Last week in a video statement, MP Raj Grewal indicated he would make the decision on whether he should stay on or resign his MP seat over the holidays. But that contemplative approach concerns the NDP as they worry about the impact it will have on the ongoing investigations into his gambling activity.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for Grewal said that the MP is involved in a “full financial review” with the ethics commissioner but did not elaborate on what that meant.
In a confessional video and statement last week, the member for Brampton East admitted that he had racked up “millions” of dollars in debts playing high-stakes blackjack.
To fund his habit, he borrowed from friends and family, but they’ve all been paid back, claims Grewal.
Now NDP’s ethics point person, Charlie Angus wants to know who, exactly, provided him with such large loans, what reasons he gave them initially for needing the money or how he promised to repay them.
However, Grewal spokesman indicated it was a private matter and that it was common in the Punjabi culture to lend/borrow money from friends and family when in need.
I think these questions need to be asked and answered
Nathan Cullen, an NDP MP from British Columbia, said special rights afforded to MPs under the centuries-old convention of “parliamentary privilege” mean that potential investigations into Grewal’s conduct—and for a court or a parliamentary committee to subpoena him as a witness—could be slowed or obstructed.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are working to answer questions about the former Liberal MP, after the media reported that Fintrac, the government agency responsible for tracking money laundering, flagged Grewal’s gambling transactions to the RCMP. The Canadian Press has also reported that word of Grewal’s gambling debts was picked up on an Ontario Provincial Police wiretap during a money laundering investigation.
There is more to the story and too many unanswered questions at this point. Only a thorough investigation would clear the air. -CINEWS