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September 26th, 2013

Statement from NDP Ethics critic Charlie Angus

New Democrats welcome the announcement of charges against Dean Del Mastro, Conservative Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Peterborough.

The charges laid today, by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commissioner of Canada Elections, outline allegations of Mr. Del Mastro intentionally failing to properly claim campaign contributions, spending above the ceiling for his election and knowingly providing Elections Canada with documentation that “was false or misleading.” These are very serious infractions and must be pursued to the full extent of the law to ensure Canadian voters and our democratic institutions are protected.

Stephen Harper once said “Bend the rules, you will be punished; break the law, you will be charged; abuse the public trust, you will go to prison”.

It is time for the prime minister to finally back up these strong words with strong action. In the name of accountability, we call on the prime minister to remove this Member from all of his Parliamentary Secretary duties as well as the Conservative caucus pending the final results of these charges.

Don’t forget that while Stephen Harper was rising in the House of Commons last spring claiming Conservatives did nothing wrong, it turns out his chief of staff was helping orchestrate a cover up on Senate expenses and Mr. Del Mastro, the prime minister’s own parliamentary secretary at the time, was under investigation and about to be charged for alleged violations of the Elections Act.

Canadians deserve better – and we urge the prime minister to come forward and finally come clean with Canadians about Conservative involvement in these troubling scandals.