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Dean A. Del Mastro (born August 16, 1970) is a former Canadian politician. He represented Peterborough in the House of Commons of Canada as a member of the Conservative Party from January 23, 2006 until November 5, 2014. Following a conviction on criminal charges for breaking the Canada Elections Act, he resigned from parliament. He had previously served as the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.[2]

Dean A. Del Mastro
Member of Parliament
for Peterborough
In office
Preceded byPeter Adams
Succeeded byMaryam Monsef
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada
In office
Succeeded byPaul Calandra
Personal details
Born (1970-08-16) August 16, 1970 (age 48)
Peterborough, Ontario
Political partyIndependent Conservative (2013–2014)
Other political
Conservative (2006–2013)
Spouse(s)Kelly Del Mastro
Alma materOdette School of Business (University of Windsor)


Early life and careerEdit

Del Mastro was born to an Italian Canadian family in Peterborough, began high school in Lakefield, and graduated from the Adam Scott Collegiate and Vocational Institute. He graduated from the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor and holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree.[citation needed] The Del Mastro family founded an automobile dealership that now sells RVs.[3][4][5] Del Mastro had been a supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, but he has said he became disillusioned with the party after the 1993 federal election.[6]

Political careerEdit

Del Mastro won the Conservative nomination for Peterborough over six other contenders in May 2005, defeating former party nominee James Jackson by only eight votes on the final ballot.[7] He was elected in the 2006 federal election, narrowly defeating his Liberal Party opponent. The Conservatives won a minority government in this election, and Del Mastro entered parliament as a backbench supporter of Stephen Harper's administration. He was re-elected with an increased majority in the 2008 election, as the Harper government increased its seat total but fell short of a majority.

He was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the minister of Canadian Heritage on November 7, 2008.[8] According to his website, he was also the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Sport.[9] He was the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.[2]

Cultural issuesEdit

After the 2006 election, Harper charged Del Mastro with coordinating the Conservative Party's outreach to Lebanese Canadian voters.[10] Del Mastro planned to participate in a parliamentary delegation to the Middle East organized by the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations in August 2006, during the period of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. He withdrew from the trip at the last minute, and there are conflicting reports as to the reasons for this decision.[11] Some charge that the Prime Minister's Office pressured him not to participate in a trip that would challenge the government's pro-Israel line, although Del Mastro denied this and cited security concerns.[12]

Del Mastro spoke against a private member's bill introduced by Liberal Member of Parliament Massimo Pacetti in 2010 that called on the government to issue an official apology for the internment of Italian Canadians in World War II. Del Mastro argued that the bill was poorly drafted and could leave the government vulnerable to lawsuits, and said that most Italian Canadians were satisfied with an informal apology issued by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney twenty years earlier.[13] The bill was approved by the House of Commons, without Conservative support.[14]

Passenger rail serviceEdit

In 2007, Del Mastro lobbied the Harper government to reopen a passenger train service link from Peterborough to Toronto that was cut by Via Rail seventeen years earlier. He estimated that the track upgrades would cost $150 million and that the service would be used by nine hundred people daily.[15] In February 2008, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that his government would reopen the line. Although locally popular, this plan was widely criticized as impractical, improperly planned, and designed for political gain. Some editorials noted that the line would travel through several Conservative ridings, including Flaherty's own.[16] A 2010 study commissioned by the provincial and federal governments estimated that capital costs for the project would run between $541 million and $1.5 billion. Del Mastro criticized these figures and accused the study's creators of bias, while acknowledging that the project would probably not move forward if assessed solely on the basis of that one report.[17] In 2011, Del Mastro promised that the first passenger train would leave Peterborough on July 1, 2014.[18]

Del Mastro has also led a non-partisan House of Commons Rail Caucus and has lobbied for a high-speed link connecting Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.[19]

Social issuesEdit

Del Mastro is a social conservative. In 2006, he supported an unsuccessful government motion that would have reopened the parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage (which has been legal in Canada since 2005).[20] He has also taken part in anti-abortion rallies on Parliament Hill, including one organized by the Campaign Life Coalition in 2007.[21]

Robocall scandalEdit

Del Mastro was charged as being responsible for the Conservative response to the Robocall scandal.[22] He has called the robocall scandal "baseless smears."[23] He has asked Elections Canada if it had leaked details around the robocalls. Elections Canada replied such an accusation was smearing Elections Canada by indicating that details of the robocall scandal were purposefully leaked.[24]

2008 election overspending investigation, and 2014 convictionEdit

In June 2012 Elections Canada was investigating Del Mastro for overspending during the 2008 elections. The investigation surrounds a payment of $21,000 made by a personal cheque to Ottawa-based polling firm Hollinshed Research Group for which Del Mastro was not reimbursed, exceeding his personal spending limit of $5,000. Del Mastro has insisted he has not broken any election law and claimed that the $21,000 cheque was for a riding-mapping software called GeoVote that Holienshed intended to launch, and not for telephone calls to constituents during the campaign.[24][25][26]

In June 2013, Del Mastro, speaking in Parliament and protected from defamation law, accused Frank Hall, a witness in the Elections Canada investigation, of having "concerning details" in his background that required investigation.

Del Mastro was charged by Elections Canada with four breaches of the Elections Canada Act on September 26, 2013. The charges carried a maximum penalty of five years in jail with a $5,000 fine.[27]

On October 31, 2014, Justice Lisa Cameron of the Ontario Court of Justice found Del Mastro guilty of violating the Canada Elections Act by overspending his elections limit and attempting to cover up the violation.[28][29][30] As a result of the convictions, Del Mastro resigned in a speech to the House of Commons on November 5, 2014.[31][32][33] Del Mastro was scheduled to be sentenced on January 27, 2015.[34][35]

During the sentencing hearing held on January 27, 2015, Dean Del Mastro's new lawyer argued that the judge should set aside the previous election overspending guilty verdicts.[36] On February 18, 2015, Justice Cameron dismissed Del Mastro's application for a mistrial.[37][38] He was scheduled to be sentenced on February 19, 2015.[39][40][41]

At a hearing on 23 February 2015, prosecution lawyer Tom Lemon stated that Del Mastro’s activities "were planned and deliberate and involved a high degree of sophistication". He asked for a sentence of at least nine to twelve months. "Mr. Del Mastro does not seem to get the consequences of his actions—or the seriousness of those actions." [42] On June 25, 2015, Justice Lisa Cameron, calling Del Mastro's crimes an "affront" to Canadian democracy, sentenced him to a month in jail, four months' house arrest, and 18 months' probation.[43] She also banned him from holding any public office while serving his conditional sentence, and from running federally for a period of five years.[44] Del Mastro appealed the conviction.[45] On 13 September 2017, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld his convictions, dismissing his appeal.[46][47] Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was refused on April 5, 2018.[48][49]


Del Mastro was a Conservative representative on the House of Commons Ethics Committee in 2007 and took part in the committee's work on the controversial business dealings between Karlheinz Schreiber and Brian Mulroney.[50]

In 2009, he spoke against a proposal that would have allowed Canada's broadcasters to bill cable and satellite companies for transmitting their signals.[51]

In 2012, Del Mastro claimed in the House of Commons that the Liberal Party used an American telemarketing firm during the 2011 federal election when it was in fact a Canadian company. It was later revealed that his own campaign was one of 14 Conservative Party campaigns to enlist the services of Ohio-based Front Porch Strategies.[52] Del Mastro maintains that none of these activities are tied to the so-called "Robocalls" controversy.

In 2012, veteran CBC parliamentary reporter Kady O'Malley wrote a scathing article accusing Del Mastro of going "in camera" too often thereby contradicting his own party policy of openness and transparency.[53]

While addressing criticism of the digital locks provision within proposed copyright legislation under Bill C-11 (formerly C-32, and C-61 and C-60 before that), Del Mastro compared format-shifting to the act of buying socks from a retailer, only to return later and take a pair of shoes without paying.[54]

On October 28, 2014, in a Facebook posting, he made allegations of sexual blackmail against an unnamed member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.[55]

Provincial politicsEdit

When John Tory resigned as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in 2009, Del Mastro was briefly rumoured as a candidate to become his successor.[56] Nothing came of this, and he later announced his support for Christine Elliott's candidacy.[57] Elliott is the widow of Del Mastro's former Tory colleague in the House of Commons the former Finance Minister the late Jim Flaherty.

Ethics committeeEdit

In March 2013, New Democratic Party MP Charlie Angus called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to remove Del Mastro from the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. Del Mastro has missed 26 consecutive meetings since June 2012. Prior to his last meeting in June the Ottawa Citizen revealed Elections Canada was investigating Del Mastro for alleged campaign overspending during his 2008 re-election campaign. Del Mastro's annual salary is $173,565 but does not include extra pay for sitting on the committee.[58]

Out of politicsEdit

After his conviction, Del Mastro was sentenced to one month in jail, of which he served the night of June 25, 2015 before being granted bail pending an appeal to be heard in January 2016.[59] Del Mastro did not run in the 2015 federal election.

On April 5, 2016, Dean Del Mastro had his sentence affirmed by Ontario Judge Bryan Shaughnessy during the appeal of Del Mastro's sentence.[60] Justice Shaughnessy called the former Conservative MP's contravention of election spending limits and deliberate attempts to avoid detection a "grave offence," and ordered Del Mastro to serve the balance of his original sentence.[60][61]

Electoral recordEdit

2011 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Dean Del Mastro 29,393 49.67 +2.27 $89,982.35
New Democratic Dave Nickle 14,723 24.88 +10.96 $44,675.03
Liberal Betsy McGregor 12,664 21.40 -10.20 $76,896.98
Green Michael Bell 2,105 3.56 -3.35 $2,858.90
Independent Gordon Scott 189 0.32 $202.50
Canadian Action Michael Bates 104 0.18 none listed
Total valid votes/Expense limit 59,178 100.0     $95,207.51
Total rejected ballots 170 0.29 +0.01
Turnout 59,348 65.31 +1.99
Eligible voters 90,870
2008 Canadian federal election: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Dean Del Mastro 27,630 47.40 +11.50 $111,988
Liberal Betsy McGregor 18,417 31.60 −0.77 $83,805
New Democratic Steve Sharpe 8,115 13.92 −11.76 $47,973
Green Emily Berrigan 4,029 6.91 +1.86 $10,235
Marxist–Leninist Elaine Couto 98 0.17 none listed
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 58,289 100.00 $92,567
Total rejected ballots 164 0.28 −0.04
Turnout 58,453 63.32 −6.34
Electors on the lists 92,317
Conservative hold Swing +11.6
2006 Canadian federal election: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Dean Del Mastro 22,774 35.90 +3.98 $80,784
Liberal Diane Lloyd 20,532 32.37 −11.18 $68,799
New Democratic Linda Slavin 16,286 25.68 +6.67 $61,606
Green Brent Wood 3,205 5.05 −0.47 $7,949
Marijuana Aiden Wiechula 455 0.72 none listed
     Independent Bob Bowers 179 0.28 none listed
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 63,431 100.00 $86,008
Total rejected ballots 207 0.33 −0.01
Turnout 63,638 69.66 +4.47
Electors on the lists 91,361
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


  1. ^ A 2010 report in the Peterborough Examiner indicates that Del Mastro identifies as a Catholic, but generally attends a Pentecostal church service. See Fiona Isaacson, "Catholics ‘in good standing’ attend mass: priest," Peterborough Examiner, accessed 28 August 2010.
  2. ^ a b [1] Dean Del Mastro, Member of Parliament Profile (Current), accessed 02/01/2012
  3. ^ Wedley, Brendan. "Suzuki Canada looking for new dealership in Peterborough after parting ways with Del Mastro Motors". Peterborough Examiner. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  4. ^ Don Butler, "The front lines," Ottawa Citizen, 7 January 2006, B1.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Trevor Wilhem, "Ex-Liberal runs for Conservatives," Peterborough Examiner, 29 November 2005, B3.
  7. ^ The other contenders were Aaron Anderson, Darrin Langen, Paul Peterson, Alan Wilson, and Bill Hampton. See Vivian Song, "Conservatives choose political newcomer locally: 'Family man, successful entrepreneur'," Peterborough Examiner, 16 May 2005, A1. Anderson was thirty-one years old and on the right-wing of the party, and said that he ran to advance the role of Christians in politics. He was born in Peterborough but later moved to Toronto. See Rachel Punch, "Field growing for those seeking Conservative nomination in riding," Peterborough Examiner, 29 April 2005, A3. Alan Wilson has served as chair of the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Services Board and described himself in 2005 as a centrist. See Mike Lacey, "Alan Wilson makes it five after nomination," Peterborough This Week, 29 April 2005, p .3; Rachel Punch, "Another Tory candidate steps up," Peterborough Examiner, 30 April 2005, B1. Bill Hampton was a lawyer in the Peterborough area. He was forty-three years old, described himself as "middle of the road," and favoured human rights and public health care. See "Lawyer seeks Conservative nomination," Peterborough This Week, 27 April 2005, p. 2; Elizabeth Bower, "Four-way race for nomination," Peterborough Examiner, 27 April 2005, B1.
  8. ^ Dean Del Mastro: Roles, Member of Parliament Profile (Current), Parliament of Canada, accessed 28 August 2010.
  9. ^ About Dean, Dean Del Mastro, accessed 28 August 2010.
  10. ^ Jennifer Ditchburn, "MPs set to visit Syria, Lebanon," Toronto Star, 9 August 2006, A7; Daniel LeBlanc, "Tories target specific ethnic voters," The Globe and Mail, 16 October 2007, A1.
  11. ^ Graham Fraser and Tonda MacCharles, "Tory MP backs out of Middle East visit," Toronto Star, 16 August 2006, A12.
  12. ^ Mark MacKinnon, "A tour of Lebanon and harsh words for Harper," The Globe and Mail, 21 August 2006, A10; "Tory MP says he wasn't pressured to quit Mideast trip," Ottawa Citizen, 16 August 2006, A9.
  13. ^ "Official apology sought for Italian Canadians," Toronto Star, 24 April 2010, A18; Gloria Galloway, "Italians seek new apology from Canada over war internment; First gesture from Mulroney deemed inadequate," The Globe and Mail, 30 April 2010, A8.
  14. ^ "MPs vote for apology to Italian-Canadians, but Tories opposed," Canadian Press, 28 April 2010, 18:20.
  15. ^ Jeff Gray and Steven Chase, "Flaherty's train catches his officials off guard," The Globe and Mail, 29 February 2008, A1.
  16. ^ "Flaherty's folly" [editorial], Toronto Star, 29 February 2008, A4; "This is no way to run a railroad" [editorial], Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1 March 2008, A14; "Flaherty's wild ride" [editorial], The Globe and Mail, 3 March 2008, A12. A confidential report by the provincial government, drafted in 2006 and made available after the controversy arose, listed the Peterborough-Toronto link in the lowest priority range for transport improvement in the Greater Toronto Area. See Patricia Best, "Flaherty's train gets derailed," The Globe and Mail, 5 March 2008, B2.
  17. ^ Tess Kalinowski, "Price tag threatens Peterborough railway link," Toronto Star, 21 May 2010, GT1.
  18. ^ Gordon, Kennedy (11 January 2011). "Del Mastro says trains will run by 2014". Peterborough Examiner. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
  19. ^ David Akin, "Ontario MP pushes for high-speed rail plan," Montreal Gazette, 8 January 2009, A8.
  20. ^ Janice Tibbetts, "Same-sex debate: 'Time to move on'," Ottawa Citizen, 8 December 2006, A3.
  21. ^ Julie Smyth, "MPS use rally to press for abortion law," National Post, 11 May 2007, A7.
  22. ^ Galloway, Gloria (September 10, 2012). "Harper 'not opposed at all' to giving elections watchdog more teeth". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  23. ^ Horgan, Colin (20 March 2012). "Conservative party's robocall scandal has Canadians less than impressed". The Guardian. London.
  24. ^ a b "Tory robo-calls point man denies exceeding campaign-spending limits". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 7 June 2012.
  25. ^ "Dean Del Mastro denies election-spending wrongdoing as opposition calls for his head". National Post. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
  26. ^ "Del Mastro trial now awaits closing arguments". Maher, Stephen (Ottawa Citizen). Ottawa. July 14, 2014.
  27. ^ "Harper's former parliamentary secretary faces five years jail | National Post". National Post. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
  28. ^ R. v. Del Mastro, 2014 ONCJ 605 (Justice L. M. Cameron), online at:
  29. ^ Payton, Laura (October 31, 2014). "Dean Del Mastro found guilty in election spending case". CBC News.
  30. ^ Ditchburn, Jennifer (November 5, 2014). "Dean Del Mastro resigns his seat in House of Commons before vote to suspend him". National Post.
  31. ^ Payton, Laura and Kady O'Malley (November 5, 2014). "Dean Del Mastro, guilty of breaking election laws, resigns". CBC News.
  32. ^ Ditchburn, Jennifer (November 5, 2014). "MP Del Mastro resigns after being found guilty in election overspending trial". The Globe and Mail.
  33. ^ Anderson, Bruce (November 6, 2014). "Del Mastro tried to treat courts as he did his political opponents". The Globe and Mail.
  34. ^ Payton, Laura (4 January 2015). "Mike Duffy, Dean Del Mastro and other political figures go to court in 2015". CBC News.
  35. ^ Zilio, Michelle (4 January 2015). "From court battles to an election, what to expect in Canadian politics in 2015". CTV News.
  36. ^ Mehta, Diana (27 January 2015). "Ex-MP Del Mastro presses for mistrial in election overspending case". The Globe and Mail.
  37. ^ Payton, Laura (18 February 2015). "Dean Del Mastro's bid to reopen trial is dismissed". CBC News.
  38. ^ Peterborough Examiner (18 February 2015). "No mistrial in Del Mastro case". Peterborough Examiner.
  39. ^ The Canadian Press (19 February 2015). "Dean Del Mastro's sentencing hearing expected today". CBC News.
  40. ^ Payton, Laura (27 January 2015). "Dean Del Mastro asks judge to set aside election overspending guilty verdicts". CBC News.
  41. ^ Mallick, Heather (27 January 2015). "Dean Del Mastro hides behind his baby in court". The Toronto Star.
  42. ^
  43. ^ CBC News (25 June 2015). "Dean Del Mastro sentenced to month in jail, 4 months house arrest for election overspending". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  44. ^ McGregor, Glen (25 June 2015). "Dean Del Mastro sentenced to one month in jail for campaign overspending". National Post.
  45. ^ Perkel, Colin (25 June 2015). "Ex-Tory MP Del Mastro gets a month in jail, can't run for office for 5 years". The Globe and Mail.
  46. ^ The Canadian Press (13 September 2017). "Ontario appeal court upholds convictions for former MP Del Mastro". CBC News.
  47. ^ "R. v. Del Mastro, 2017 ONCA 711" (PDF). 13 September 2017.
  48. ^ "Del Mastro v. The Queen, 2018 CanLII 28108 (SCC)". 5 April 2018.
  49. ^ CBC News (April 5, 2019). "Supreme Court won't hear Dean Del Mastro's appeal". CBC News.
  50. ^ Jack Aubry and Juliet O'Neill, "Schreiber stays -- for now," Ottawa Citizen, 29 November 2007, A1; Daniel LeBlanc, "Mulroney must explain cash payments, Tory MP says, The Globe and Mail, 13 December 2007, A4; Jennifer Ditchburn, "Conservative MPs kind to Mulroney while following a script," Associated Press, 13 December 2007, 17:15.
  51. ^ Jennifer Ditchburn, "Fee-for-carriage bid by broadcasters dead on Parliament Hill," Canadian Press, 19 June 2009, 16:47.
  52. ^ Weston, Greg (3 March 2012). "Conservative MPs used U.S.-based telemarketers". CBC News. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  53. ^ O'Malley, Kady. "Dean Del Mastro: Always ready with a motion to go in camera ..." CBC. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  54. ^ "SleepyRobAnders". "Harper's Conservatives think it should be illegal to format shift your media".
  55. ^
  56. ^ Lee Greenberg, "Tory quits a party he failed to unite," National Post, 7 March 2009, A1.
  57. ^ Maria Babbage, "Kenney backs Hudak in Ont. leadership race," Canadian Press, 27 April 2009, 18:57.
  58. ^ McGregor, Glen (2013). "Dean Del Mastro missed 26 ethics committee meetings". Archived from the original on March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  59. ^ Kovach, Joelle (17 December 2015). "Del Mastro, cousin building solar farm in Barbados". Peterborough Examiner. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  60. ^ a b Mehta, Diana (5 April 2016). "Former MP Dean Del Mastro jailed after losing appeal in elections case". CBC News. Canadian Press. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  61. ^ R. v. Del Mastro, 2016 ONSC 2071 (Justice Shaugnessy), online at:

External linksEdit