Thursday, June 09, 2005

More Immigration Trouble

The story of Grewal's immigration seems not willing to die, see here, here, and here. It doesn't help, of course, when one finds things like this:
Grewal wasn't available for comment after calls to his constituency and parliamentary offices, but Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's press secretary, said there was nothing to the allegation. "This is an old allegation and we're assured it has no basis in fact," Stewart-Olsen said in Ottawa.
Somehow the fact they they are assuring us that Grewal (presumably) has assured them is less than reassuring (I assure you of that).

On the story itself, yesterday I expressed my reservations the fairness of such stories. I also think that this takes attention away from what is surely the question that has to be addressed: who is responsible for the Grewal tapes. (See, again, K.M. Grace's piece in the Ambler.) But perhaps that is why the Conservative support is so tepid.

Update. KW points out a story in the Star Officials to Probe Grewal's Status. (This, I think, is a mistake--it looks like political persecution. But Grewal doesn't have many defenders left, I suspect. )

Update. KW pointed out another story Grit backs away from Tory: Volpe leaves MP's citizenship claims to ministry. (I guess someone explained the optics of it to Volpe)

Update. This is now getting attention in India here

5 Comments:

Blogger nitangae said...

Having reviewed a few newspaper articles on the subject, I am beginning to see that it is somewhat more of a problem. Worse than your average immigration fraud. However, I don't think it should be Volpe or Volpe's office in charge of the investigation. In fact, Volpe (who seems to have some good ideas on the subject of immigration) should pass it over to the nearest thing to a non-partisan agency as soon as possible. It might make him look very bad, even if he is in the right, to be seen to be using his office against a political rival. At best it could give the CPC a weapon to hit the Liberals with. At worst, Canada could being to seem like Singapore.

10:33 AM  
Blogger nitangae said...

Your link to CTV includes the following passage:

The latest news involving Grewal had listeners clogging phone lines at Punjabi radio talk shows on Wednesday, with callers saying Grewal's political career is finished.

Harjinder Thind, host of an open-line talk show at Sher-e Punjab, said Dhillon called his program, further igniting an already hot topic.

"We had almost two hours of callers," Thind said. "Every caller, one after another, is upset."

Thind said 99 per cent of callers were against Grewal.

Callers were also critical of Dosanjh for appearing in the taped conversations to be making a deal with Grewal to join the Liberal party before the crucial vote on the budget, Thind said.

But Grewal is getting the most criticism, he said.

"It's such a big thing that nobody's talking about . . . anything else.
************************

What an awfully uninformative passage! We now know that the Punjabi community also dislikes Grewal, which probably makes us all feel much safer about attacking him - "no hint of racism here, the Punjabi community also thinks he is bad!." We are not told why they are angry. Is it for the same reasons as non-Punjabi speaking Canadians? Is there any hint that he let the community down? (that is often a theme in ethnic communities - it was the case in the German community in Edmonton even in the 80s) Are people angry about certain issues more than others?

When I lived in Toronto, my room-mate was originally from the Punjab, so I could have asked him what his particular corner of the community was saying. Somehow doesn't seem like a good reason to e-mail. If someone participating in this blog understands Punjabi and is able to comment on the radio program, I think everyone would be interested in hearing what you have to say, even if all you have to say is that Nitangae doesn't know what he is talking about.

Nitangae

10:46 AM  
Blogger Knight of Good Mr. Iron Man said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Meaghan Champion said...

I was present in the BC Legislature Building on the evening after the election of the NDP government where Moe Sihota was elected to office as the first Indo-Canadian MLA in Canada. I was not an NDP supporter, but I, like many people felt very excited and happy that the face of politics in Canada had changed that day.

From my friends in the Indo-Canadian community's thoughts on the subject it's not so much a question of "being let down" but as one of feeling positively betrayed by both Dosanjh and Grewal. There are two parts to it, and perhaps it explains why the community is most angry about Grewal than Dosanjh. In the first place, many in the Indo-Canadian community have worked long and hard and sacrificed a great deal to achieve a voice in the Canadian political landscape. In the second, Grewal was taping a fellow Indo-Canadian, and by doing so, he's exposed shame to them both. If the tapes did not include anything implicating Dosanj, I think the community would be rallying behind Grewal more. But as it is... his tapes have not done much, but embarrass everybody connected to them.

The other thing is that it seems upon careful review of the tapes and transcripts, that the excercise was not one of good-guy with white-hat bringing down the bad guys. But one where everybody is dirty.

Perhaps it is good however that Canadians are getting a peak at just how corrupt things really are in Ottawa from both parties. Maybe people will wake up.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Mark Francis said...

This scandal has nothing to do with that community; however the fear is that some offensive elements in the basement hiding holes of our society will.

4:03 PM  

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