Source: National Post
OTTAWA . An Elections Canada investigator is contacting contributors to Dean Del Mastro's 2008 election campaign to ask about alleged reimbursements paid by a company owned by the Conservative MP's cousin.
Ronald Lamothe called several donors to Mr. Del Mastro's campaign or the Peterborough riding association during the election.
But according to a lawyer who represents a group of donors, Mr. Lamothe didn't get very far.
"My people are not talking to them," said Allan Kaufman. "They're like a clam."
Mr. Kaufman had offered his clients' testimony to Elections Canada for immunity from prosecution. The agency's legal counsel rebuffed the offer, saying that only federal prosecutors could offer immunity.
His client's won't speak without a guarantee they won't be prosecuted, Mr. Kaufman said.
"We just want our people to be protected, and we'll tell Elections Canada whatever they want to know," he said.
Mr. Lamothe's calls come six weeks after the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News first reported on allegations that some donors received reimbursements from Deltro Electric Ltd., Mississauga contractor owned by David Del Mastro.
Records filed with Elections Canada show that 19 people with links to Deltro gave $1,000 each to either Del Mastro's campaign or his riding association.
David Del Mastro has denied paying reimbursements, saying he only asked people to donate voluntarily. Allegations to the contrary were likely coming from a disgruntled former employee, he said.
One former Deltro employee gave a sworn statement to the Citizen describing how David Del Mastro asked employees to recruit friends or family into the alleged scheme. The Citizen later obtained copies of two Deltro cheques for $1,050 each, payable to people who later made $1,000 donations.
The New Democratic Party says Elections Canada doesn't have the mandate to investigate the Deltro allegations and has asked Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to call in the RCMP and the director of public prosecutions.
Dean Del Mastro, who serves as parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and has been his party's pointman defending the robocalls scandal, is under a separate investigation by Elections Canada. He allegedly breached the spending limit on the same 2008 campaign and attempted to conceal the expense, according to a sworn statement filed by Thomas Ritchie, another Elections Canada investigator.
Mr. Del Mastro has denied he broke spending rules and claims he will be exonerated of all allegations.
His lawyer said last month that Mr. Del Mastro had agreed to give a "cautioned" statement to Elections Canada - meaning that it could be used against the MP in legal proceedings.
It is unclear, however, if Mr. Del Mastro has been interviewed or if he will be. Elections Canada will not even confirm the investigation and neither Mr. Del Mastro nor his lawyer, Jeff Ayotte, have responded to repeated requests for comment.
I actually really like the ship design of the original. But here's the thing. The weird floating lion is supposed to represent New Brunswick's ties to Germany's Brunswick region, because that's where King George III of Britain was from. And the ship is a Spanish galleon.
So, the flag represents Germany and Spain, for a region that, if we're sticking with the Euro-centric heritage aspects here, was all about the British and the French. In fact, the Acadian population pumps the native French speakers to almost 33% of the province. It's a truly bilingual province so I just cut sky-lion and made the flags on the ship represent the actual colonial ties. See? I don't hate history! MUCH.
Hey, I know when I'm beat. It's a great, simple design that pays respect to the Scottish heritage and shows a non-cluttered crest. I'm not changing anything here. Dock my pay. Or, give me a raise, depending on where your allegiances lie.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Hey! I kept the trees! But contained and shrunk them in a crest shape because there's no way those things should be allowed to roam freely across a flag. P.E.I.'s motto is "The small protected by the great," which is why those tiny trees and that big tree are there to start with: P.E.I.'s insecurity problem. I made the top of the crest two red bars and a white bar to represent Canada and had the weird idea to have the white from that portion extend off the crest representing the Confederation Bridge. Just pretend the other stripes are, like, ship paths or something. IT'S NOT A PERFECT SCIENCE, PEOPLE.
© National Post