Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Gurmant Grewal Adds Madcap Diversions to Canadian Politics

Gurmant Grewal is in trouble again. The colorful Newton-North Delta Member of Parliament has a history of unusual behavior, sometimes making somewhat bizarre allegations about his acquaintances. Lately, however, the zaniness knob has been turned up.

In 1995, he said that a provincial Liberal had offered him a deputy minister position if he would drop out of the nomination race in Delta North. Hmm, that sounds familiar.

In 1996, Grewal claimed that Liberal official Sandy Powar uttered death threats to him. Powar denied the allegation. Although he was charged, the charge was eventually dropped.

Last month, Federal Immigration Minister Joe Volpe asked the RCMP and Federal Ethics Commissioner to investigate Grewal after it was alleged that Grewal had asked his BC constituents to post bonds of up to $100,000 in exchange for his help in obtaining temporary visas.

Last week, Grewal alleged that the Liberals offered him rewards to switch parties in an effort to keep their minority government going. After widespread speculation that the tapes Grewal made of his meetings with the Liberals were doctored, it was announced today that he is going on stress leave.

It was also announced on June 6 that Grewal is under investigation by Air Canada. It is alleged that he approached passengers at Vancouver International Airport asking them to take a package to Ottawa. Airline security regulations require passengers to be on the same plane as their luggage.

I didn’t know that someone could be "under investigation by Air Canada." I didn’t even know that Air Canada had investigators. I can’t imagine what they look like – perhaps Lieutenant Colombo with a fancy cap and silver bars on his shoulders? What happens if the investigation uncovers an airline policy violation - economy class for three to five years?

Anyway, if the Liberals, the Federal Ethics Commissioner, the RCMP, and even Air Canada are all after his hind side, it’s no wonder Grewal is on stress leave.

TODAY'S VANCOUVER HEADLINES


NHL players, owners head back to table Talks to end the NHL lockout resumed Tuesday in New York.
Negotiators from the NHL and the NHL Players' Association reportedly agreed to meet Wednesday and Thursday, too. The hope is they can flesh out the economic model that will eventually form the basis of new collective bargaining agreement. The NHL and NHLPA have failed to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement since the players were locked out last Sept. 15 by commissioner Gary Bettman, who, ultimately, resorted to cancelling the 2004-05 season on Feb. 16.


New traffic strategy saving lives in B.C.
VANCOUVER – The RCMP says their new traffic strategy is reducing serious injuries and deaths in B.C. For the past few years, officers have focused more on impaired drivers and seat belt infractions than speeding.