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Politics

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal by former Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected Dean Del Mastro's appeal.

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear a former federal politician’s bid to have his convictions for electoral offences overturned.

In September, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld Dean Del Mastro’s 2014 convictions on three violations of the Canada Elections Act.

READ MORE: Former Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro released from jail again pending appeal to Supreme Court

Del Mastro was convicted of overspending, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 he made to his own campaign and filing a false report over the 2008 election.

He was sentenced to a month in jail as well as four months of house arrest and 18 months probation.

Del Mastro was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the Peterborough Electoral District Association, but that element of his sentence was set aside by a lower court.

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Del Mastro, who served as parliamentary secretary to former prime minister Stephen Harper, was a staunch and vocal defender of Conservative policies.

The 47-year-old had already served 17 days of his 30 day sentence.

However, his lawyer Scott Fenton tells CHEX News his client will not be returning to jail.

“Dean is disappointed,” said Fenton. “The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed his leave application. He accepts the finality of the decision.”

In a long statement on Facebook on Thursday afternoon, Del Mastro said the democratic franchise of nearly 30,000 voters were “crushed by the decision in my case.”

“The decision was wrong then, it’s wrong today By failing to hear my case, the Supreme Court of Canada has failed these voters and our system of democracy,” he wrote.

Del Mastro says the voter – not Elections Canada – remains the “true protector of our democracy,” noting he was elected MP on three occasions.

“I remain forever humbled by the trust that they placed in me and can honestly say that I left nothing on the table and held nothing back in my advocacy for my constituents and my country,” he said.

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“Today’s decision means that I cannot fight for a just outcome at the Supreme Court, disappointment doesn’t describe how I feel but that said perhaps it’s best that I seek that just outcome from my friends and neighbours here in Peterborough and Peterborough County.”

Del Mastro says he plans to launch a civil suit against Elections Canada.

“Notwithstanding any decision in that regard I have asked my personal counsel Jeff Ayotte to immediately begin the work to bring a civil suit against Elections Canada for the negligent investigation that led to this unjust outcome in the first place,” he said.