Del Mastro Trial Sentencing Saga

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Dean Del Mastro

Peterborough MP (as he then was) at Peterborough Airport for Global Angels June 21, 2014

Peterborough Member of Parliament Dean Del Mastro has had his days in court over charges he violated the Elections Act in his 2008 re-election campaign. The trial began in Peterborough on June 23 and ended in Lindsay with final evidence heard on July 14. Closing argument was given by the defence  September 2 and by the prosecution on September 4th.  A guilty verdict was given on Halloween.  Parliament then had to consider whether to expel Mr. Del Mastro from Parliament but he resigned just before the vote.

Mr. Del Mastro changed lawyers from a local lawyer Jeff Ayotte to a Toronto criminal law specialist Leo Adler who attempted unsuccessfully to reopen the case on January 27 a date set for sentencing.  This delayed the proceedings so it was adjourned for sentencing in Lindsay on February 19th.  On February 19 the Crown asked for a jail sentence but submissions were not completed. The sentencing saga continued in Lindsay court on April 28th when submissions were completed. It is now expected that the actual sentencing of Mr. Del Mastro will take place on the next court date of June 26.

Meanwhile Peterborough still has no Member of Parliament and the constituency office is overseen by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer.  Andrew Scheer is a Conservative Member of Parliament representing a riding in Regina Saskatchewan.  It is still possible that a Peterborough by-election will be called but it is almost certain the vacancy will not be filled until a general election for all of Canada later this year.

While charges were pending Mr. Del Mastro sat as an independent Member of Parliament being required to leave the Conservative Party caucus.  The charges concern a payment of $21,000 made by a personal cheque to an Ottawa-based polling firm for which Del Mastro was not reimbursed, exceeding his personal spending limit of $5,000.  Mr. Del Mastro’s cousin David Del Mastro has been charged with offences related to improper campaign contributions to the Dean Del Mastro election campaign to get around donation limits, where his company is alleged to have had employees make contributions in their names, which were not from them personally but using funds of David Del Mastro.

Peterborough’s former Member of Parliament, having been convicted will be sentenced and will face a fine and possibly a jail sentence.   The Conservative candidate to replace the former MP is not yet decided.  The Liberal candidate is Maryam Monsef and the NDP candidate is Dave Nickel.   A federal general election is to be held October 19, 2015 unless the Prime Minister calls an election earlier, and it is not known yet who the local candidates will be from any of the major parties.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the authority to call a by-election or he may simply call an early general election.  Stay tuned for more drama.

Robertson Davies 100th Birthday Postage Stamp

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Robertson Davies 100th birthday

Canada Post issued this stamp on August 28, 2013


Canadian novelist Robertson Davies was born in Thamesville Ontario, between Chatham and London, on August 28, 1913 and is remembered with great affection in Peterborough Ontario. where he was a very important member of the community. In Peterborough, Robertson Davies is best remembered as editor and publisher of the Peterborough Examiner Newspaper from 1942 to 1955. Some of Robertson Davies best literary work was written while he was in Peterborough.  Award winning writings done while in Peterborough included;

  • Won the Dominion Drama Festival Award for best Canadian play in 1948 for Eros at Breakfast.
  • Won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour in 1955 for Leaven of Malice.

He also wrote and directed plays for the Peterborough Theatre Guild, and with his wife Brenda acted in them. He and other family members owned TV and radio stations including Peterborough’s CHEX TV and CHEX AM Radio. After leaving Peterborough Mr. Davies went on to greater fame as founding Master of Massey College of the University of Toronto and with his authorship of the Carl Jung inspired “Deptford Trilogy” of novels released in the 1970s: Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders.  The fictional town of Deptford was inspired more by Thamesville than by Peterborough. Professor Davies was awarded a Trent University Honourary Doctor of Literature degree in 1974 when Fifth Business and the Manticore were making the author well known on a broader basis. The Manticore won the Governor General’s Award in 1972. Robertson Davies won many awards in recognition of his literary work and was also awarded an Honourary Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1991. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada. Robertson Davies died in 1995 at age 82.


Robertson Davies Peterborough Home

Robertson Davies and his daughters outside their home at 572 Waller St. Peterborough

New Large Provincial Park in Peterborough County

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7th largest Ontario provincial park

Peterborough’s new Kawartha Highlands Park

Peterborough has a large new Provincial Park consisting of 375.87 km2 (92,879.5 acres).  Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park is the 7th largest Provincial Park in Ontario and takes up a large part of Peterborough County. It is 50 km. north of the City of Peterborough and includes all of Anstruther Lake where there are cottages and a number of other lakes in the northwest quadrant of Peterborough County.  It is one of 9 “Signature Sites” in the Ontario parks system and is the most southern of the Signature Sites.  It has recently (in 2011) begun to provide 108 organized back country campsites and limited other facilities for visitors. Access to campsites is by canoe or kayak. Winter camping is allowed by permit only. Reservations are made centrally through Parks Ontario as there is no in park central facility. Click here to reserve a campsite. There is fishing for small mouth bass, large mouth bass, lake trout, brook trout and northern pike. Regulated hunting is allowed too. There are six established canoe routes through the Park and most of the campsites exist along the canoe routes where they informally existed for many years before. This new park in cottage country dwarfs nearby Petroglyphs Provincial Park, a historic site for day use only. Kawartha Highlands Park was in a planning stage from 1997 and became chartered as a park with legislation passed in 2003. A regulation proclaimed April 21, 2005 made this vast area a Provincial Park. It has many access points which are not controlled like those of most other parks. Its Existing residential cottage use has been allowed to continue with all other lands in the park boundary publicly owned and environmentally protected. Kawartha Highlands Park is classified as a “Natural Environment Park” and considered to be “Semi Wilderness”. It is a great place to explore in Peterborough County. If you visit the park please share your experience with a comment on this post or by tweeting using #Ptbo

Ontario's 7th largest park

A treasure of Peterborough and the Kawarthas