Monday, June 13, 2005

Document shows Grewal sought bond for visitors

KW points out that a copy of Grewal's 'bond' has emerged.
OTTAWA—Gurmant Grewal, the Conservative MP now on a stress leave, has asked constituents seeking to bring a visitor to Canada to sign a "personal guarantee" that the visitor will not overstay the term of his or her visa.
Grewal revealed his use of the bonds in March, when he told a House of Commons committee he had demanded guarantees of between $50,000 and $100,000 from constituents seeking visas for their relatives.
The guarantee form, a copy of which was obtained by the Toronto Star, is believed included in the information being studied by the federal ethics commissioner to determine whether Grewal has breached the code of conduct for MPs.
As part of the undertaking on the form, the person seeking a visa is asked to sign the statement: "THAT MY/OUR current net worth is assessed at a value of $50,000. And that I/We agree to place a bond against our guarantee in the sum of ..."
The amount of the bond is not specified and the name of the person seeking to bring a visitor to Canada is blacked out on the copy of the form that has come to light.
For the rest, follow the link.

I'm frankly not sure what to make of this whole business. This was surely not a money-making scheme on Grewal's part: the whole point of a bond is that you give money to guarantee that you do something and you get the money back when you meet the conditions you've agreed to. And, as Grewal himself is at pains to point out in the tape, the actual handing over of the money seems not to have been done. (One merely made the declaration that one would, I suppose.) Still, this bond is a strange (and imo inappropriate) thing for an MP to do independently. There is an immigration department to do this kind of thing. At the best it shows, I think, a willingness on Grewal's part to improvise to improve a system; at the worst, a way to set himself up as a kind of 'fixer'/'power-broker'-type within his own riding.


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