Thursday, June 23, 2005

Good for Grewal, Part II

Gurmant Grewal must really be starting to enjoy his stress break. First he's cleared by the RCMP and Transport Canada, and now he's cleared by the Ethics Commissioner for his dubious practice of asking for a bond from new immigrants (Adobe Reader required):

There was no real conflict of interest. No profit personal to Mr Grewal was either intended or
realized. That is, there is nothing to suggest that this practice actually furthered Mr Grewal’s personal financial interest in any way.

Mr Grewal’s actions did, however, place him in an apparent conflict of interest. The ambiguity, in the course of providing services to constituents, of requesting Personal Guarantees that are ostensibly to be backed by some sort of bond can reasonably be seen as raising questions of whether he would personally benefit. While the practice may have benefited many that might not otherwise have received his support, it also clouded the actual immigration process for other individuals. MPs must be careful not to develop unsanctioned supplemental requirements to the statutory regimes in place ...

I am convinced, however, that Mr Grewal’s intention was not to benefit personally but rather to implement some due diligence measures in a context where it is not possible to know personally all the individuals deserving of some special assistance ...

Mr Grewal has not fully complied with an obligation under the Code, but I believe that his actions were an error in judgment made in good faith. It is my recommendation that given that his intentions, however misguided, were reasonable and that the practice has now ceased, no sanction be imposed.

Angry in the Great White North has a lot of praise for this report, which he contrasts to the dog's breakfast that is the Sgro report. I suspect a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Office was under more pressure to clear Sgro than to clear Grewal; consequently a lot more people had to be interviewed to get a fuller picture of what was going on under Sgro's watch.

In any case, there is now one more hurdle to clear before Gurmant returns to his MP duties. Let's hope he doesn't trip over the tape.