May 26, 2005: The Now News: Reports Grewal just wants "To Move On"...
Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal said Tuesday he's ready to move on after accusing the Liberals of trying to bribe him into propping up the sagging minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin.
It's against the law to offer a bribe to a member of parliament; it is also a crime for an MP to accept a bribe.
"The point I wanted to make has been made and it's time for me to move on to other things," the MP for Newton-North Delta said Tuesday.
"It's time to leave it to the experts."
Grewal claims both he and his wife Nina, also an MP, were offered plum appointments by the Liberals in exchange for supporting Martin's beleaguered government.
Grewal says he surreptitiously recorded several hours of conversations with Martin's chief of staff, Tim Murphy, and with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh. According to Grewal, the recordings show the Liberals approached him with offers of senate and diplomatic appointments in an attempt to gain the couple's support in a crucial vote in the Commons last week.
The Liberals countered by saying Grewal came to them wanting to swap votes for help with inquiries into his practice of asking constituents to sign financial guarantees before he would endorse visitor visa applications for family members abroad.
Grewal said asking relatives to put up the $50,000 guarantees was only a device used to weed out unreliable applicants who might not go home when their visas expired and said he never received any cash.
When he found out what Grewal was doing, Immigration Minister Joe Volpe asked both the ethics commissioner and the RCMP to investigate. Late last week, a staffer in Volpe's office said Grewal had approached the Liberals offering support if those investigations were made to go away, a charge the Conservative denied.
Both the Bloc Quebecois and the national NDP say they want ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro to look into Grewal's allegations, but as the Now went to press Tuesday, nobody had filed the paperwork.
"We haven't received anything yet," said Jonathan Choquette of the commissioner's office.
Nor has the Conservative Party itself, or its leader Stephen Harper, demanded an inquiry. Asked why, Grewal thought it was because of the long weekend and the preoccupation of Harper and the party with an Atlantic Canada byelection.
"Mr. Harper was in Labrador, then heading back to Calgary," Grewal said.
"I can't speak for him, but perhaps there was too much going on at one time. I believe in due course, you will hear something from him."
The Conservative communications office did not return calls before the Now's press deadline.
posted on 05/25/2005