Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New in Ethics report (4): there is no recording of the pizza date

From the Ethics Commissioner's report:
While he had the tape recorder with him during his evening meeting with Mr. Dosanjh, it did not function properly, despite his efforts to fix it. As a consequence, he did not record the meeting.
This raises the old question of the pizza tape, which I raised on the day that the tapes were released (see here) and several times since (see here and here).

The Ethics Commissioner now says that Grewal tried to tape the conversation but failed to do so; Grewal had apparently told the Conservatives the same thing (here).

This is not consistent, however, with what Grewal said in the first few days after he revealed the existence of the tapes wen he claimed to have had four hours of tapes. You can see this for yourself by going to the CTV story here and click on the Video Link to the left with the title "CTV News Vancouver: Renu Bakshi speaks with Gurmant Grewal 3:41" (direct link, here.) About a third of the way into the tape, you see Grewal being interviewed:
Renu Bakshi: Grewal said he had no intention of accepting the offer, but he strung them on to expose what he calls vote buying. He says he secretly taped nearly every conversation, including a face-to-face with health minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

Grewal: He ordered pizza and we talked for about two hours. And thereafter he says, ok, that he has spoken to the prime minister.

Renu Bakshi: How many minutes of tape in total do you have?

Grewal: I didn't count, but it would be maybe two-and-a-half hours or three hours; including the telephone conversation, four hours.
Grewal himself refers to the pizza date among the tapes that he had.

This does not necessarily mean that he lied to Shapiro and his own party (which I would not exclude); he may equally have been exaggerating to the CTV reporter.

(There are other reasons to believe there is a pizza tape, however, which I will hopefully return to.)


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