Buckets of Data

August 12, 2005

Aug. 12, 2005: Canoe. RCMP press release on completion of review of Gurmant Grewal’s recordings

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 8:46 pm

RCMP will not launch criminal investigation into Grewal tapes

OTTAWA (CP) – The RCMP will not launch a criminal investigation into the Gurmant Grewal affair, saying there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a probe into allegations of bribery and related wrongdoing.

In a statement Friday, the Mounties said they have reviewed complaints surrounding surreptitious audio recordings the Conservative member of Parliament made of conversations with Liberal MPs last spring. The RCMP say they listened to the tapes, interviewed those involved and determined no criminal investigation is warranted.

“We’re pleased that the RCMP has cleared Mr. Grewal,” said Williams Stairs, the communications director for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

“We were confident all along of his integrity and the RCMP has confirmed our judgment,” Stairs said.

Grewal, MP for the B.C. riding of Newton-North Delta, was unavailable for comment.

Grewal claimed that Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin’s chief of staff, had offered him and his wife Nina, also a British Columbia MP, positions if they joined the Liberals just before a crucial budget vote May 19.

Dosanjh said he was pleased to hear of the RCMP decision.

He was, however, critical of Harper’s support of Grewal through what he called an “unseemly affair.”

“I think it is important, however, for Canadians to reflect with concern on the fact that this sorry episode had its origins in the scheme by Mr. Grewal and the Office of the Leader of the Opposition to publicly besmirch my reputation and integrity with allegations of vote buying and bribery based on surreptitiously recorded tapes,” Dosnajh said in a news release on Friday.

Also troubling Dosanjh was the fact that the tapes contained edits and splices.

Experts said the tapes may have been altered.

The minority government survived the vote with the support of the NDP and independent MPs.

Speaker Peter Milliken, a Liberal, broke the tie with his own vote, keeping Martin in power and averting a spring election.

In June, two Opposition parties asked for investigations into Martin’s role in the secret-tapes affair.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe asked the RCMP to investigate, noting it is a criminal offence for an MP to sell his vote.

NDP Leader Jack Layton also asked Parliament’s ethics commissioner to investigate Martin’s role, too, after the commissioner, Bernard Shapiro, concluded that Murphy is not a public office holder and is therefore out of his jurisdiction.

“Mr. Murphy co-operated fully with the RCMP review and is pleased with the outcome,” Melanie Gruer, a spokeswoman in the Prime Minister’s Office, said Friday.

Grewal made headlines again in June when he was seen a Vancouver airport trying to get someone to take an envelope full of audio tapes to Ottawa.

He later went on stress leave.

The RCMP cleared him of wrongdoing in the airport incident but are still investigating complaints that contributors to Grewal’s 2004 campaign have not received tax receipts for their money.

The Conservative party has said the cheques went to a supplier for campaign expenses.

Grewal has called allegations part of a Liberal party strategy to tarnish his image so the Liberals “can get off the hook (for) the taping incidents.”

Dosanjh, a former NDP cabinet minister in British Columbia, said the donations were made “long before” he joined the Liberals and entered federal politics.

According to Elections Canada, a campaign contribution can be made directly to a candidate but receipts must be issued and funds must be deposited into the campaign or riding association account.

Aug. 12, 2005: RCMP press release on completion of review of Gurmant Grewal’s recordings

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 7:33 pm

Here is the RCMP press release:

RCMP completes review of Gurmant Grewal’s recordings

Ottawa, August 12, 2005 — The RCMP has completed its review of complaints of criminal wrongdoing with respect to MP Gurmant Grewal’s audio recordings.

Persons the RCMP believed may have relevant information were interviewed and the tapes were examined.

The RCMP has determined that no criminal investigation is warranted at this time. It has advised the complainants and those whose conduct was being examined that the review is now concluded.

For more information, please contact:
RCMP Media Relations
(613) 993-2999

Aug. 12, 2005: National Post: RCMP will not investigate Grewal tapes

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 6:00 pm

No criminal investigation into tapes

Canadian Press
August 12, 2005

CREDIT: CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/Tom Hanson
Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal stands in the House of Commons.

OTTAWA — The RCMP will not launch a criminal investigation into the Gurmant Grewal affair, saying there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a probe into allegations of bribery and related wrongdoing. In a statement Friday, the Mounties said they have reviewed complaints surrounding surreptitious audio recordings the Conservative member of Parliament made of conversations with Liberal MPs last spring. The RCMP say they listened to the tapes, interviewed those involved and determined no criminal investigation is warranted.

“We’re pleased that the RCMP has cleared Mr. Grewal,” said Williams Stairs, the communications director for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper. “We were confident all along of his integrity and the RCMP has confirmed our judgment,” Stairs said.

Grewal claimed that Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin’s chief of staff, had offered him and his wife Nina, also a British Columbia MP, positions if they joined the Liberals just before a crucial budget vote May 19. Experts said the tapes may have been altered.

The minority government survived the vote with the support of the NDP and independent MPs.

Speaker Peter Milliken, a Liberal, broke the tie with his own vote, keeping Martin in power and averting a spring election.

In June, two Opposition parties asked for investigations into Martin’s role in the secret-tapes affair.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe asked the RCMP to investigate, noting it is a criminal offence for an MP to sell his vote.

NDP Leader Jack Layton also asked Parliament’s ethics commissioner to investigate Martin’s role, too, after the commissioner, Bernard Shapiro, concluded that Murphy is not a public office holder and is therefore out of his jurisdiction. “Mr. Murphy co-operated fully with the RCMP review and is pleased with the outcome,” Melanie Gruer, a spokeswoman in the Prime Minister’s Office, said Friday.

Grewal made headlines again in June when he was seen a Vancouver airport trying to get someone to take an envelope full of audio tapes to Ottawa. He later went on stress leave. The RCMP cleared him of wrongdoing in the airport incident but are still investigating complaints that contributors to Grewal’s 2004 campaign have not received tax receipts for their money. The Conservative party has said the cheques went to a supplier for campaign expenses.

Grewal has called allegations part of a Liberal party strategy to tarnish his image so the Liberals “can get off the hook (for) the taping incidents.” Dosanjh, a former NDP cabinet minister in British Columbia, said the donations were made “long before” he joined the Liberals and entered federal politics. According to Elections Canada, a campaign contribution can be made directly to a candidate but receipts must be issued and funds must be deposited into the campaign or riding association account.

Aug. 12, 2005: CP. RCMP will not investigate Grewal tapes

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 3:22 pm

RCMP will not investigate Grewal
Friday, August 12, 2005 Updated at 5:48 PM EDT
Canadian Press

Ottawa — The RCMP will not launch a criminal investigation into the Germant Grewal affair.

The Mounties say they have reviewed complaints of criminal wrongdoing with respect to audio recordings the Conservative member of Parliament made of conversations with Liberal officials last spring.

The RCMP say they listened to the tapes and interviewed the principals involved and determined no criminal investigation is warranted.

Mr. Grewal claimed that Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin’s chief of staff, had offered him and his wife Nina, also an MP, patronage positions if they joined the Liberals just before an important budget vote May 19.

Mr. Grewal made headlines again in June when he was spotted at a Vancouver airport trying to get someone to take an envelope full of audio tapes to Ottawa. He later went on stress leave.

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

August 4, 2005

Aug. 4. 2005: Winnipeg Sun satire

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 6:18 pm

Winnipeg Sun (Manitoba)
August 4, 2005 Thursday
SECTION: EDITORIAL/OPINION; Pg. 11

LENGTH: 537 words
HEADLINE: CANADIAN POLITICS A GREWAL WORLD
BYLINE: BY ROSS MCLENNAN

Gurmant Grewal’s assistant, a large man by the name of Benjamin Farnsby, introduced me to the controversial MP and then left us alone in the hotel room. I shook hands with Grewal, and we sat down at a small table.

“Ie-k, do, iqMn … ” Grewal said in a low voice.

“Sorry?” I said.

“Did you bring a tape recorder?” he said.

“Er … Yes, I did.”

“Uh-huh. Lucky I asked, eh?”

“It’s standard equipment for an interview.”

“Lemme see it.”

“OK,” I said. “I was just about to put it on the table.”

“Sure you were,” he said. I gave him the tape recorder. “It’s very small,” he said. “Small enough to fit right into your pocket, where it can’t be seen.”

“Well, the big, 125-pound, war-surplus two-reeler I usually lug around with me is in the shop right now,” I said, “along with the Enigma machine I use to keep the competition from stealing the stories I file.”

“Now you’re being a wise guy,” he said.

“I take them to interviews in a suitcase and tell everybody I’m going for an accordion lesson after we’re finished. That way the suckers don’t know I’m secretly recording them.”

“Funny you should mention Enigma.” Grewal said. “I told Stephen we should use those machines for secret party communications. If they worked for the Germans, they should work for us.”

“They didn’t work for the Germans,” I said. “The British broke the code.”

“Yes, but I doubt they handed it over to the Liberals.”

“Does Stephen Harper still talk to you?” I said. Grewal smiled and fingered his tie clip.

“Let’s just say that things have been said which allowed me to persuade Stephen how indispensable I am to the party,” he said.

“Why are you wearing that tie clip?” I asked. Grewal laced his fingers together over the tie clip and sat back in his chair, pretending to relax.

“Tie clip?” he said.

“Yeah, the one you just hid under your hands.”

He smiled and shrugged. “Why does anyone wear a tie clip?” he said.

“To hold down his tie.”

“Well, then.”

“You’re not wearing a tie.”

He didn’t move. “Yes, I am,” he said.

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes, I am.”

“No, you’re not. Are you wired?”

“Of course not,” he said. “Dammit, Farnsby,” he muttered, “you forgot the tie.”

“Farnsby? You’re talking to Farnsby? He’s not even in the room.”

“Oh … right … ”

“Put that tie clip on the table,” I said. Grewal took the tie clip off his shirt and put it on the table. I took off one of my shoes and smashed it down on the tie clip. There was a bellow of pain from outside the room, and Farnsby came crashing through the door, a set of earphones dangling around his neck.

“That’s it, Grewal,” he shouted. “No more tapes. No more recordings. I don’t care what you have on that Harper tape about how much he hates making small talk with ‘those bloody barbecue bozos,’ I’m through, finished — “.

Grewal held up his hand and smiled at Farnsby. “Ben, Ben,” he said. “Have you forgotten about your ill-advised tete-a-tete with Carolyn Parrish?” Farnsby raised a shaking fist, opened and closed his mouth soundlessly and then turned abruptly and left the room, slamming the door behind him.

“Now, Mr. Swakhammer,” said Grewal, “shall we continue with the interview?” He leaned forward, fiddling with the top button on his shirt. “Only, I wonder if you could speak a little louder. My hearing isn’t as good as it used to be.”

NOTES: Winnipeg Sun ace investigative reporter Emile Swakhammer has filed this exclusive interview with B.C. Conservative MP Gurmant (Tape Worm) Grewal …

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

August 4, 2005: G&M: Tories lose bid to rein in MP over Grewal

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 6:00 am

Tories lose bid to rein in MP over Grewal
B.C. member won’t retract comments about colleague’s ‘antics,’ sources say
By BRIAN LAGHI
Thursday, August 4, 2005 Page A10
OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF; With a report from Gloria Galloway

The Conservative Party leadership tried and failed to extract a retraction from one of their B.C. MPs, who said recently that the “antics” of controversial MP Gurmant Grewal are hurting the party.

Sources said that John Cummins, MP for the riding of Delta-Richmond East, was asked by party Whip Rob Nicholson to sign a statement renouncing comments he made in a radio interview last month, in which he said Mr. Grewal’s “antics have hurt the party.” Mr. Cummins told Mr. Nicholson that he would not sign the retraction, the sources said.

In a brief interview, Mr. Cummins would neither confirm nor deny he was asked to retract his remarks, saying the issue was two weeks in the past. Mr. Nicholson also would not comment.

However, the issue will almost certainly come up for discussion at today’s Tory summer caucus meeting in Toronto.

Although no other Tory MPs have spoken against Mr. Grewal in the controversy over tapes he made of discussions with senior Liberals about crossing the floor, some, such as deputy leader Peter MacKay, refused to support him on the matter.

The Grewal controversy has bubbled beneath the surface since the member for Newton-North Delta secretly taped two senior Liberals — Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Paul Martin’s chief of staff, Tim Murphy — during discussions to get him to cross to their side of the House.

Last week, Mr. Grewal admitted in a written statement that Stephen Harper told him to stop taping talks with senior Liberals about leaving the Tories, a demand that was apparently made before Mr. Grewal’s taped meeting with the senior Liberals.

Mr. Harper has not commented on the matter, but the party leaders continue to be sensitive about it, seeking the retraction from Mr. Cummins and, most recently, asking Mr. Grewal for public clarification of statements about the taping that he made to a newspaper in his riding.

One MP told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Harper’s defence of Mr. Grewal has harmed the party’s efforts to criticize the Liberals for ethical lapses.

“If you don’t deal with it, it makes it much more difficult for you to turn around and criticize the government for its actions. And I think that’s the issue,” the MP said. “If Grewal was a minister they’d be going after him like there was no tomorrow.”

But Peter Van Loan, a Conservative MP from Ontario, said that he does not believe Canadians are focused on the Grewal saga.

“I have spoken to literally thousands of people, and I don’t think Mr. Grewal’s name has come up once,” said Mr. Van Loan, who has been going door to door in his York-Simcoe riding since the Commons broke for the summer.

He said most of the discussion at today’s meeting is likely to centre on ways to communicate party policy before the coming election. “I think there’s an increasing curiosity and appetite to hear what we would like to do in government.”

The Conservatives continue to trail the Liberals in most opinion polls by about 10 percentage points. Those trends are also reflected in the voting intentions in British Columbia, a key part of the Tories’ western stronghold, although polling experts said the sample sizes in most of those polls are too small to count on.

Tim Woolstencroft, managing partner of polling firm the Strategic Counsel, said the increasing popularity of the New Democrats may be eating into Tory support.

He added that the Tories may find themselves having to spend more time in B.C. in the next campaign than they would like. To win the election, Mr. Harper must expand the party’s popularity in Ontario, an increasingly difficult prospect if he is obliged to protect the party’s heartland seats in B.C.

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

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