Sunday, July 31, 2005

August 1, 2005: The Hill Times on Grewal's clarification of Harper's role

At the bottom of this story in the Hill Times is a summary of what Grewal said about Harper's role.
Meanwhile, Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal (Fleetwood-Port Kells, B.C.), who has been under a cloud of controversy since May over controversial and secretly-taped discussions with Tim Murphy, chief of staff to the Prime Minister, and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South, B.C.), again made national headlines last week. Mr. Grewal has said he taped the discussions in order to prove the Liberals were trying to buy votes, but the Liberals say Mr. Grewal was selling his loyalty.

Last week, through the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, Mr. Grewal stated in an official press release that Mr. Harper told him to stop the taping after Mr. Grewal said he had the possibility of taping Prime Minister Paul Martin (LaSalle-Émard, Que.).

Mr. Grewal issued the statement to clarify a Surrey Leader news report in which he suggested that Mr. Harper had approved the efforts to tape Mr. Murphy and Mr. Dosanjh, but not the Prime Minister.

In last week's statement, Mr. Grewal said that he informed Mr. Harper of what he was doing, but that "no approval was sought or given."

"An interview published in this week's Surrey Leader concerning the taping of conversations between myself, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Tim Murphy, regarding the attempt to purchase my Parliamentary support in the spring of 2005 contains a statement to the effect that Conservative leader Stephen Harper gave his permission for me to tape these conversations. Once I had begun taping I informed Mr. Harper that I was doing so. No approval was sought or given. Subsequently when I told Mr. Harper that I had an opportunity to meet with and tape the prime minister, Mr. Harper told me to end the taping process."

It's expected that this issue will be discussed at this week's national caucus meeting.

Meanwhile, Jim Holt, president of the Newton-North Delta Electoral District Association, sent out a letter on July 14 to members of the riding association and to the constituents, saying that Mr. Grewal has been unfairly treated by the media and urged party members to write letters to local news organizations and radio talk shows to express their concerns about the coverage of the story.

"Although the media might not publish or broadcast your comments, I urge you to write a letter to the mainstream Vancouver newspapers, or call in to the local radio talk shows, and let them know just how angry you are at what has transpired," Mr. Holton wrote in his letter.

For a discussion of this and other stories related to Gurmant Grewal, his tapes, and other scandals follow this link.