YET ANOTHER GURMANT GREWAL CONTROVERSY: Former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal always seems to be chasing controversy or perhaps controversy is always pursuing him. This week it was about articles that appeared in some Punjabi language newspapers in the state of Punjab that quoted him as claiming that he was the Conservative candidate in the new riding of Cloverdale-Langley City riding and that he had come to offer thanks at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Surrey businessman Paul Brar, who is also vying for the nomination, was very upset and phoned me. I explained to him that Grewal could have been misquoted. When I called Grewal’s house, I was told he was still in India and would be returning on the weekend. Another contender, former Liberal MLA Dave Hayer, told me that it didn’t matter what anyone claimed because the fact is that no one has won the nomination.
Although there are three South Asian contenders, South Asians comprise only 10 per cent of the riding’s population. East Asians form another 10 per cent and the rest are all white guys. There are two white contenders with impressive backgrounds: Mike Garisto, a life insurance salesman who spent 35 years as a union representative for the Brotherhood of Maintenance Way Employees, and former Langley city councillor Dean Drysdale, a successful businessman who runs his own consulting firm in the area of corporate finance. Drysdale is currently teaching as a Professor of Business Management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and he has also taught at UBC and the Marine Corps University.
But now there are rumours that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may want to avoid any embarrassing situation in this riding and parachute in Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts who’s been having a tough time after 25 homicides in 2013 and with no relief from crime in sight.
If that happens, remember you read it here first!
SURREY RCMP IGNORE SOUTH ASIAN VICTIM OF BRUTAL ASSAULT: I guess if you are a BROWN guy, Surrey RCMP and City of Surrey bosses do not think you amount to much. The son of GURCHARAN SINGH GILL, 72, who was brutally assaulted by a young man in Surreys’ Newton Athletic Park on March 13, told me on Thursday that no one from Surrey RCMP had bothered to contact the family and they didn’t know what was going on about the investigation into the attack. He seemed genuinely upset about it – and he has every right to be so.
Shame on Surrey Police Chief Bill Fordy and Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts!
Gill’s son told me that the father was recovering, but he didn’t know what could happen in the long term.
Surrey Councillor Barinder Rasode had told me last week: “The horrendous nature of the crime against a senior who was walking in a public place at one o’clock in the afternoon – there is just no word for it – again, in a public facility. We have to be doing more – and more quickly.”
Or should that be ‘DOING LESS – AND MORE SLOWLY’ as far as the RCMP and the mayor are concerned?
MISSISSAUGA FUNERAL HOME MAY DIE!: I know many don’t like to joke about death, but the fact is that that’s what may happen to another Mississauga funeral home in Ontario for alleged shoddy business practices. The Toronto Star reported that the Lee Funeral Home might lose its licence over accusations of unpaid debts to suppliers and the city. But the new owner, Roy Benipersaud, “is accusing the provincial regulator of “maliciously” trying to run him out of business at the same time as it’s trying to shut down Benisasia Funeral Home, which is run by Benipersaud’s brother and sister-in-law,” reports the newspaper. The Board of Funeral Services says that’s just a coincidence and that each case will “stand on its own merit.”
Let’s see if the funeral homes will survive!
IMMIGRATION BUREAUCRACY’S STUPIDITY OR WHATEVER: Ravi Kumar Vellingiri immigrated to Canada from India in 2007 as an engineer and married Shahana Chathoth the following year in India. Chathoth and her five-year-old son, Cawin, came here in 2012, but the whole family went back to India when the mom had complications with her pregnancy and didn’t have provincial health coverage (OHIP), the Toronto Star reported.
The dad applied to sponsor the new baby right after his birth, but he didn’t know that according to the rules, he could do so only from Canada.
So the application was rejected in January. The family then applied for a visitor’s visa for the newborn, but that was denied because they had to satisfy the visa officer that they are in Canada only temporarily.
After their story appeared in the Toronto Star last month, the mom received a call from Canada’s visa post in Delhi to file a new application for a visitor visa for the newborn. And now the family has a visa for him.
But as an immigration lawyer pointed out to the newspaper, “the system has a great deal of discretion and the discretion is exercised in an arbitrary fashion.”
Anyway, at least this case had a happy ending.
WAS ORGANIZED CRIME BEHIND SUSPECTED SURREY FARMHOUSE ARSON? Landlord Amarjit Kang told the media that when he told the renters of his farmhouse who were growing medicinal marijuana hat they had to pay rent, they reportedly told them they had the backing of an organized crime group. The farmhouse went up in flames after they moved out. He told the Vancouver Sun newspaper that his farm was worth $4 million.
The Sun found that the property title is registered to Baljit Kaur Hundal. It was transferred to him in January 2010 from Kang Mushroom Farm Ltd., which bought it in 2007.
Well, let’s see what the investigation will reveal.
DID SANDIP DUHRE GET SOUTH ASIANS KILLED BY JAMIE BACON? The ongoing Surrey Six Trial in B.C. Supreme Court heard this week from the Crown’s star witness – who can only be identified as “Y” and who was a gang enforcer – that he was surprised when Red Scorpion gangster Jamie Bacon confessed that he had killed two men in east Vancouver back in May 2004 for Sandip Duhre.
Phil Hothi and Herman Dhillon were shot at the house of Chinese-Canadian drug dealer Tommy Ho Sing Chan, who was himself shot dead at downtown Vancouver’s Richard’s on Richards nightclub in 2006. Vancouver Police told the media at the time that the two South Asians were known to them.
Duhre himself was shot dead in January 2012 at the Bar One restaurant in downtown Vancouver Sheraton Wall Centre in the 1000-block of Burrard Street.