From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hiding behind privilege

Parliamentary privilege is an important concept as it allows MPs to debate openly and without fear, however, as Dean Del Mastro's recent misuse of privilege demonstrates there needs to be some limits applied.

Last Thursday, Del Mastro, the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, rose in the House on what’s called a “question of privilege” to complain that an investigation into his 2008 campaign financing was violating his rights as an MP.
Frank Hall, who ran Ottawa research company Holinshed Research, was named in a court order compelling him to release records to Elections Canada investigators who are looking into allegations Del Mastro’s campaign breached spending rules in the 2008 election.

Speaking on a point of privilege last week, Del Mastro wondered why Hall’s background wasn’t checked before the court order was issued.
Del Masto said “it is inconceivable that the presiding justice in this matter would not have asked the investigator quite simply, what do we know about Frank Hall? He is the person who has levelled all of these allegations against me.”
Elections Canada “would have found some concerning details, facts that I was able to assemble in a matter of a couple of hours, facts that are in some cases public record, facts that I provided to Elections Canada for its consideration many months ago,” Del Mastro said.

It's interesting to note that Del Mastro chose not to repeat these allegations outside of the house where he could be held to account for his words. Therein lies the rub, as vital as privilege is it should not be used to malign a private citizen.

Scheer should honour Hall's request and direct Del Mastro to withdraw his remarks and apologize and in the future rule out of order the use of privilege when discussing a private citizen especially one who is providing evidence in an investigation involving an MP


  1. .. all rules of law .. respect .. democracy .. the essence of being Canadian .. proud of that.. a glowing heart etc.. vanished in the complete & criminal failure, breech of trust .. the defrauding of the population.. and attacks on the voting electorate in 2011 ..

    Mr Del Mastro ? Whining re his fall from 'grace' (and I use that term loosy goosy re this pompous poseur) .. and now a very suspect boat anchor being avoided by all those swimming hard for the shoreline of the fetid, noxious konservative swamp .. with any ties to el Roundo Del Mastro.

    What a fine example he is.. of the kind of politikal wankers being sought by the Harper Brand .. to represent them.. run for them .. and sell out Canada .. Joe Oliver plus 200 pounds .. living proof that even a donut can get nominated and then elected..

    Thank you whomever agreed to let this large lout be so closely attached like a giant remora to the pudge queen shark Stevie and his sharky consort Ray Novak

  2. Del Mastro wondered why Hall’s background wasn’t checked. Hmmm, one could ask the same question of the Harper government in its obviously superficial assessments of Senators Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, as well as Bruce Carson, Arthur Porter, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

    1. The Cons toss softball after softball at the media yet they seem to strike out every time

  3. hi Kev...I agree with you. It really is outrageous what Del Mastro is trying to do. Blame others for his behaviour, and boo hoo like a cry baby. I sincerely hope that bully gets nailed...