June 11, 2005 Grewal Makes International News
Indian-origin lawmaker in the midst of controversy in Canada
Press Trust of India
Toronto, June 11, 2005
An Indian-origin Conservative lawmaker in Canada is at the centre of a controversy over his citizenship with an allegation surfacing that he faked as a businessman to gain entry into the country.
Gurmant Grewal, who came to Canada in 1991 from Liberia, obtained his citizenship by pretending that he was a business entrepreneur, alleged Gurwinder Dhillon, a former business partner of the MP, who claimed to have participated in the scheme.
Grewal, who is already facing charges of attempting to cross over to the Liberal side in exchange for a cabinet post, bought shares of a small carpet company from Dhillon in the city of Vancouver for USD 40,000, only to sell them back the next day.
Dhillon alleged that the lawmaker bought the shares just to fulfil his obligation as an investor immigrant, when he moved to Canada from Liberia, 'The Globe and Mail' reported.
Canadian Citizenship and Immigration rules in 1991 required prospective entrepreneurial immigrants to manage a business that would be set up within two years, provide employment opportunities to at least one Canadian.
The allegation could spell trouble for Grewal as the country's Citizenship and Immigration department has made it clear that it takes such charges very seriously.
"In general terms, where there are allegations that somebody has obtained their citizenship, or in fact their permanent residence on the basis of misinterpretation or fraud, that's something we take very seriously," department spokesman Greg Scott was quoted as saying in the report.
However, a conservative spokeswoman rubbished the allegation, saying it was old and unfounded.