Buckets of Data

June 30, 2004

June 30, 2004: the Now on Grewal’s election victory

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 2:56 pm

Grewal hangs on

Sylver McLaren

The Conservatives suffered a stunning loss of six seats in B.C., but incumbent Gurmant Grewal managed to hold on to his seat – barely.

With only 480 votes splitting Grewal and Liberal Sukh Dhaliwal in Newton-North Delta, it was clearly not a runaway.

The final count took longer than expected and the three front-runners waited in anticipation until close to 10 p.m. while Grewal, Dhaliwal and third place NDP candidate Nancy Clegg, battled back and forth, each taking their turn pulling ahead and then dropping behind.

But in the end, a relaxed-looking, blue jean-wearing Grewal prevailed and his early optimism and intrepidness paid off.

“I am confident I will win. I have a solid track record,” Grewal said while waiting for the results to roll in at his campaign headquarters. Grewal said he was sure he would win because success is measured by how well an MP can help his constituents and because he speaks up in the House of Commons.

“Gurmant is probably the hardest working member of Parliament,” said campaign manager John Connelly. “He is very well known and respected by everyone.”

Connelly added that this election is the “dirtiest” he can recall, characterized by nasty remarks and damage to election signs.

“Gurmant takes it in stride though, he has a level head and rolls with the punches,” said Connelly.

Said Grewal: “They broke a lot of signs during the campaign but they cannot break my courage and they cannot break my conviction.”

Gurmant and his wife, Conservative Nina Grewal, who won the Fleetwood-Port Kells seat, celebrated their twin victories together surrounded by family, friends, supporters and campaign volunteers.

“We are here in this family business to make families stronger and to prosper,” Grewal said, his wife by his side.

“Stronger families make stronger communities and stronger communities make stronger nations,” said Grewal to the cheering crowd of well-wishers.

Across town at Liberal Sukh Dhaliwal’s campaign office, there were also cheers but tears, too.

Dhaliwal exuded a quiet hopeful optimism during the lengthy poll count and showed grace under pressure when he accepted defeat.

“It’s OK, it’s OK,” said Dhaliwal’s 14-year-old daughter, Keerat. “You’re awesome and everyone else knows it, too.”

“Don’t cry, you should be happy, now you will have more of dad at home,” Dhaliwal said while he hugged and kissed Keerat and her 12-year-old sister, Joat.

“It’s was not a very big margin and that tells me a lot,” Dhaliwal continued. “We put everything into the campaign, we ran it very clean and that’s all I can say.”

He offered congratulations to rival Grewal and added, “I’m sure and expect he will represent all of the people of Newton-North Delta regardless of their political background and personal acquaintances.”

Dhaliwal also offered well wishes for the NDP’s Clegg: “Nancy is a very fine lady who I have a lot of respect for.”

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June 23, 2004

June 23, 2004: Grewal write the The Now about his MP mailings

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 4:04 pm

Newsletter wouldn’t be an issue if federal election dates were fixed

The Editor,

Re: “MP newsletter isn’t a campaign tool,” the Now letters, June 16.

Mr. Robert Slaven’s opinion letter is not factual and misinforms your readers.

All 301 MPs are expected to communicate with their constituents. As a member of Parliament, I have been communicating with my constituents on a regular basis. There are many constituents who express their appreciation for my newsletter, Dialogue.

The parliamentary rules governing MP’s mailings are very strict. If an MP’s newsletter in both timing and content does not comply with these rules, the House of Commons would refuse to print or circulate it. This newsletter was scheduled, prepared and printed by the House of Commons prior to the call of the election. I am surprised the delivery took so long, particularly that it arrived in the middle of an election campaign, but I certainly have no control over the timing of its delivery.

The root cause of the problem and confusion is the absence of a fixed election date. I have no crystal ball as to when an election will be called by the prime minister. It becomes a real guessing game. This situation is one more example of why there is a need for fixed election dates.

Mr. Slaven states, “Mr. Grewal is no longer my MP, or anyone’s MP.” This is incorrect. All members of Parliament remain the MP for their respective ridings through election day. Thus, I am the MP for Surrey Central, but I am also the Conservative candidate for the new riding of Newton-North Delta. Further, as an Official Opposition MP, it is also my responsibility to point out the weaknesses in proposed legislation and hold the government’s “feet to the fire” when it comes to lack of accountability.

Gurmant Grewal
MP, Surrey Central

June 21, 2004

June 21, 2004: The Now on Grewal’s propaganda

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 3:22 pm

Tax money paid for MP’s propaganda

Just who is Gurmant Grewal trying to kid? His fellow MPs? His federal election rivals? Or, most likely, his constituents?

The Conservative party MP’s latest parliamentary newsletter landed on the doorsteps of residents in Grewal’s old Surrey Central riding last week. Normally, this wouldn’t cause any grief for Grewal, who likes to keep constituents informed of his work on their behalf. But this time, the newsletter, arriving a little over two weeks ahead of the federal election, warrants criticism.

We can forgive the MP the timing of the taxpayer-funded newsletter – he didn’t know when the PM planned to drop the election writ, after all – but to dismiss its persuasive content as nothing out of the ordinary should be challenged.

Unfortunately, the newsletter doesn’t breach any parliamentary rules or etiquette, and that says a lot about Ottawa’s rules.

The newsletter lists a Web site where constituents can not only volunteer to help have Grewal re-elected (put up lawn signs, fundraise, canvas voters by phone), but donate to his re-election campaign.

The newsletter also urges constituents to vote Conservative, but not in so many words: “The new Conservative party under the leadership of Stephen Harper is offering Canadians a real choice. The choice is yours!”

In big, bold block letters at the top, Grewal’s newsletter describes the MP as accessible, experienced, respected, trusted, sincere and a leader. We can think of at least one of these things that he isn’t.

June 11, 2004

June 11, 2004: Constituent complains about Grewal’s householder

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 3:18 pm

MP’s newsletter generates complaint

Marisa Babic

A Surrey man is accusing Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal of abusing his parliamentary privileges by using his taxpayer-funded householder to boost his campaign fortunes.

Robert Slaven said yesterday he has filed a complaint with the commissioner of Elections Canada over concerns that Grewal may have broken the rules.

Slaven believes some of the content in the mailer is an attempt “to sneak around the Elections Act by using his newsletter privileges as a campaign tool.”

“I’m not 100 per cent sure what the rules are so the complaint says, if this is against the rules can you please check it out and if it isn’t against the rules it should be,” he said.

Slaven has sent copies of his complaint to Canada’s chief electoral officer, Conservative party headquarters and Grewal’s office.

Slaven questions information contained in the householder under the headline The Bottom Line, which slams the Liberals’ record and makes comparisons between the Liberals and Conservatives. It also encourages readers to support the Conservatives.

The missive, in bold print, concludes, “The new Conservative Party under the Leadership of Stephen Harper is offering Canadians a real choice. The choice is yours!”

Slaven says the mailer unfairly gives incumbents free publicity during an election campaign at taxpayers’ expense. “It gives unfair advantage to anyone who’s an incumbent MP,” he said. “Incumbents already have an advantage through name recognition so the last thing they need is more help.”

Grewal, who is running in the riding of Newton-North Delta, insists he has done nothing wrong. Grewal said he abided by parliamentary rules and blames the timing of the newsletter’s delivery on the bureaucrats in Ottawa and Prime Minister Paul Martin for his failure to adopt fixed-date elections. “I don’t have a crystal ball to see when the prime minister is going to drop the writ. Moreover, I didn’t ask for money in any of the householders and I didn’t ask people to vote for me in the householders. These two things we are prohibited to do,” he said. The bottom of the householder lists Grewal’s Web site, which includes campaign information and offers visitors an opportunity to make financial donations, volunteer for his campaign and obtain campaign signs.

But Grewal rejects any suggestion there is anything improper about printing the Web address on the householder. He said his new Web site, which was launched in February or March, was restricted to information about his duties as MP until the election was called. But according to the rules, MPs were allowed to add campaign information to the Web site after May 23, at their own expense.

“When my householder was written that information was not there on it,” he said. “The modifications were made after the writ was dropped.

“I have the right to make these changes to the Web site as other MPs are doing.”

Grewal rejected Slavin’s criticism about the political flavour of his householder. “I also reject this accusation. I also want to make it clear that the contents of this householder were cleared by the House of Commons staff. They would never have cleared this content if it was not meeting their requirements, their rules and regulations,” he said.

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