Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Surrey Now (Jan. 28): Grewal threatens to sue Shapiro

From the Jan. 28th edition of the The Surrey Now
Grewal threatens to sue Shapiro over ethics report

Tom Zytaruk

The fur is flying over Parliament Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro's report on the Dosanjh-Grewal taping affair, with Grewal threatening to sue and Dosanjh accusing Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper of hiding from the inquiry.

Gurmant Grewal, formerly the Tory MP for Newton-North Delta, cited "serious reservations" with Shapiro's findings while his wife Nina, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, dismissed the report as a "sham."

"I might sue the ethics commissioner," Gurmant told the Now. "There might be other lawsuits spilling over from it, I don't know."

This week, Shapiro found Grewal's actions "entirely inappropriate and deserving at the very least, of reproach."

Shapiro also found that former Liberal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh did not offer specific rewards to Gurmant, who secretly taped Dosanjh and the prime minister's chief of staff Tim Murphy. Grewal claimed he was offered inducements to cross the floor and join the Liberals prior to a critical budget vote last May that could have brought the government down.

Shapiro stated in his report that it's not clear whether Grewal actually sought inducements or played the part to entrap Dosanjh, but found his actions "extremely inappropriate" in either case.

"If his intent was the former," Shapiro wrote, Grewal "committed an extremely serious breach" of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. "If his intent was the latter," he added, Grewal was then at odds with the MPs' code of conduct.

Grewal said he'd been expecting "good news" after reading the first draft of the report, which he said was "fair." The second, third and final draft, he claims, "significantly changed in context and tone" and he's presently trying to get them released.

Shapiro noted in his report he didn't consider it necessary to rely on the contents of the tapes in reaching his conclusions, "in the face of the wealth of the primary corroborated evidence of all of the witnesses."

Grewal takes issue with this, noting 11 of the 21 witnesses are "known" Liberals, with Sukh Dhaliwal - his Liberal opponent in Newton-North Delta before Grewal dropped out of the race - among them.

Meantime, Dosanjh said he's pleased Shapiro "exonerated" him.

"I think the blame squarely rests at the doorstep of the Conservative Party and Mr. Grewal," he said. Dosanjh noted that Prime Minister Paul Martin testified at the inquiry while Harper, on the other hand, "hid" for four months.

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Blogger Mark Francis said...

Grewal wouldn't dare, would he?

Dosanjh must get itchy litigation fingers whenever Grewal opens his mouth.

Please, oh please, can this matter go on so that the issue of the audio files can come front and centre again?

I wonder how long his wife will put up with this? Everything G. Grewal does has the potential to drag her name through the mud.

G. Grewal's political career is toast! Is his posturing here emotional, or is it an attempt to buy some credibility as he tries to build some sort of post-Commons career?

12:31 PM  

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