The Council of Canadians is not surprised about today’s conviction of Dean Del Mastro on charges he knowingly overspent on his election campaign in the riding of Peterborough, Ontario and then falsified records to try to cover it up. The Council also points out that serious occurrences of other election fraud have yet to be solved.
“It speaks volumes that the government’s original spokesperson on election fraud has now been found guilty of election fraud,” says Dylan Penner, Democracy Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The court’s verdict crushes the credibility of the government’s former spin doctor, casting further doubt on his many claims that the Conservatives ran a clean campaign in 2011. Clearly that wasn’t the case in the 2006 “In and Out” scandal or 2008, at least in Peterborough. Serious questions remain about the widespread election fraud that took place in May 2011 and which Del Mastro tried to deflect.”
The Council has publicly called on the Commissioner of Canada Elections to re-open the investigation into the 2011 election fraud, but has only received a cryptic response from the Commissioner that his office can neither confirm nor deny whether the investigation will continue.
“The Commissioner of Canada Elections must re-open the investigation into the May 2011 election fraud,” says Garry Neil, Executive Director of the Council of Canadians. “The Commissioner must follow the lead of the federal court judge who found the most likely source of the information used to make the fraudulent calls was the Conservative Party database. If he is serious about protecting the integrity of elections, the Commissioner should demand that the Conservative Party reveal who accessed their database for illegal purposes during the 2011 election.”
The Council remains concerned that sections of the “Fair” Elections Act could both disenfranchise thousands of voters and make it more difficult for Elections Canada to notify the public about possible occurrences of election fraud, including misleading calls like those that happened in the last election. The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Federation of Students have launched a legal challenge of these provisions that is expected to be heard by the Ontario Superior Court later this fall.
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