Buckets of Data

July 31, 2005

August 1, 2005: The Hill Times on Grewal’s clarification of Harper’s role

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 10:00 pm

At the bottom of this story in the Hill Times is a summary of what Grewal said about Harper’s role.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal (Fleetwood-Port Kells, B.C.), who has been under a cloud of controversy since May over controversial and secretly-taped discussions with Tim Murphy, chief of staff to the Prime Minister, and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South, B.C.), again made national headlines last week. Mr. Grewal has said he taped the discussions in order to prove the Liberals were trying to buy votes, but the Liberals say Mr. Grewal was selling his loyalty.

Last week, through the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, Mr. Grewal stated in an official press release that Mr. Harper told him to stop the taping after Mr. Grewal said he had the possibility of taping Prime Minister Paul Martin (LaSalle-Émard, Que.).

Mr. Grewal issued the statement to clarify a Surrey Leader news report in which he suggested that Mr. Harper had approved the efforts to tape Mr. Murphy and Mr. Dosanjh, but not the Prime Minister.

In last week’s statement, Mr. Grewal said that he informed Mr. Harper of what he was doing, but that “no approval was sought or given.”

“An interview published in this week’s Surrey Leader concerning the taping of conversations between myself, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Tim Murphy, regarding the attempt to purchase my Parliamentary support in the spring of 2005 contains a statement to the effect that Conservative leader Stephen Harper gave his permission for me to tape these conversations. Once I had begun taping I informed Mr. Harper that I was doing so. No approval was sought or given. Subsequently when I told Mr. Harper that I had an opportunity to meet with and tape the prime minister, Mr. Harper told me to end the taping process.”

It’s expected that this issue will be discussed at this week’s national caucus meeting.

Meanwhile, Jim Holt, president of the Newton-North Delta Electoral District Association, sent out a letter on July 14 to members of the riding association and to the constituents, saying that Mr. Grewal has been unfairly treated by the media and urged party members to write letters to local news organizations and radio talk shows to express their concerns about the coverage of the story.

“Although the media might not publish or broadcast your comments, I urge you to write a letter to the mainstream Vancouver newspapers, or call in to the local radio talk shows, and let them know just how angry you are at what has transpired,” Mr. Holton wrote in his letter.

———————
For a discussion of this and other stories related to Gurmant Grewal, his tapes, and other scandals follow this link.

Surrrey Leader: Grewal, leader at odds over secret taping

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 9:49 am

Grewal, leader at odds over secret taping

By Dan Ferguson and Jeff Nagel
Jul 31 2005
Recordings continued despite leader’s order to stop

The day after he says he was ordered to stop secretly recording conversations with Liberal party brass, Gurmant Grewal made at least two more tapes The Newton-North Delta MP said that Conservative party Leader Stephen Harper told him to “end the taping process” during a meeting in which Grewal raised the possibility of recording Prime Minister Paul Martin

The meeting with Harper, according to previous statements by both Grewal and Harper, took place on May 17. Yet Grewal’s own records, posted publicly on his website, indicate that on May 18, the day after he said Harper ordered him to cease taping, he carried a hidden recording device into a meeting with Martin’s chief of staff, Tim Murphy. The same records show Grewal also recorded at least one telephone conversation with a senior Liberal on May 18.

Grewal has said he made the tapes to prove his claim that the Liberals were engaging in “vote buying” by offering cushy appointments to induce him and his MP wife Nina to switch parties and vote with the minority Liberal government. During an interview with The Leader published last Wednesday, Grewal said that Harper knew and approved of his taping activities, and only forbade him from recording the prime minister.

Grewal said when he proposed secretly taping Martin should they meet, Harper initially said yes, then changed his mind.
“… first he (Harper) said, okay go ahead and do it, until I tell you otherwise. Then … immediately in the same discussion he said, ‘Gurmant, I think it’s not a good idea.’ And I agreed with him.” The day after the interview appeared in print, Grewal issued a written “clarification” in which he said that Harper did know about the taping, but did not specifically approve the activity

“Once I had begun taping I informed Mr. Harper that I was doing so,” Grewal said. “No approval was sought or given. Subsequently, when I told Mr. Harper that I had an opportunity to meet with and tape the prime minister, Mr. Harper told me to end the taping process.”

William Stair, a spokesman for the Conservative party leader, appeared to contradict Grewal’s claim that Harper was informed of the taping before the May 17 meeting. “That isn’t true,” Stairs told The Leader on Friday.

“They spoke (about the taping for the first time) on the 17th of May.”

Stairs declined to discuss Grewal’s apparent contravention of Harper’s stop-taping order. “I don’t know what sort of conclusion you can draw from that,” Stairs said when asked about the May 18 recordings. “This is an issue between the two of them (Harper and Grewal).”

Stairs offered a muted defence of Grewal, saying the MP has “done nothing wrong that anyone has proven.”

July 29, 2005

July 29, 2005: G & M report that Grewal ignored Harper order

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 4:47 am

The Globe and Mail :

By BRIAN LAGHI
Friday, July 29, 2005 Updated at 5:00 AM EDT
From Friday’s Globe and Mail

Ottawa — Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal continued to secretly tape talks with a Liberal Party official over the possibility of switching parties last May even though he says his own leader told him to stop.

In a statement released yesterday, the British Columbia MP said that Stephen Harper told him to stop the taping after Mr. Grewal said he had the possibility of taping Prime Minister Paul Martin.

“When I told Mr. Harper that I had an opportunity to meet with and tape the Prime Minister, Mr. Harper told me to end the taping process,” Mr. Grewal said in the statement.

According to the dates of conversations on his own website, Mr. Grewal met with and taped a conversation with Tim Murphy, Mr. Martin’s chief of staff, the next day.

Yesterday’s admission suggests that Mr. Harper has continued to keep Mr. Grewal in the party even though the MP appears to have disobeyed him.

Mr. Grewal issued the statement yesterday as a clarification to an interview he gave to a B.C. newspaper.

The newspaper story said Mr. Harper had approved the efforts to tape Mr. Murphy and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh over talks that would have seen him move to the Liberal side of the House.

In his clarification yesterday, Mr. Grewal said he informed Mr. Harper of what he was doing, but that “no approval was sought or given.”

Mr. Harper himself told the media earlier this year that he spoke with Mr. Grewal on May 17, the day before the last Murphy taping, when the Conservative Leader was in Regina meeting the Queen during her visit to Western Canada.

Mr. Harper did not say at that time whether he forbade Mr. Grewal to continue to tape.

He said he did not know that Mr. Grewal continued to make recordings, but defended Mr. Grewal all the same, saying Mr. Murphy should have known that all conversations are on the record.

He also said he was not aware that Mr. Murphy had been recorded subsequent to his May 17 chat with Mr. Grewal.

“My view in this business is that you assume you’re on the record at all times,” he said.

Asked yesterday if Mr. Grewal had broken the rules set down by the leader, a spokesman for Mr. Harper said that would be up to the party’s MPs to decide.

“That’s a decision that he and the caucus will have to make — what to do,” William Stairs said. “I can’t speak for him.”

Mr. Stairs said the real story is the role Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Murphy played in the drama, and their discussions of a possible reward for Mr. Grewal should he cross the floor. Mr. Grewal could not be reached for comment last night.

Meanwhile, the Conservative caucus meets next week and the Grewal affair is almost certain to continue to be among the discussions. Some MPs have quietly expressed concerns that Mr. Grewal has become a drag on the party in British Columbia.

The RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner are investigating the taping matter, which led to Mr. Grewal leaving the Commons for a short time on stress leave.

The B.C. MP has been involved in a number of controversies over the past few months, which he says are attributable to a Liberal smear campaign. In the B.C. article, he said he has every intention to run in the next election.

July 27, 2005

July 27, 2005: Letter to the Now: Grewal has no credibility

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 4:08 pm

MP claims no involvement; counts herself in on plan

The Editor,

Re: “Nina stands by her man,” the Now, July 23.

Nina Grewal’s statement that her husband’s actions in making the tapes was because: “we (note, “we”) wanted to catch them red-handed,” contains not a molecule of credibility.

If even a half-wit had planned a “sting” operation such as Gurmant Grewal now claims he did, he would have ensured that others were aware of his plans so his motives could be confirmed later. He would, for example, have signed an affidavit outlining his plan and had it notarized for date. He, Gurmant Grewal in this case, would certainly have told his MP wife although she now claims (despite the “we”) that she had nothing to do with the tapes. The after-the-event claim of a “sting,” is clearly bogus.

The question becomes: Is either of the Grewals an appropriate representative of large numbers of Canadian citizens in the parliament of the nation, even with the loyal support of the Conservative party?

Dave Poole, Surrey

July 15, 2005

July 15, 2005: Grewal donor acknowledges ties to Dosanjh

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 4:12 am

Grewal donor who wants tax receipt acknowledges ties to Dosanjh
Beleaguered MP under investigation over ’04 campaign

Nicholas Read
CanWest News Service

Friday, July 15, 2005

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver businessman who is demanding a tax receipt for money he gave Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal two years ago says he is a member at large of Liberal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh’s riding association.

Sarup Mann insisted that has nothing to do with his now public demands that Mr. Grewal provide him with tax receipts for a $600 donation he made to Mr. Grewal in 2003 and a $1,800 donation he made to Mr. Grewal’s wife, Nina, in 2004.

Mr. Grewal is currently being investigated by the RCMP for donations made to his 2004 re-election campaign.

Mr. Grewal has said the donations were made before new election financing rules came into force and called this latest controversy the work of a smear campaign by the Liberal party, which Mr. Mann denies.

”We’ve been trying to get a tax receipt from him since February of 2003, and Mr. Dosanjh wasn’t even in the picture then,” Mr. Mann said in a phone interview.

”The fact that I’m a Liberal and a member of the riding association doesn’t mean I don’t support other people as well.”

Mr. Mann’s admission follows one from Barj Dhahan, who is also demanding a tax receipt for a $600 donation he made to Mr. Grewal in 2003, that Mr. Dhahan and his wife hosted a coffee-and-dessert party for Mr. Dosanjh during the last federal election.

Mr. Dhahan admitted that again yesterday, but said he is not a member of any federal party, including the Liberal party. He became a member of the B.C. Liberal Party, he said, when he understood that former Vancouver mayoral candidate Jennifer Clarke would be the Liberals’ candidate in Vancouver-Langara.

Instead, Carole Taylor ran for the Liberals in that riding and is now B.C.’s Finance Minister.

”I’m not a Reform or Canadian Alliance,” Mr. Dhahan said. ”I’m not a Liberal or an NDPer. The matter is very simple. All we want is for tax receipts to be given for the donations we made.”

He said he hosted the party for friends and neighbours in Mr. Dosanjh’s Vancouver South riding simply as a way for them to get to know the now-Health Minister.

”People who came, they’re not Liberals,” he said. ”We went through our list of friends and people we know who live in that riding, and invited them. That’s all we did.”

But B.C. Conservative MP John Reynolds says it sounds suspicious to him.

”It seems to me rather strange that these gentlemen, one who is a member of [Mr. Dosanjh’s] riding association and the other who had a coffee party for Mr. Dosanjh, would all of a sudden come out with these accusations,” Mr. Reynolds said.

The circumstances of all three donations — none of which was reported to Elections Canada — are now being investigated by the RCMP.

Mr. Grewal said in an earlier interview that he was not able to issue receipts for cheques made out to him personally because ”I do not have a charitable organization for Gurmant Grewal.” He added Mr. Mann and Mr. Dhahan should have known that.

Both Mr. Mann and Mr. Dhahan reiterated yesterday that if it weren’t for the fact that news of their donations was leaked to the media, the matter never would have been made public.

They also denied any involvement in a Liberal party plot to discredit Mr. Grewal.

”Mr. Dosanjh wasn’t even in the picture when he started dealing with him [Grewal],” Mr. Mann said.

”I have stated from the first day that there’s no plot,” Mr. Dhahan said. ”I’m not involved in a plot. I asked for a receipt. I was promised a receipt and it never came.”

July 14, 2005

July 14, 2005: Tory MP attacks Grewal’s ‘antics’

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 4:08 am

From the Globe and Mail:

Tory MP attacks Grewal’s ‘antics’
Surrey politician falls under renewed fire as Mounties interview campaign donors
By PETTI FONG
Thursday, July 14, 2005 Updated at 5:17 AM EDT
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail

Vancouver — Gurmant Grewal has been cleared by the Conservative Party of wrongdoing but a continuing RCMP review into political contributions given to the Surrey MP and criticisms from a fellow MP and organizers continue to follow the controversial politician.

John Cummins, MP for the riding adjacent to Mr. Grewal’s, said there was a clear mishandling of funds.

“Absolutely, no doubt, Mr. Grewal’s antics have hurt the party,” Mr. Cummins said on the Rafe Mair radio show. “When you start getting cheques made out to you personally, you’re asking for trouble. Is that personal income or is that money going to the constituency association? If it’s personal income, is it money being used to influence you and the decisions you make?”

Conservative MP John Reynolds, chair of the national campaign, said Mr. Grewal has been targeted because the MP tried to discredit the Liberals with his allegations they tried to recruit him to join their party.

RCMP officers interviewed one of the two men yesterday who say they did not receive tax receipts for political contributions they made to Mr. Grewal in late 2003 and the Conservative party has told them there is no record of the money they donated.

The contributors say that Mr. Grewal asked them to make the cheques out to him personally and assured them they would get a receipt for the $600 each donated.

The Conservatives and Mr. Grewal say the contributors are not entitled to a tax receipt under current legislation. It wasn’t until January, 2004, that parties were required to give tax receipts.

“In those days [before the changes], every MP received cheques for their nominations or when they were between elections that did not qualify for tax receipts.”

Mr. Cummins, the MP for Delta-Richmond East, said he has always had contributions made out to his constituency association, and Vancouver Island North Conservative MP John Duncan said he has never received cheques from donors made out to him.

“I’ve never done that because I never even thought of doing it. I knew it was allowed under the rules, but I just wanted to stay away from it. I thought it made it much easier to explain if everything was clearly in the constituency association account,” Mr. Duncan said.

Mr. Duncan said the Conservative Party has addressed most of the concerns about the cheques that donors say they sent without getting a receipt.

Four of the cheques did not qualify for a tax receipt, a fifth was given an official receipt, and Mr. Duncan said mystery surrounds a sixth cheque made out to Mr. Grewal. Although the back of the cheque shows a deposit in Vancouver with Mr. Grewal’s signature, the Conservatives have records that clearly show the Surrey MP was in Ottawa that day, Mr. Duncan said.

New Westminster-Coquitlam-Burnaby MP Paul Forseth said Mr. Grewal, who was not talking to reporters yesterday, has been cleared in every allegation of wrongdoing in the past.

“He has tried to do everything properly,” Mr. Forseth said. “The Liberals keep trying to make him look bad and they keep stirring things up.”

Mr. Grewal also received support from Don McCrimmon, president of the Langley Conservatives riding association, and Menno Froese, president of the Abbotsford riding association.

“What it does reflect is how easy it is to take away the focus from where the issues really are,” Mr. McCrimmon said.

Mr. Froese, whose riding includes a large and growing politically influential Indo-Canadian population, said the issue has dominated discussions within the Indo-Canadian community.

“Mr. Grewal is four constituencies away from our constituency, and it hasn’t been an active issue among supporters here,” Mr. Froese said. “But I hear that it’s quite controversial on the Indo-Canadian radio shows.”

Manjit Dhillon, who is also on the Abbotsford riding executive and an organizer among the Indo-Canadian community in the Fraser Valley, said Conservative Party members have told him they want quicker action from Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

“We are tired of seeing every few days something popping up involving Gurmant Grewal. There are 300 MPs, why does everything have to involve Mr. Grewal? For the community and the party’s sake, we hope to stop seeing that,” Mr. Dhillon said. “We also want Mr. Harper to be more decisive about whether he is supporting Mr. Grewal or not.”

For more on Grewal and the Grewal tapes, see Buckets of Grewal.

July 13, 2005

The Now on Grewal’s campaign finance

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 10:43 am

Gurmant Grewal in new pickle

Brooke Larsen

Now Contributor

Trouble has reared its ugly head again for Gurmant Grewal.

Two Vancouver men say they made donations to Grewal’s 2004 re-election campaign, but didn’t receive receipts.

Barj Dhahan said he made a $600 donation to Grewal’s campaign in December 2003, and has since phoned Grewal’s office numerous times asking for a receipt.

“I gave him the donation but I didn’t get the receipt. I don’t think that’s acceptable,” he said.

Sarup Mann, who also made a donation to Grewal, said he called the MP several times asking for a receipt but got nowhere.

Mann said that in 2003 he handed Grewal a cheque for $600 for his campaign, and in July 2004 he gave Grewal another $1,800 cheque for Nina Grewal’s campaign.

But the Newton-North Delta MP says both men asked if they could make their cheques out to Grewal personally, not to his campaign, so that their names would not appear on lists of campaign supporters, which are public information.

“They didn’t want to be associated with my campaign or the party, so they made the cheque out to me, Gurmant Grewal,” he said.

Grewal says he took the cheques, endorsed them, and used them to pay for a party at the Grand Taj, a Surrey banquet hall.

“The cheques were used for a Gurmant Grewal appreciation party – for food, the banquet hall, the entertainment.”

Grewal said he wasn’t required to issue receipts to Mann and Dhahan because their donations were made before the official start of the campaign period.

According to Elections Canada’ s website, candidates are required to issue receipts to all donors, but only after their candidacy is confirmed.

But Grewal may have violated another campaign rule.

In a section titled “Important reminders for candidates and their official agents,” the Elections Canada website says all candidates should “ensure that all money is first deposited into the campaign bank account.”

Grewal said the cheque made out to Nina Grewal’s campaign was deposited in the campaign account, but that the receipt got lost.

Neither Dhahan’s nor Mann’s names showed up on the Elections Canada lists of contributors to Nina and Gurmant Grewal’s campaigns.

Grewal is also being investigated by police and a parliamentary ethics commissioner for taping his conversations with the federal finance minister and an aid to Prime Minister Paul Martin.

posted on 07/13/2005

Vancouver Sun: “Donations Legal:Grewal”

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 6:04 am

Donations legal: Grewal

Donations legal: Grewal
Controversial Conservative MP says cheques were made out to him directly because donors were ‘shy’

Jonathan Fowlie
Vancouver Sun

Newton-North Delta MP Gurmant Grewal said Tuesday that cheques made out to him personally were within Elections Canada guidelines.

Surrey Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal says he did not break any laws or campaign rules by accepting donations that are now being investigated by the RCMP.

Grewal released copies of the controversial donation cheques at his office Tuesday — two $600 cheques that were made out to Grewal personally and a third cheque for $1,800 that was made out to his wife Nina’s political campaign — and defended his reasons for taking the personal cheques without giving receipts or reporting the donations to Elections Canada.

“If he [Barj Dhahan, the man who wrote one of the controversial cheques] wanted a receipt, he could have made it to the [constituency association],” Grewal said.

Explaining why Dhahan wrote one of the cheques directly to him and not to the association, Grewal said: “He was shy and he chose to do that because then his allegiance to the Canadian Alliance would not be made public.”

He said the second donor, Sarup Mann gave the same reason for writing a cheque directly to him.

Grewal said he is not able to issue receipts for cheques written directly to him because “I do not have a charitable organization for Gurmant Grewal,” and added that Dhahan and Mann should have known that.

Dhahan and Mann came forward this month, saying they each made $600 campaign contributions directly to Grewal in December 2003, and that neither of them have received proper receipts.

Photocopies of the cancelled cheques released Tuesday show that Grewal, MP for Newton-North Delta, endorsed the cheques, and that the cheques had been deposited and cleared.

Grewal said he did not put the money into his personal account, but handed it over to the Grand Taj Banquet Hall to help pay for an appreciation dinner being held in his honour. No one could be reached Tuesday at the Grand Taj.

Grewal also said that under guidelines set out by Elections Canada at the time he took the donations, it was not against the rules to accept a cheque made out directly to him without reporting it.

“When he gave this cheque, it was outside the campaign period,” Grewal said. “At that time there was no requirement [by] Elections Canada to issue a receipt.”

While defending the cheques, Grewal added there “could be some more” cheques that were made out to him personally, but that he did not know for sure.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Tom Seaman confirmed Tuesday that police are “reviewing information to ascertain if any laws have been broken” with regards to the donations, but said he could not speak about specifics.

Asked about the police investigation, Grewal replied: “Let them do their job. I have nothing to hide.”

In regards to the donation made to his wife’s campaign, Grewal acknowledged a receipt should have been issued for the $1,800 cheque, and said the error was “simply an oversight on the part of a volunteer who was supposed to issue a receipt.”

Reached Tuesday, Dhahan took issue with Grewal’s version of events, saying the Surrey MP had specifically requested his cheque not be made to the riding association, and that Grewal had promised a receipt would be issued for the donation.

“I do not make personal gifts to people,” Dhahan said, explaining Grewal asked the cheque be made out in his own name because he was not yet certain where he was planning to run.

“I gave him the money on the understanding that the party he represents would give me a receipt,” he said.

” ‘A receipt will be issued.’ Those were his words.”

Mann could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Grewal said he does not recall promising Dhahan a receipt, and accused Dhahan and Mann of being part of a Liberal “smear campaign.”

In May, Grewal released secretly recorded tapes that he said show Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, and Prime Minister Paul Martin’s chief of staff were trying to entice him across the floor before a crucial budget vote.

He said he believes Dhahan and Mann have ties to Ujjal Dosanjh, and said that they have come forward as part of a larger attempt to discredit his reputation.

“Once they [the Liberals] are caught on tape, they are trying to smear my reputation,” Grewal said. “This is completely a smear campaign.”

Dhahan denied the allegation. He said he has hosted an event at his house for Dosanjh, but that he does not know him personally, and is not tied to him politically.

“I’m not out here for some personal grudge or vendetta against Mr. Grewal,” Dhahan said. “I have nothing to gain from anyone.”

July 11, 2005

Letter of Jim Holt (President of Grewal’s Riding Association) to Terry Milewski, CBC

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 5:08 pm

July 11, 2005 To: Terry Milewski, CBC Vancouver From: Jim Holt, President Newton North Delta EDA, Conservative Party of Canada.
Verification Information re Six Cheques that Mr. Milewski is investigating.

Reference our discussions of the past three business days, our EDA has been tracking down information on a total of six cheques that have come to your attention as a reporter with CBC.
Given the time lines associated with these items, it hasn’t been as difficult as we had first anticipated regarding re-constructing information on these items. One just had to make contact with the appropriate persons, and the task became quite easy actually. In examining this matter, we have found that rather than focus on each cheque, we should perhaps focus on the donor.

This way we feel a picture of just what we feel is going on starts to become a whole lot clearer.

Firstly, we have a Mr. Kandola, who for some reason contacted you (or was referred to you by others) to indicate that he hadn’t seemed to have received a receipt for a $200. political donation. To your credit Terry, and we thank you for saving us some time, you yourself were able to determine by examining public Elections Canada records that his cheque was indeed properly receipted. But I guess a question we have back to Mr. Kandola, via you, is just why did he make such a claim in the first place, and why was he in apparent error re the veracity of his claim?

Next we have a Mr. Dhahan. Here we have a person who in addition to attending a political dinner for Gurmant Grewal back in December of 2003 (two thousand three) happens also to be a good friend of Ujjal Dosanjh. And Mr. Dhahan, nearly one and half years after a cheque was written and cleared, is now asking for a receipt for his “donation”. In checking this one out, we have determined that the item was countersigned over to The Grand Taj Hall in Surrey to help pay for the dinner, it cleared through their bank, and then presumably went back to Mr. Dhahan’s.

We trust that someone is asking (or perhaps maybe someone will be asking) Mr. Dhahan to explain why an event that occurred some time in the distant past didn’t seem to need a receipt then, but does now. It would also be interesting to determine if this item was an “outstanding item” in accounting terms, and we guess that only a formal examination of Mr. Dhahan’s Income Tax records would determine if this item had been in fact processed as a normal business expense for either 2003 (when the cheque was written), or in 2004 (when the item cleared the bank), or can it indeed be demonstrated by Mr. Dhahan or his auditors that this payment has been kept on his books as an unresolved item all these many months (and through at least one Income tax cycle). For if this item had indeed already been processed in accounting terms, then the accuracy and substance of Mr. Dhahan’s claims to you will represent an entirely different legal matter altogether.

Next we have a Mr. Mann. As backgrounder on this complainant, it is a well-known fact that he is a very good friend of Ujjal Dosanjh. So good a friend is he of Mr. Dosanjh that just after the Taping Incident became public, and Mr., Dosanjh’s central and principle role in that event became known to the public, Mr. Mann telephoned Mr. Grewal and voiced extreme displeasure with Mr. Grewal’s actions. And then just a few short weeks later, up pops a complaint relayed to you regarding two cheques. Mann has provided you with two items, one for $1800. and another for $600. In the matter of the item for $600., our research shows that this item followed the same pattern as Mr. Dhahan’s above. Namely, it was used to help pay for the December 2003 dinner, this cheque cleared in nearly identical fashion to that of Mr. Dhahan’s, and all of the above questions must be asked of Mr. Mann.

Regarding the cheque in the amount of $1800. our research shows that this cheque was made payable to the Nina Grewal Campaign. This item represents the approximate cash value of the telephone call centre system Mr. Mann supplied to be used by both the Gurmant and Nina Grewal campaigns in June 2004. The reverse of that cheque clearly shows it was properly endorsed by the Registered Agent for Nina Grewal, and deposited to the EDA account. The lack of receipt on this account appears to be a simple clerical error related to the change in volunteer Registered Agents for the Fleetwood-Port Kells campaign. The new Registered Agent assumed his predecessor had issued all official receipts up to the time of the changeover. Our investigation indicates that all of the paperwork and reports are correct, and an official receipt will be issued to Mr. Mann forthwith. (On a perhaps embarrassing note, this sort of thing does happen from time to time, given the large number of items processed by volunteers during a campaign, but we do try to do our best)

This brings us to the Imperial Plumbing cheque in the amount of $1000. Here we must admit we are a bit stumped, not the least due to the fact that the copy of the cheque you forwarded to us doesn’t appear to have been endorsed by anyone on the reverse, and the cheque seems to have been cleared at the Khalsa Credit Union the same day it was drawn. Equally baffling is the fact the item was processed at a branch of that credit union about 20 miles from where the cheque was prepared. We are even more baffled by this one, when we examine the date the transaction(s) occurred. Our research indicates that on that date, Mr. Grewal was in Ottawa, and either in his office, or in the House of Commons (“Hansard” can actually verify this).

[Cheque shown at top of page]

This would place Mr. Grewal at a considerable, and verifiable distance from where this cheque was issued, which would have made it remarkably difficult for him to have cashed this cheque made payable to him personally.

This leaves us with the Jas Atwal cheque in the amount of $500. made out to Gurmant Grewal and dated January 14, 2003, which was subsequently deposited into Mr. Grewal’s personal account in February of 2003. This cheque is perhaps the most vexing, and infuriating one from our perspective. In investigating this one, we have determined that this cheque had nothing whatsoever to do with politics, or with so-called political donations. Nothing whatsoever! This cheque was countersigned over to Mr. Grewal for a portion of a small private business debt owed to him by a Mr. Gill, who among other things is a respected individual in the Indo Canadian Community. He is also a journalist, and owner of Surrey media outlet “Radio India”.

Mr. Gill is prepared to provide a record of the Atwal debt owed to him, and also a sworn statement attesting to the fact that the Atwal cheque was in fact countersigned over to Mr. Grewal for a small and entirely unrelated (to Mr. Atwal) private debt. Further, Mr. Grewal is adamant that the words “For Fund Raiser” which appear on the memo line of this cheque must have been added at a later date (which would be ever so easy to do, and with the actual cheque in the right formal investigative hands, would also be ever so easy to verify). Notwithstanding the fact this item is over two years old, to make a claim that it was a political donation takes us right back up to the hard questions that should be asked of Mr. Mann and Mr. Dhahan.

To conclude, we very much have appreciated the time you have given us in which we could examine the above items, and we trust in turn that you will reciprocally appreciate the time and effort (most of it from committed volunteers) that we have put into providing the answers you have been seeking. We trust that our answers have given you much in the way of additional information, and as is often the case, additional questions to ponder.

We would like to conclude with two important thoughts though. The first is that the common denominator in all of the above is not so much the matter of missing receipts, but rather the fact that loyalty to Ujjal Dosanjh figured large, and often, in our inquiries. This is perhaps not surprising at all, given it is the Liberal Party’s sworn intention to do everything it can to deflect attention away from Mr. Ujjal Dosanjh by attempting to shoot the messenger (that would be our Member of parliament) at every opportunity. Even the most flimsy of claims against Mr. Grewal are trotted out in the achievement of the goal of shielding Mr. Dosanjh from additional, or centre-stage scrutiny. We have heard for some time now that there would be a challenge to Mr. Grewal in the form of cheques. Given what we have seen with the above six items, we feel that the strategy of the Liberals will continue, as will our ability to defend our MP.

In addition, our experience during the examination of these items also leaves us with the knowledge of the profound vulnerability of ANY public official who at some later date might have completely logical personal financial transactions dragged out into the public arena. Events turn, opinions change, or agendas are unleashed, and all of a sudden seemingly mundane financial transactions become potential problems (the Atwal item above is the best/worst of the preceding six in this regard). Given this vulnerability, it is incumbent that those investigating such claims must ask all of the pertinent questions of those doing the complaining. It is likely that in a formal legal forum, each of the above claims would have received short shrift (at best) from those doing the examining and in a worst case, were there Audited and/or Income Tax records indicating facts to the contrary, then those doing the complaining would find themselves in quite a bit more trouble than just having to say “Oops, I’m so sorry. I guess that wasn’t a political donation after all”.

July 11, 2005: Holt writes to Milewski about cheques

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 12:12 pm

July 11, 2005 To: Terry Milewski, CBC Vancouver From: Jim Holt, President Newton North Delta EDA, Conservative Party of Canada.
Verification Information re Six Cheques that Mr. Milewski is investigating.

Reference our discussions of the past three business days, our EDA has been tracking down information on a total of six cheques that have come to your attention as a reporter with CBC.
Given the time lines associated with these items, it hasn’t been as difficult as we had first anticipated regarding re-constructing information on these items. One just had to make contact with the appropriate persons, and the task became quite easy actually. In examining this matter, we have found that rather than focus on each cheque, we should perhaps focus on the donor.

This way we feel a picture of just what we feel is going on starts to become a whole lot clearer.

Firstly, we have a Mr. Kandola, who for some reason contacted you (or was referred to you by others) to indicate that he hadn’t seemed to have received a receipt for a $200. political donation. To your credit Terry, and we thank you for saving us some time, you yourself were able to determine by examining public Elections Canada records that his cheque was indeed properly receipted. But I guess a question we have back to Mr. Kandola, via you, is just why did he make such a claim in the first place, and why was he in apparent error re the veracity of his claim?

Next we have a Mr. Dhahan. Here we have a person who in addition to attending a political dinner for Gurmant Grewal back in December of 2003 (two thousand three) happens also to be a good friend of Ujjal Dosanjh. And Mr. Dhahan, nearly one and half years after a cheque was written and cleared, is now asking for a receipt for his “donation”. In checking this one out, we have determined that the item was countersigned over to The Grand Taj Hall in Surrey to help pay for the dinner, it cleared through their bank, and then presumably went back to Mr. Dhahan’s.

We trust that someone is asking (or perhaps maybe someone will be asking) Mr. Dhahan to explain why an event that occurred some time in the distant past didn’t seem to need a receipt then, but does now. It would also be interesting to determine if this item was an “outstanding item” in accounting terms, and we guess that only a formal examination of Mr. Dhahan’s Income Tax records would determine if this item had been in fact processed as a normal business expense for either 2003 (when the cheque was written), or in 2004 (when the item cleared the bank), or can it indeed be demonstrated by Mr. Dhahan or his auditors that this payment has been kept on his books as an unresolved item all these many months (and through at least one Income tax cycle). For if this item had indeed already been processed in accounting terms, then the accuracy and substance of Mr. Dhahan’s claims to you will represent an entirely different legal matter altogether.

Next we have a Mr. Mann. As backgrounder on this complainant, it is a well-known fact that he is a very good friend of Ujjal Dosanjh. So good a friend is he of Mr. Dosanjh that just after the Taping Incident became public, and Mr., Dosanjh’s central and principle role in that event became known to the public, Mr. Mann telephoned Mr. Grewal and voiced extreme displeasure with Mr. Grewal’s actions. And then just a few short weeks later, up pops a complaint relayed to you regarding two cheques. Mann has provided you with two items, one for $1800. and another for $600. In the matter of the item for $600., our research shows that this item followed the same pattern as Mr. Dhahan’s above. Namely, it was used to help pay for the December 2003 dinner, this cheque cleared in nearly identical fashion to that of Mr. Dhahan’s, and all of the above questions must be asked of Mr. Mann.

Regarding the cheque in the amount of $1800. our research shows that this cheque was made payable to the Nina Grewal Campaign. This item represents the approximate cash value of the telephone call centre system Mr. Mann supplied to be used by both the Gurmant and Nina Grewal campaigns in June 2004. The reverse of that cheque clearly shows it was properly endorsed by the Registered Agent for Nina Grewal, and deposited to the EDA account. The lack of receipt on this account appears to be a simple clerical error related to the change in volunteer Registered Agents for the Fleetwood-Port Kells campaign. The new Registered Agent assumed his predecessor had issued all official receipts up to the time of the changeover. Our investigation indicates that all of the paperwork and reports are correct, and an official receipt will be issued to Mr. Mann forthwith. (On a perhaps embarrassing note, this sort of thing does happen from time to time, given the large number of items processed by volunteers during a campaign, but we do try to do our best)

This brings us to the Imperial Plumbing cheque in the amount of $1000. Here we must admit we are a bit stumped, not the least due to the fact that the copy of the cheque you forwarded to us doesn’t appear to have been endorsed by anyone on the reverse, and the cheque seems to have been cleared at the Khalsa Credit Union the same day it was drawn. Equally baffling is the fact the item was processed at a branch of that credit union about 20 miles from where the cheque was prepared. We are even more baffled by this one, when we examine the date the transaction(s) occurred. Our research indicates that on that date, Mr. Grewal was in Ottawa, and either in his office, or in the House of Commons (“Hansard” can actually verify this).

[Cheque shown at top of page]

This would place Mr. Grewal at a considerable, and verifiable distance from where this cheque was issued, which would have made it remarkably difficult for him to have cashed this cheque made payable to him personally.

This leaves us with the Jas Atwal cheque in the amount of $500. made out to Gurmant Grewal and dated January 14, 2003, which was subsequently deposited into Mr. Grewal’s personal account in February of 2003. This cheque is perhaps the most vexing, and infuriating one from our perspective. In investigating this one, we have determined that this cheque had nothing whatsoever to do with politics, or with so-called political donations. Nothing whatsoever! This cheque was countersigned over to Mr. Grewal for a portion of a small private business debt owed to him by a Mr. Gill, who among other things is a respected individual in the Indo Canadian Community. He is also a journalist, and owner of Surrey media outlet “Radio India”.

Mr. Gill is prepared to provide a record of the Atwal debt owed to him, and also a sworn statement attesting to the fact that the Atwal cheque was in fact countersigned over to Mr. Grewal for a small and entirely unrelated (to Mr. Atwal) private debt. Further, Mr. Grewal is adamant that the words “For Fund Raiser” which appear on the memo line of this cheque must have been added at a later date (which would be ever so easy to do, and with the actual cheque in the right formal investigative hands, would also be ever so easy to verify). Notwithstanding the fact this item is over two years old, to make a claim that it was a political donation takes us right back up to the hard questions that should be asked of Mr. Mann and Mr. Dhahan.

To conclude, we very much have appreciated the time you have given us in which we could examine the above items, and we trust in turn that you will reciprocally appreciate the time and effort (most of it from committed volunteers) that we have put into providing the answers you have been seeking. We trust that our answers have given you much in the way of additional information, and as is often the case, additional questions to ponder.

We would like to conclude with two important thoughts though. The first is that the common denominator in all of the above is not so much the matter of missing receipts, but rather the fact that loyalty to Ujjal Dosanjh figured large, and often, in our inquiries. This is perhaps not surprising at all, given it is the Liberal Party’s sworn intention to do everything it can to deflect attention away from Mr. Ujjal Dosanjh by attempting to shoot the messenger (that would be our Member of parliament) at every opportunity. Even the most flimsy of claims against Mr. Grewal are trotted out in the achievement of the goal of shielding Mr. Dosanjh from additional, or centre-stage scrutiny. We have heard for some time now that there would be a challenge to Mr. Grewal in the form of cheques. Given what we have seen with the above six items, we feel that the strategy of the Liberals will continue, as will our ability to defend our MP.

In addition, our experience during the examination of these items also leaves us with the knowledge of the profound vulnerability of ANY public official who at some later date might have completely logical personal financial transactions dragged out into the public arena. Events turn, opinions change, or agendas are unleashed, and all of a sudden seemingly mundane financial transactions become potential problems (the Atwal item above is the best/worst of the preceding six in this regard). Given this vulnerability, it is incumbent that those investigating such claims must ask all of the pertinent questions of those doing the complaining. It is likely that in a formal legal forum, each of the above claims would have received short shrift (at best) from those doing the examining and in a worst case, were there Audited and/or Income Tax records indicating facts to the contrary, then those doing the complaining would find themselves in quite a bit more trouble than just having to say “Oops, I’m so sorry. I guess that wasn’t a political donation after all”.

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