Sunday, 2 November 2014

Uncertain Representation in Parliament for Peterborough

My Member of Parliament is Dean Del Mastro, elected as a Conservative since 2006 and for over a year sitting as an Independent member as a result of pending charges against him. Those charges have been tried in the criminal court and the verdict is now released.  Dean Del Mastro was convicted on Halloween of 2014 of 3 charges under the Elections Act related to spending violations in the 2008 election.  On a fourth charge he was found guilty but the charge was stayed and will not carry a punishment.  Dean Del Mastro may be sentenced to a fine or even jail,  but the law in Canada is that upon conviction a Member of Parliament is not allowed to sit in Parliament for 5 years from the conviction.  Mr. Del Mastro does not want to leave Parliament and continues to swear he is innocent. He will appeal the convictions but there is no automatic right to continue to serve in Parliament with an appeal.

Parliament itself will most likely rule on whether Dean Del Mastro may continue as MP for Peterborough Riding.  Mr. Harper and his colleagues are moving quickly to further dissociate themselves from Dean Del Mastro who had already been forced to sit alone after being a loyal member, who had been the Prime Minister's Parliamentary Secretary.

We may be looking at a by-election in the new year if Dean Del Mastro is removed quickly, but if the process is extended the seat may not be filled until the 2015 General Election.  It is certain that there will be a new candidate for the Conservative Party in Peterborough Riding.