Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Western Standard asks Grewal about the cheques

Several of you sent me a heads up about the Western Standard having an 'interview' with Gurmant Grewal. Here is the first part of it. I insert my comments at the end.
Question Period: Gurmant Grewal
Duncan McMurdo - August 22, 2005

Born: December 21, 1957, Barundi, India. Member of Parliament for Newton–North Delta. Former real estate agent.

Western Standard: Why is the RCMP looking into accusations by some people who donated to your election campaign that they did not receive receipts?

Gurmant Grewal: Two of those people [who claim they wrote cheques but got no receipts], both these individuals, they are related to the Liberal party. One of them is on the riding executive of the Liberal party of [federal Health Minister] Ujjal Dosanjh. The other person, who wrote the $600 cheque, he also [was linked to] the party [and] Ujjal Dosanjh at that time.

WS: How well do you know the men involved in this? One of them has said he’s a friend of yours, even though he’s part of Mr. Dosanjh’s riding association.

GG: No, he’s not a friend, actually. These two individuals, they came to myself. They said, ‘Gurmant, you are doing a very good job for the community.’ They said they would like to support me, but they don’t support my party. So they didn’t want to be associated with the party at that time, therefore they chose not to write the cheque in the party’s name, but they wrote the cheques in my name. Therefore, no receipt was supposed to be issued to them, and no receipt was issued; no receipt was promised, no receipt was expected, either.

WS: What do you think the motive behind the accusations is?

GG: Once I blew the whistle on [those in the] Prime Minister’s Office, who were attempting to bribe me for changing my vote along with a cabinet minister, . . . all hell broke loose after May 15. Many accusations have been proven that they were false; for example, the Air Canada incident [where Grewal was accused of trying to pass a package to passengers of a flight he was not travelling on]: I was cleared by the RCMP within 48 hours and it took nine days for Transport Canada to clear me, and the Air Canada to clear me. Similarly, my visitor visa bill [which requires that anyone receiving a visitor’s visa to Canada put up a monetary bond, refundable when they leave the country] . . . the immigration minister [Joe Volpe] didn’t want changes [to immigration policy] coming from Opposition MPs. Once it was passed, he took it personally, and he went on to attack me personally. He said I was profiteering from it. I did not. He said I was asking people to sign bonds in my office. I did not. People were asked to put it in writing, the pledge that the potential visitor from a foreign country, where the Canadian [host] was or my constituent was sponsoring, that they would go back. I am absolutely cleared of those allegations as well. The Liberals are trying to attack me on any front they can to hurt my credibility and my good reputation of nine years, simply to defend themselves on this incident where I caught them on tape, making those rewards and offers in lieu of my vote [on the May 19 confidence motion].

Several points. 1. Grewal doesn't really answer the question, which was why the RCMP were looking into the cheques.

2. Grewal only discusses two of the cheques in question here, the two $600 from Grewal's fund-raiser of 27 December 2003. There is also a $1800 for Nina from July 2004 (see here); a $1000 cheque from Imperial plumbing from March 2004 (see here and here), and a $500 cheque from Jan. 2003 marked 'fund-raiser' (here) that remain to be explained.

3. The RCMP and Transport Canada will have had their own, separate, investigations, and the fact that the RCMP took less time to determine that there was no criminality than it took Transport Canada to determine that there were not regulatory issues at issue is not in itself surprising.

4. Grewal explains the various controversies as Liberal conspiracies against him because of the taping, and includes the visa-bond issue among them. The visa-bond controversy predates the tapes by at least a month.

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6 Comments:

Blogger BarryG said...

It seems to me this is the first time we're seeing the explanation
"...they didn’t want to be associated with the party at that time, therefore they chose not to write the cheque in the party’s name... no receipt was supposed to be issued to them, and no receipt was issued; no receipt was promised, no receipt was expected, either."

GG seems to improvise as he goes along, as with the immigrant voucher thing. He's contributing much more to the Liberal cause than he would have if he'd joined them; it almost seems like double reverse psychology.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Scotian said...

barryg:

I have actually heard that explanation within the first couple of days when that story broke. So it is not all that new. As for his contributing to the Liberal cause, well he is not alone in that. Having Mr. Harper standing behind him and the tapes as strongly as he has since this fiasco started helps the Liberals counter any corruption charges Harper et al want to make when the Gomery report comes out and the election is called. Then there is the notion that it is an "evil conspiracy" by the Liberals and their "media lackeys" behind all of this, and that poor Mr. Grewal is perfectly blameless for any of this, indeed he is a hero for “exposing such blatant criminal behaviour by the Liberals”. Problem is though the only criminality his recordings ended up exposing is arguably his own in seeking specific bribes for his and his wife's votes, and whomever it was that was responsible for the editing of the May 31 05 release and whoever knew they had been edited when they publicly claimed they were full and complete, "pristine" even.

It is unfortunate for the CPC that they have not dealt with this man and the fraud he enacted upon Canadians immediately. Whatever else, Grewal had to have known on May 18 05 that his accusation of the Liberals being willing to offer a Senate seat for an MP's vote was false. After all, his own recordings once they were completely (we assume they are now complete, given everything else that has happened I could see there still being more recordings we have not heard because they would only further incriminate Grewal) released are what makes it clear that whatever else the Liberals might have been doing they were not willing to entertain the idea of a Senate seat or Ambassadorship, period. So since Grewal's own evidence proves his deceit, what does it say about all those within the CPC and it's defenders that support Grewal that they support someone that clearly lied about this scandal from the beginning, and created the disaster the CPC has had to wear ever since it became clear these recordings had been edited for content prior to release to the general public.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Mark Francis said...

Dissecting the comments of any politican when he/she is on the ropes is fascinating. If you know the facts of the case, you can see where they are dodging, and thus determine which issues may really be substantial.

He's clearly dodging on the cheques, which tells us either that there's something to hide, or that there's an area he knows little about, or he just answers poorly.

I'm still immensely curious about the plumber's cheque.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Paul Vincent said...

There is nothing to hide, its an elaborate smear campaign against Grewal. He was a rather minor character and suddenly they're going into all these pety details.

The tapes do not prove either side. IF the Liberals approached him as he says, then they were bribing him. If he was approaching the liberals then he was offering. The tapes only create the existence of the crime, not who did it.

The Liberals did talk about Scott Brisson and said that maybe after a few months he may move up to a cabinet position like him.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Meaghan Champion said...

Keep drinking the CPC Kool-aid Paul.

An elaborate smear campaign? Oh really? So you're saying that the Liberal Media was the party responsible for re-mixing the tapes and sending out all those different version? That the Liberals and the Liberal Media snuck into the CPC HQ and somehow managed to contrive to edit the tapes in such a way that when the edits were revealed it would look like Harper and Grewal and the CPC were trying to cover up something.

Ya...

right.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Scotian said...

I see Paul Vincent is trying to confuse/conflate two very different aspects of the recording scandal. He is focusing on who approached whom first and that the recordings "only create the existence of the crime" in his view. What he is ignoring is the multiple releases of several full and complete recordings, the fact that the later recordings have significant amounts of relevant information regarding the allegation Grewal, Harper, and the CPC made from May 18 05 onwards, the selling of Senate seats. That they show this allegation to never had any merit behind it, despite the May 31 05 edited release clearly showing the Liberals would sell a Senate seat. That is what is known as being caught in a LIE.

That the LIE is regarding a specific criminal allegation aimed at a sitting government and PM makes it even more serious, especially when it comes from the Official Opposition and it’s leadership. That this had to have been an intentional LIE by Grewal and likely Harper (given his refusal to disavow Grewal or his allegations) on adds to this scandal. Not to mention making the only ones looking like criminals are those that edited these recordings to back up a phony criminal allegation and then released said edited recordings and vouched for them as complete, unaltered, "pristine". So again we see someone either desperately ignorant or desperately lying to cover their own partisan focus. There is no excuse for such ignorance when commenting at this blog given all the available researched and contemporaneous information regarding this fiasco.

1:09 PM  

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