May 24, 2005: Bloc & NDP call for RCMP investigation
Sun Media Corporation
Stratford Beacon Herald (Ontario)
May 24, 2005 Tuesday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 1
HEADLINE: GREWAL STICKS TO HIS STORY; BLOC, NDP SAY IT'S TIME TO CALL POLICE OVER MP'S ALLEGATIONS
A Conservative MP maintains the Liberals made him and his wife an offer in exchange for abstaining on the critical budget vote last Thursday. Gurmant Grewal says the offers are contained on about four hours of tapes of conversations he had with Liberal officials, including Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin's chief of staff. Grewal and his wife, Nina, represent B.C. ridings.
The Liberals have denied making an offer to the two Tory MPs, saying Grewal approached them prior to last week's confidence vote, which the Liberals survived by one vote.
Grewal has released only a few minutes of the tapes, which he said he recorded to demonstrate to voters to what extent the Liberals were willing to go to survive the vote.
Grewal says he has four hours of tapes, but neither he nor the Tory party will say why they haven't released more tapes, CTV said. "I wanted Canadians to know how low this government can sink, making these offers to members of Parliament to buy out their votes," Grewal told CTV. He insisted he had no intention of accepting any offer, but strung the Liberals along to gather evidence.
The Criminal Code says it's an offence to offer a reward to an MP for a vote, but it's also against the law to accept a reward. Both the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP have called for an RCMP investigation. "The best way to clear the air would be to have an independent investigation, probably the RCMP, to have a look at this," said NDP spokesman Jamey Heath.
The Bloc Quebecois called for an investigation last week. So far, the Conservatives and the Liberals have not called for investigation.
However, the Liberals want the Tories to release the entire tape.
"I say let's hear the tape, and I take Tim Murphy at his word," Steven MacKinnon, national director of the Liberal party, told CTV's Question Period. "Mr. Grewal approached us ... and no offers were made.
"And we haven't heard the entire tape because the Conservative party, which surreptitiously taped this conversation, is refusing to make it public. And (it's) interesting that they're not asking for an investigation."