Saturday, February 21, 2004

Feb 21 2004: Surrey Now: LTE About Grewals Hedging Bets

Electorate will get wise to sign-ups someday
Surrey Now
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Page: 9
Section: Letters
Byline: Mike Runte
Source: Surrey Now

The Editor,

Re: "Grewals 'hedging bets,' Polak charges," the Now, Feb. 18.

Dear Mary Polak, welcome to Surrey. It would appear that Mr. and Mrs. Grewal are engaging in political manoeuvering that is similar to the 1997 federal election. During the nomination process for the federal Reform party, Gurmant Grewal showed up at the Reform office with hundreds of signatures of new members. The Reform party turned a blind eye and due to that, Lorna Dysart, one of the candidates, withdrew from the process.

I guess I still believed in the democratic way of doing things and I stayed in the race. Well, the nomination night arrived in due course and it was pure comedy. Grewal handily won the nomination.

Now Chuck Cadman is confronting this method of election strategy with Jasbir Cheema. Grewal says Mary Polak's complaining is "sour grapes." He said the same thing in '97 when I complained. Well, Mr. Grewal, sour grapes make good wine and wine, like the electorate of Surrey, will get better and stronger with time.

Mike Runte

Feb. 2004: Grewal writes to The Now against C-250

Surrey MP only reflecting views of his constituents

The Editor,

Re: "MP accused of fear-mongering," the Now, Feb. 19.

Charges of "fear-mongering" and "whipping up hysteria," levelled against me by NDP MP Svend Robinson in your newspaper are completely out of line.

Mr. Robinson argues, rather weakly, that Bill C-250, which seeks to criminalize criticism of homosexual conduct, would never be used to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of religion because the Criminal Code requires the consent of the appropriate provincial attorney general in order to commence prosecution.

Apparently Mr. Robinson fails to appreciate how the law will be used if amended by his proposed bill. While it is true, criminal proceedings require the consent of an attorney general, no such consent is required for civil lawsuits or injunctions. And that is the route that will be taken by some activists, already on record claiming the Christian religion foments hatred of homosexuals.

In light of current jurisprudence, where religious faith seems to be permitted within the walls of a church, but is banned from the public forum, I must remain skeptical, despite Mr. Robinson's assurances.

Need I remind Mr. Robinson that the views I've expressed are those of the vast majority of my constituents? His accusations are therefore less against me than the people of Surrey Central, and, for that matter, the people of Canada who have voiced their strong opposition to C-250.

MP Gurmant Grewal
Surrey Central