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.