campaign, and payment. Holinshed was also a CEAP beneficiary. That seems a bit odd to me, and to Ross K.


The NDP also found themselves in hot water regarding contributions from unions, although they repaid the money Elections Canada said they owed, without quibbling. The Conservatives complained about last year’s convention, and the NDP had taken too much from unions. Should there be punishment on top of having to repay? Probably.

Election Finance Act convict Vic “The Violator” Toews rushed to DDM’s defence. Isn’t that sweet.

ADDED: 2008 expense limits, if you want to confirm what was in the story at top.
35071 Peterborough 92,566.79
DDM doesn’t clear much up.
DDM cheque to Holinshed
The cheque’s memo clearly shows it was written with the “Peterborough Conservative EDA” in mind.

Del Mastro said he was in the process of reviewing records and couldn’t say what exactly the $21,000 cheque paid for.

“They (Holinshed) undertook a small amount of work during the campaign,” he said.
The small claims court file includes a copy of a cheque

“That’s reflected in the campaign expenditure (report). They did also undertake some work at various times for the association. Those would be on separate statements.”

Neither the Del Mastro campaign-expense disclosures nor the annual report for the Conservative electoral district show a payment of $21,000 to Holinshed.

“Those violations are each punishable by a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for as long as five years.”

How can he not answer a single question with a straight answer, or even one that is on topic?

T-“Why didn’t you report these to Elections Canada?”
DDM-“Jobs and the Economy.” Family Guy style non-sequitur, it’s supposed to be a joke, right?

ADDED ALSO: Why did I grab a few links from Google about the defunct firm that is also mentioned in this dispute over campaign work done at allegedly $21,000? Because other firms linked to RoboCon tend to run in Conservative circles and wind up being the indirect (or maybe direct) beneficiaries of kind government grants to get work done that might be described as voter identification work for a political party that later works with said company. The Conservatives seem to demand exclusive contracts with the in-tel-igence companies they hire on, as another random factoid. Put two and two together in your head, because litigious lawyers are no doubt stalking the WWW.

UPDATE: Of interest on Kady’s post, is this comment

at 12:09 PM ET
Holinshed has crafted a comprehensive, well formulated rebuttal (statement) to this article on their website –, and from what I read it looks like we may not have heard the end of this story. However, it also appears that the company is no longer at it’s advertised location, and attempts to reach Holinshed have been answered by a pre-recorded voice message.

Not home, because they were sold shortly after last election. I wonder why the timing worked out to be right after then, and they’d just got paid for a bunch of work (or not paid as small claims court might suggest). One theory could be the payments may have exceeded campaign spending limits, so no cheques were cut so Holinshed would be left holding the bag, with the client unwilling to admit that work was ordered because paying the bill would mean 5 years in jail.


13 responses to “ConCalls: Dean Del Mastro Investigated – UPDATED

  1. From one of SaskBoy’s links:

    …Holinshed Research has since gone out of business. (Conservative MP Rick) Norlock said the company (which he used) was sold to another interest weeks following the May 2 (2011) election…


    Interesting timing that selling, eh?

    And who, one can only wonder, might that ‘other interest’ be?


  2. Pingback: ConCalls: Del Mastro Sits Down, Shuts Up | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

  3. Pingback: ConCalls: Del Mastro Sits Down, Shuts Up | Liblogs

  4. Pingback: ConCalls: Del Mastro Sits Down, Shuts Up | The Wellington Street Post

  5. Once upon a time Holinshed and the Conservatives were on good terms. Are they still?

    “In October 2009, after their business relationship had eroded into acrimony, Holinshed wrote to McCarthy, asserting the campaign’s return did not include all of the work the firm did during the campaign.

    “Holinshed charged $20,000 plus GST to your campaign,” wrote company president Frank Hall. He included copies of the contract and invoice, and asked that the campaign rectify the “reporting error.””

    Read more:


    1 – Frank Hall – President at Holinshed Reserach Group Inc.
    · President at Holinshed Reserach Group Inc.
    · President at Holinshed Research Group
    · Atlantic Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition at House of Commons
    · Atlantic Policy and Communications at Reform Party of Canada
    · Memorial University of Newfoundland

    Experience President – Holinshed Reserach Group Inc. – 2002 – Present (10 years)

    About Holinshed Research Group

    Established in June, 2002 the Holinshed Research Group is a specialized market research, custom software application and consulting firm.

    Holinshed specializes in focused, opinion research that complements our custom, innovative data-basing and digital mapping applications.

    Unique to mapping and campaign organization, GeoVote is a focused, customized, web based, interactive data management and display mapping system built specifically for election campaigns and for data management in between and in preparation for elections. Tested and proven to be extremely effective to every aspect of elections, GeoVote and Stratega-Base have been used successfully in municipal, provincial and federal elections since 2003. Managing, detailing and mapping data on the fly, en masse at the poll, neighborhood, street and household levels, GeoVote gathers, profiles and tracks voters, supporters, resources and opponents, etc… GeoVote can revolutionize political campaigns.

    A focused, customized business mapping and data management application, Market-Tracker supports general business decision making in many sectors. It has been used to track and map customer buying habits and frequency, planned expansions and to change store locations. It can be used by decision makers to increase sales, improve service, inventories, seek expansion locations and map new public routes for assessing new locations, etc… The potential uses for Market-Tracker are too numerous to mention.

    The hallmarks of Holinshed success are:
    Superior client centered service;
    High quality data that is collected and managed in-house;
    The ability to turn projects around quickly and efficiently.
    Founded and run by Newfoundlanders Colin and Frank Hall, they have combined their talents at Holinshed to create their leading-edge products and methodologies.
    1. Atlantic Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition – House of Commons – 1996 – 2001 2. Atlantic Policy and Communications – Reform Party of Canada – 1996 – 2000

    2 – Colin Hall’s Overview
    · Vice President at Holinshed Research Group Inc.
    · Risk Assessment and Safety Statistician at Transport Canada
    · Manager/Senior Statistical Analyst at The Corporate Research Group
    · Research Analyst, Opinion Search Inc. at Opinion Search
    · Memorial University of Newfoundland
    54 connections
    Colin Hall’s Summary
    Co-founder and Vice President of Holinshed Research Group Inc. since 2002, I am also the Senior Statistical Analyst. A primary client liaison, I oversee all of the field operations at Holinshed, including the training of Field Managers and Analysts. An expert in data sampling and methodologies, my broad and detailed data research background extends into risk analysis for Canadian marine safety practices, real estate market analysis, healthcare, as well as public opinion research. A lead member of the architectural and design team that created Holinshed’s Market-TrackerTM and GeoVoteTM software data and real-time custom mapping applications, one of my roles are to design the custom algorithms for data manipulation and display. My expertise is often called upon to do detailed data tabulation and analysis for government departments as well as other data research firms.
    Colin Hall’s Experience
    Vice President
    Holinshed Research Group Inc.
    2003 – Present (9 years)
    Risk Assessment and Safety Statistician
    Transport Canada
    July 2002 – August 2003 (1 year 2 months) Ottawa, Canada Area
    My duties included statistical analyses, risk assessments, safety studies, safety indicators and advisory services on safety issues and national patterns of the use of all modes of transportation for Transport Canada and other stakeholders. Designing and organizing risk assessment research and statistical projects that have an impact on the safety in the Canadian transportation system. I was involved in the analysis of relevant statistical data, trends, research findings, project results and the effects of statutory initiatives. I participated in committees directed towards the development of risk assessment and modal safety related information bases, methodologies and standards.
    Manager/Senior Statistical Analyst
    The Corporate Research Group
    2001 – 2002 (1 year) Ottawa, Canada Area
    Duties included the management of the day-to-day activities of all telephone, mail back and web-based survey initiatives. I was responsible for a team of professionals, which included senior and junior research analysts, and a team of telephone interviewers. I was also responsible for client consultation with regard to data modeling and sampling issues. In addition, I participated in a variety of activities including the designing and implementing of survey questionnaires, data analysis, report writing and preparing proposals. Many of the projects required the utilization of GIS technology in sampling procedures. I continue to participate in a consulting capacity role for ongoing projects requiring my expertise.
    Research Analyst, Opinion Search Inc.
    Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Market Research industry
    1999 – 2001 (2 years) Ottawa, Canada Area
    Colin Hall’s Education
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
    Bsc., Applied Mathematics/Statistics

    3. Mary A. – Scored a good government job.

    Current – Assoc. Web Specialist at Export Development Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Financial Services
    · Market Researcher at Holinshed Research Group
    · Communications Advisor at Canada-Wide Science Fair
    · Technical Writer at OAISYS Inc.
    · University of Victoria
    · Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology
    · University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa

    Assoc. Web Specialist – Export Development Canada
    Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Financial Services industry
    March 2009 – Present (3 years 4 months) Ottawa, Ontario
    Work closely with key portal stakeholders to facilitate communications within BS&T and between BS&T and its EDC client groups.

    • Develop and implement portal communications and content strategies
    • Work with various stakeholder groups to deliver relevant and timely communications
    • Organize meetings and sessions to facilitate communications between various stakeholders
    • Provide various consulting services to clients
    • Create and monitor guidelines for relevant content
    • Provide SharePoint training services
    • Measure and report portal statistics, make recommendations and act on findings
    Market Researcher – Holinshed Research Group
    August 2007 – December 2008 (1 year 5 months) Ottawa, Canada Area
    Conduct a variety of consumer- and product-related telephone surveys, involving customer relationship management, persuasion and trust techniques, organizational skills, ability to meet quota and deadlines, clear and effective communications, and management of confidential information.
    Communications Advisor – Canada-Wide Science Fair
    May 2007 – May 2008 (1 year 1 month) Ottawa, Ontario
    Provide communications support for the Canada-Wide Science Fair committee.

    • Advise on, plan, and implement communications strategies to create interest in and support for the fair
    • Create press releases targeting key stakeholders and the general public
    • Conduct research and interviews
    • Create and publish articles in the science fair newsletter
    • Implement strategy for extending communications over the web through social media (Facebook, discussion forums)
    • Exhibit management and hospitality, interacting with and providing information to clients attending the fair
    Technical Writer – OAISYS Inc.
    January 2005 – May 2007 (2 years 5 months) Ottawa, Ontario
    Research and write documentation to support a medical software application. This involved working closely with the Dr. and programmers who designed the software, and becoming familiar with the tool’s audience to develop effective communications materials.
    Communications Assistant – Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
    Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Hospital & Health Care industry
    May 2006 – March 2007 (11 months) Ottawa, Ontario
    Provide communications support.

    • Perform daily media monitoring
    • Conduct research and interviews
    • Write articles for monthly internal newsletter
    • Photograph staff events
    Data and Application Specialist – Export Development Canada
    May 2004 – September 2004 (5 months) Ottawa, Ontario
    Become familiar with EDC’s sales management software and company database, review and correct customer information in order to ensure data quality prior to upload into and integration with new corporate systems.

    • Work with internal EDC experts to verify and complete customer information, and remove incorrect information
    and duplicates
    • Become an expert in how customer information is recorded and managed in these two systems

    4. Jennifer H. Possibly “Hall”?
    Currently unemployed – looking for a job
    · Office Manger/Executive Assistant at Currently unemployed – looking for a job
    · OFFICE MANAGER at Scott Reid, MP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington
    · ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT at Rob Anders, MP for Calgary West, Parliament Hill Office
    · Leadership Institute
    · Cabot College of Applied Arts, Technology & Continuing Education

    April 2004 – October 2011 (7 years 7 months)
    Responsible for all financial matters, including AR/AP, bookkeeping, internal financial statements and financing matters. As Office Manager, also responsible for day to day office operations including human resources, land lord, and external vender dealings such as telecomm equipment and related issues.
    Scott Reid, MP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
    Rob Anders, MP for Calgary West, Parliament Hill Office RESEARCH ASSISTANT
    Scott Reid, Author and Strategic Advisor the Leader of the Opposition of Canada, Ottawa, ON TAX CLERK
    Royal Trust Education
    Leadership Institute 1998
    Cabot College of Applied Arts, Technology & Continuing Education
    1993 – 1996

    5. Private (Unknown person)
    Administrative Assistant
    · Legal Secretary/Administrative Assistant at DioGuardi Tax Law
    · Researcher at Holinshed Research Group Inc
    · Volunteer at SOS Children’s Villages Kenya
    · University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa
    · University of Alberta

    6. LinkedIn Member (Unknown person)
    Senior .Net Developer at Kobo Inc.
    Software Developer at, Volunteer at VANOC, Owner – Software Developer at Ottawa Web Weekend, Software Developer at Momentous, Applications & Systems Analyst at Farm Boy Inc., Co-Owner/Developer at Axxem Technologies Inc., Project Manager/Jr. Developer at Holinshed Research Group, Technical Support at Convergys less

    7. Lawrence Brass
    Administrative Assistant at Office of MP Joe Daniel
    · Administrative Assistant at Office of MP Joe Daniel
    · Research at Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)
    · Help at Rockefeller Museum
    · Telephone Researcher at Holinshed Research Group
    · Carleton University
    Experience Administrative Assistant – Office of MP Joe Daniel
    June 2011 – Present (1 year 1 month) Ottawa, Canada Area
    Research – Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)
    April 2009 – July 2009 (4 months)
    Help – Rockefeller Museum
    March 2009 – July 2009 (5 months)

    Telephone Researcher – Holinshed Research Group
    June 2006 – July 2006 (2 months)
    Call people, Ask questions over the phone, Record answers onto a computer

    8. Private (Unknown person)
    Customer Care Specialist at CitiFinancial
    · Customer Care Specialist at CitiFinancial
    · Corporate Sales Executive at Honeycomb Worldwide
    · Market Research Interviewer at Holinshed Research Group
    · Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology

  7. I live in the wonderful community of Peterborough and enjoy the never boring representation of Deano the deli maestro. I now better understand his constant rant of unreported criminal activity as purported by this CON. I must state that I feel badly for the fellow that must sleep below the double bunk of Dean when he moves from The House to the Big House. Was it serendipity when the Cons. eliminated recieving government pensions while enjoying a stay at her majesty’s prisons.

  8. One obvious thing following his trail is that he has some serious contacts within government and corporate communications departments. The trail is also salted with plenty of lobbyists.

  9. Pingback: ConCalls: About Effing Time; Del Mastro Charged #RoboCon #cdnpoli | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

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