Monday, July 18, 2005

Jim Holt defends Grewal to Constituents

Public Eye Online has a lengthy memo written by Jim Holt, president of Grewal's riding association, to riding conservatives. The text is as follows. (To download a copy of the circulated Word file, see Bound by Gravity

July 14th, 2005

Dear Neighbours,

As you are very well aware, the past few weeks have not in any way been pleasant for our elected MP, for members of our constituency association, for the Conservative Party as a whole, and perhaps even for us as residents of Surrey and North Delta. I am writing this letter to you, along with your fellow members of the Conservative Party constituency association in Newton-North Delta, to help put the proper perspective on the matters at hand.

The purpose of this letter is to outline just what has transpired these past few weeks, and to point out the ruthless, and very unfair treatment that has been inflicted upon our MP, and each and every one of us as members of our party and our local communities, by our political opponents, and also the mainstream media, who were perhaps either unwitting, or less than diligent in their handling of these stories.

In essence, there have been six topics which have been at the centre of an attack on our MP over these past few weeks.

They include:

-- Immigration Bonding Accusations.
-- Taping of Liberal attempts to have our MP cross the floor.
-- An incident at the check-in counter at Air Canada.
-- Old Allegations re Immigration Investment Issues.
-- Release of "New Tapes" by Gurmant
-- Claims re Missing Donation Receipts

Visitor Permit Bonding Accusation: In spite of a flood of negative press and completely unfounded accusations by Liberal Immigration Minister Joe Volpe, it is now a matter of public record that Gurmant Grewal did absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, or unethical regarding his practice of obtaining a pledge from residents hoping to sponsor offshore visitors on a short term Visitors Permit. In point of fact, Gurmant himself actually brought this matter forward in Parliamentary Committee meetings. As the Ethics Commissioner outlined in a detailed report dated June 22, our MP was completely cleared of any and all charges that were improperly advanced by our political opponents, or perhaps of even greater concern, reported in the national media. Indeed, what Gurmant Grewal did was in many ways exactly what many MPs have been suggesting in Committee for some time, namely putting in place some sort of control mechanism to manage short term Visitor Permits. Given our MP's actions, it is now very likely just such a procedure might be introduced regarding foreign visits.

The Air Canada Incident: The "non-incident" at Air Canada, which has been quickly confirmed as such by the Richmond RCMP, Transport Canada, and Air
Canada, clearly indicates the nature in which the reputation of our MP has been maligned over the past few weeks.

This alleged incident indicates the lengths to which our political opponents, and some less than diligent media staffers will go toward trashing the reputation of our MP. The media failed to mention that Gurmant had first cleared his plan with Air Canada staff to send an open envelope with two CDs to Ottawa. They failed to mention that he only approached one passenger that he knew from previous flights (as opposed to the reports he went from passenger to passenger). The media didn't report that the person who did transport the CDs had no problems
whatsoever. And in the initial reports the media conveniently forgot to mention that there was nothing illegal about what Gurmant was doing, as he had already passed the security checks. Another very troubling aspect of this matter is the manner in which the national media continued to treat the incident as an important news event for several days. However, once confirmation contrary to their speculations was released, the media quickly moved on to other matters, and reported the clarifications deep within the print media, or in the case of the electronic media, almost not at all.

The goal of inflicting political damage by negative speculation was achieved once again. Perhaps even more troubling is the rather rapid manner in which the media become aware of the incident in the first place. Serious questions regarding passenger confidentiality, which is a presumed security cornerstone in the new world of passenger air travel, remain unanswered.

Immigration Investment Issue: It is very well known within local media circles in Surrey that this "story" has absolutely no foundation whatsoever, and the individual making the allegation has ties to the Liberal party. It is also interesting to note that the national media failed to properly research the allegation before reporting it. It appears that they failed to even bother to check with members of the local Surrey media for backgrounder information. Suffice it to say that this time, legal action and a formal complaint to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Board will be undertaken to ensure that this particular bit of fictional, partisan and slanderous nonsense is put to rest once and for all.

The Taping Incident: Regardless of your personal opinion on the matter of taping conversations, both the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP are reviewing this matter in considerable detail. Due to these investigative actions, some degree of discretion must be exercised in commenting on this matter at this time. However, some facts can indeed be discussed. It is absolutely crystal clear that the Liberals approached our MP regarding the possibility of switching allegiances during the crucial Budget Vote.

How else can the Liberals explain the nearly three-dozen phone calls they made to our MP over a three-day period? How many times does it take for the Liberals to say NO, as they so claimed? And this is not the first time that this sort of behavior has been demonstrated by the Liberals, who will do almost anything to cling to power. We must recall the recent, and incredibly nasty response that Manitoba MP Inky Mark endured when he raised the subject of just such activities (Liberal Treasury Board President Reg Alcock dismissed this with an offensive response during an interview by stating: "Frankly, if I was going to recruit somebody I'd go a little higher up the gene pool.". (An outrageous statement that he has since apologized for).

Reg Alcock also demanded "evidence" during the Liberals' response to this incident. Given Inky Mark's treatment, our MP felt that it was vital that the Liberal's entreaties be recorded. However, in Gurmant's case, it appears that for the most part, the media chose not to conduct a serious "front page" examination of just why the most senior bureaucrat in the Prime Minister's Office, and a senior Liberal Cabinet minister were meeting with our MP re budget votes, etc., but rather once again appeared to buy in to the Liberal's spin on the event, and chose instead to discredit the Member of Parliament for Newton-North Delta.

More Tapes Released: In a continued effort to keep the spotlight on Gurmant, and AWAY from Ujjal Dosanjh and PMO staffer Tim Murphy, the media released a story last Friday that our MP had released "new tapes". This of course, in the absence of any sort of even minor investigation by the media, led to all sorts of speculation that there was something that was being hidden. Nothing could be further from the truth!! All Gurmant did, via his lawyer, was forward to the RCMP his personal copy of all recordings, likely so that they could compare that set to the official set already in their hands. Given the lack of substance in this story, it didn't seem to have much national exposure, and it died a rapid death in about one day. But some additional damage was done. This story also raises serious questions regarding just how the media found out that the RCMP had requested this extra set of recordings from Gurmant's lawyer.

The Donation Receipt Story: This story, which broke this past Monday, July 11, shows just what we are up against concerning the Liberal's determination to deflect public attention away from their own sordid and corrupt political actions. They will say anything, and suggest everything in an effort to slam the reputation of our MP. The CBC contacted our Newton-North Delta EDA earlier last week with information that they were looking into six donations that appeared to be lacking receipts. On Monday, July 11th, a full eight hours before the Donation Receipt story ran on CBC News, that network was handed a detailed written explanation of each and every one of those six cheques. Everything was in order, and fully explained, as far as we were concerned. But what did the CBC do? They completely ignored our response, and ran with the story, including letting questions hang out there that we had already fully responded to. It is just unbelievable what the media will do! To make matters even more interesting, it has been confirmed that not only were two of the complainants to the CBC good friends of Ujjal Dosanjh, but one of them actually sits on his constituency association Board. Did the CBC let the public know about this? Did they think that this fact might have some bearing on the quality of the complaints? Apparently, no, not at all!!

To conclude, throughout this entire troubling series of events, two distinct patterns have emerged. The first is that almost without hesitation, the mainstream media have unwittingly or willingly appeared to focus most of their attention on the good name and reputation of our Member of Parliament, rather than on spending the time necessary to properly and thoroughly research the truth of these matters. If such time and effort had indeed been expended, it is very likely that the stories would have had far different outcomes, or not even been reported at all.

Secondly, a distinct pattern is emerging in that we already have five of the above six issues satisfactorily resolved in Gurmant's favour, and I am certain that when the two investigations regarding the taping matter are concluded, the reputation of our MP will have once again been restored. However, his achievements and good record will unfortunately have been ignored.

Where does this leave us as members of our riding association; for that matter, where does this leave us as residents of our communities? Likely not that happy at all!

That is why I am urging each and every one of you as party members to speak out on what has occurred these past few weeks.

Talk to your neighbors, talk to your friends, and let them know just how angry you are at how we have all been collectively treated. Forward e-mails that you will be receiving shortly that will help tell our side of the story. If you are not receiving important email from the riding, send an email with your email address to Jim Holt at AND Aubrey Morris at with a subject: Fairness For Grewal and a quick thought or message.

Although the media might not publish or broadcast your comments, I urge
you to write a letter to the mainstream Vancouver newspapers, or call in to
the local radio talk shows, and let them know just how angry you are at what
has transpired.

For if we do nothing, then the worst will have occurred; once again the Liberals will have gotten away more unethical and partisan shenanigans, disenfranchising you and ignoring your vote.

This time these outrageous actions have not occurred in Quebec, as the truly shocking Sponsorship Scandal did.

This time these actions occurred right here in our community, and we should not have to stand for this, not even for one moment!

Yours very truly,

Jim Holt,
Newton - North Delta Electoral District Association. Conservative Party of Canada


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