Thursday, May 19, 2005

May 19, 2005. Canada AM (CTV) interview: Beverly Thompson and Gurmant Grewal

Canada AM interview. here, item #4, Grewal's view"

Thompson: Last night conservative Mp Gurmant Grewal said that the Liberal Party was trying to woo him, trying to get him to cross over. Now, that may not seem unusual given these political times. But this is a story with a twist. Grewal said that in fact that he was being bribed, that the Liberal party was offering him a high position of power for himself and for his wife. And he says that he has proof. Gurmant Grewal joins us this morning in the foyer of the House of Commons and we can talk a little more about this.

Thompson: When did the phone calls begin, and when did the offer come in?

Grewal: It started coming Sunday afternoon.

Thompson: From Tim Murphy?

Grewal: No, it was through a common friend, but I had a meeting with Tim Murphy on Tuesday in Mr. Dosanjh's office. And then Mr. Tim Murphy came to my office as late as yesterday and he was making these agressive offers and negotiating and making deals.

Thompson: Agressive offers because they were saying that they were saying that they'd give you a plum position in some way.

Grewal: That's right.

Thompson: And were they specific about that?

Grewal: Yah, they were talking about diplomatic position and senate seats.

Thompson: And your response?

Grewal: My response was--you know, I have been offered similar positions in the past ... I would say a cabinet position in the past and I didn't take it, and I had no intention of taking it.

Thompson: But you taped this phone call?

Grewal: That's right.

Thompson: How come? Why did you decide to tape it?

Grewal: Uhh ... you know this government is, and the prime minister's office, is desperate, they are making these agressive offers and negotiating with some other colleagues as well--three or four as far as their version. And Canadians need to know what is the lowest level the government is prepared to sink.

Thompson: Isn't surreptiously taping a phone call when you're not telling someone--first of all it's against the law--isn't it, isn't that low level?

Grewal: Uhh, I don't think so. Uhh, I think Canadians need to know how desperate thi government is, and how they're making these deals behind the scenes. They're buying the votes of Canadians with taxpayers dollars. They're, they're buying our votes. It's an affront to democracy.

Thompson: But they're allowed, people are allowed to make those phone calls and those deals and cross the floor, provided of course that there's no bribery.

Grewal: But no in xxx xxx, for example in my situation it was in view of abstaining from this important vote or voting for the government.

Thompson: So, how long was the phone call that you taped?

Grewal: There are many, actually. I cannot tell you how many minutes, but there's a long conversation ... hours.

Thompson: Is there a portion that you're going to be releasing to the public?

Grewal: I think they have released some portion yesterday, and some other of the conversation would be at the disposal of the media if they want it.

Thompson: And why not release all of it?

Grewal: It's too long. (cross-talk) I don't know whether they'll release all of it. I cannot say that.

Thompson: But if all of the conversations that you have with all of those individuals--who deny it, because we heard from Ujjal Dosanjh, and they deny that any of this has happened.

Grewal: But the tape that we released speaks for itself. It will tell you all the story, not the partial story. It will tell you the complete story. So the complete tapes will be available if the media wanted to see it.

Thompson: OK. I'm told that we do have a portion of that tape now, from the phone call.
(clip from Gerwal-Murphy tape ... "Explicit discussions about senate or not senate I don't think are very helpful. And I don't think, frankly, can be had in advance of an abstention tomorrow. Then e'll have much more detailed and finally new discussion after that with some freedom."
Thompson: So what does that say to tax-payers. You've taped a phone call. He's talking about an announcement potentially

Grewal: It's Ujjal who's denying the government made any deals, but on the other hand they are aggressively making deals. And when they are making those deals, Canadians need to see that what is the state of democracy with this corrupt Liberal government and the Prime Minister's office.

Thompson: What do you think is the state of this government for this vote? What's you're bet tonight?

Grewal: I will not predict that. Let a free vote prevail. But I think that they are desperately making these deals it speaks for itself.

Thompson: OK. Thank-you for coming in to discuss this with us.