Dean Del Mastro is facing some pretty serious accusations sworn against him by Elections Canada. The question is, where are the charges? Traditionally, EC has taken a corrective approach to candidates filing erroneous returns or making questionable phonecalls (see Liberals in Guelph and their unidentified abortion issue robocall in 2011), and it hasn’t been clear when exactly they start to consider punitive charges. I can appreciate a little leniency on some mistakes, especially having worked on campaigns before, so I don’t want them to get punitive at the drop of a hat. $21,000 is no hat, however. Allegedly forging a memo and return to hide $21,000, is not a hat being dropped.
If there are no charges pressed against Del Mastro and his campaign for the 2008 return and overspending as it appears to have existed, then I may eat my hat, never mind dropping it. When that shoe drops, will the other one fall too, and Poutine will be charged finally? Can I use another metaphor to make this more amusing?
I’m torn about the NDP and Liberals pursuing Del Mastro’s 2008 spending, in committee. On the face of it, I like subjecting him to the same sort of scrutiny that he needlessly subjected Adam Carroll to. The big risk/downside would be the Conservative majority on the committee attempting to exonerate Del Mastro, potentially tainting future legal action against him.
Wouldn’t that be the next fantastic abuse of Parliament that the Conservatives could use before they lose their majority to by-elections? Call each of their criminal ministers into a committee and pass motions that say they are innocent, just like the pros in other countries would do.