The RCMP has been called in to help Elections Canada investigate allegations leveled against Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, according to PostMedia News.
Last June, the dynamic investigative duo of Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher (aka McMaher) wrote extensively about two separate investigations into alleged improprieties stemming from Del Mastro's 2008 election campaign.
On June 6, 2012, PostMedia reported that Del Mastro — the parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper — was under investigation for "contravening the Elections Act" during his 2008 campaign. Elections Canada is alleging that Del Mastro exceeded his campaign spending limit by $17,000 and wrote a personal cheque for $21,000 to a campaign service provider.
In late June of 2012, PostMedia reported claims from employees of Deltro Electric Ltd. — a company owned by Dean's cousin, David Del Mastro — that they and their friends were asked to make $1,000 donations to Del Mastro's campaign and were paid back $1,050 by the company.
Del Mastro has vehemently denied all the allegations against him and has not been charged for any wrongdoing.
McGregor and Maher say that the RCMP have been called-in "to analyze computer evidence" and to verify files.
Their full article is available here.
It's been a bad week for Stephen Harper's inner circle.
In addition to Del Mastro's troubles, two other cabinet ministers were criticized for ethics related issues.
And, on Thursday, the Canadian Press reported that finance minister Jim Flaherty intervened in a failed CRTC application on behalf of a constituent.
"Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urged the federal broadcast regulator to grant a radio licence to a company in his Ontario riding even though government rules on cabinet responsibility forbid ministers from influencing the decisions of administrative tribunals."
Luckily — for the Harper government — the Idle No More protests have distracted both the media and public from these unfortunate ethical lapses.