Power & Politics

Former Tory MP Del Mastro, convicted of electoral offences in 2015, coming to Ottawa in push for transparency

Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro — who was found criminally guilty of violating the Canada Elections Act — is coming to Ottawa Wednesday to complain about what he says is unequal treatment by the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

Commissioner of Canada Elections should publish reasons for agreeing to compliance agreements: Del Mastro

Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro joined Power & Politics Tuesday to discuss why he says the compliance agreement SNC-Lavalin entered into with Commissioner of Elections Canada in 2016 was unjust. 8:12

Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro — who was found criminally guilty of violating the Canada Elections Act — is coming to Ottawa Wednesday to complain about what he says is unequal treatment by the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

"This is an agency with tremendous power and authority. It has tremendous responsibilities and it seems to be using those powers and those abilities to prosecute those that it doesn't like and to protect those that it seems to like and that's quite disturbing," said Del Mastro. 

In 2015, Del Mastro was convicted of three electoral offences related to the 2008 election: overspending, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 he made to his own campaign and filing a false report.

Del Mastro said his punishment was unfair when compared to the treatment of SNC-Lavalin. In 2016 Canada's election commissioner made a deal not to prosecute the engineering giant for a scheme it carried out over a period of years to make illegal donations to the federal Liberal and Conservative parties.

"If, for example, a compliance agreement is appropriate in this matter then why wasn't it appropriate in other matters when the Commissioner of Canada Elections decided to go ahead and press charges on what I would argue were much much lesser situations?"

He is coming to Ottawa Monday for the first time since 2014 to push for greater transparency from the commissioner about how it arrives at decisions to grant compliance agreements.

"I think that whatever qualifiers [they] are using need to be public. They need to publish these. They need to make it clear," said Del Mastro. "I think that that is a very very serious situation...one that calls on Parliament to address."