Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Notes on Reading the Grewal Transcripts, Part 1

I'm looking at the first transcript of telephone conversations released by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal. This is a 4-page document in PDF format consisting of conversations between Mr. Grewal and B.C. Liberal organizer Sudesh Kalia.

Some observations:

1. From page 2 of the transcript:

SK – I don’t think they will, he told me again and again. He (PM) promised Dr. (Gulzar)
Cheema (consulate in Chandigarh, India) and he’ll meet that commitment after the legal
problems are resolved. Cheema also told me that he can not discuss this more than this,
he (Cheema) says every thing is OK with him.

I think this is the paragraph that suggests that an ambassadorship or diplomatic post is in the offering for Mr. Grewal. Fortunately, we also have a name to talk to. A smart enterprising journalist will try to find this Dr. Cheema and get his version of events.

2. Does someone want to tell federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh that he needs to change his cell phone number? Kalia gives Grewal the number, even spells it out, on page 3 of the transcript. That's one of the things that probably could have been blacked out. (No, I'm not going to reproduce the cell number here. I'm a firm believer in the right to privacy.)

3. SK – He says, please tell him (GG) to call me (UD). Make sure you (GG) call him, he
(UD) is keeping his cell phone on, which he (UD) normally does not.

This passage weakens Dosanjh's argument that Grewal approached him first. Perhaps he did--and the cell phone records would reflect that--but it's clear that such a call was pre-arranged.

Granted, full transcription would have been better, but this one at least advances the argument that the Liberals, not Grewal, initiated negotiations.