MP Dean Del Mastro forced to go on defensive at election overspending trial

Dean Del Mastro is on the defensive as he endures a full day of cross-examination at his election overspending trial in Peterborough, Ont.

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Dean Del Mastro is on the defensive as he endures a full day of cross-examination at his election overspending trial in Peterborough, Ont.

Crown lawyer Tom Lemon is casting doubt on the MP’s claim that a personal cheque written to data-consulting firm Holinshed Research was a deposit on riding mapping software called GeoVote.

The Crown alleges Del Mastro made the personal payment to the company not for GeoVote, but for voter identification calling services provided during the 2008 federal election campaign.

The cheque for $21,000, if indeed meant for voter ID services, would have pushed Del Mastro over his campaign spending and personal contribution limits.

Lemon is suggesting it’s unusual that the cheque, dated August 2008 before the campaign period, was picked up by a courier and cashed in October — during the campaign — just hours after enough money to cover it was transferred into Del Mastro’s account.

Lemon also says bank records show Del Mastro’s bank card was used to make the transfers, but the MP says he doesn’t remember making them.

Del Mastro says his wife has access to his cards and accounts and does all the family’s personal banking.

He admits he doesn’t have any direct knowledge of how the cheque was cleared but has said his bank account was tied to a personal line of credit.

He says a financial adviser could have called his wife, and asked her to deposit sufficient funds before the cheque cleared.

Lemon, however, said Del Mastro’s explanation was speculation.

“This speaks for itself,” he said. “There’s a transaction record of a deposit at 12:29 p.m. roughly three hours after you or someone transferred the amount into your account.”

“I’d like to tell you how that happened,” Del Mastro offered.

“Do you have any direct knowledge?” asked Lemon.

“No sir, I don’t,” Del Mastro replied.

Del Mastro is charged with overspending during the 2008 federal election campaign, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document. He has denied all the allegations.

The MP, who now sits as an Independent, has said he never contracted Holinshed for voter identification calling services during the 2008 campaign, even though the firm’s president, Frank Hall, has testified that hundreds of hours of calls were made.

Del Mastro has said the only campaign-related contract he had with Holinshed was for a portion of get-out-the-vote calls to be made on election day, which were declared in his campaign expenses.

For those services, Del Mastro said his campaign had transferred voter information data to Holinshed in mid September.

But Lemon took issue with the timing for that exchange, which was weeks before election day.

“I would suggest to you that if you’re providing information on get out the vote only, you’re not doing it on Sept 15, a month before the election,” he said.

“You can suggest that, but in fact that’s not what was done,” Del Mastro responded.

If found guilty, Del Mastro could face a fine of $1,000 and a year in jail, but would not be barred from running for office again.

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month