RAJ Grewal, Liberal MP (Brampton East) was put on the defensive after the media revealed that he reportedly helped Liberal supporter Yusuf Yenilmez, who heads the Brampton construction company, Zgemi Inc., to get invited to a reception that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended during his India visit last month. Grewal is paid by Yenilmez for legal advice.
Yenilmez also attended business delegation events with Trudeau in Mumbai and New Delhi and posted his photos with several ministers on his Facebook.
The Toronto Star reported that Grewal told them in an email that Yenilmez was registered for the Canada-India Forum and so he had access to the receptions with or without Grewal’s invitation.
And Yenilmez told the Star that Grewal provides legal services on a contract basis related to private disputes. He does not provide services for anything that has to do with the federal government.
He pointed out that Grewal’s relationship with his company “was cleared with the ethics commissioner, and a screen is put in place to ensure that no conflict of interest arises.”
The Star also contacted the ethics commissioner and a spokesperson pointed out that because Grewal is not a minister or a parliamentary secretary, he is subject to the conflict of interest code for members of the House of Commons, but not the Conflict of Interest Act.
The spokesperson said MPs are allowed to receive income from anyone.
The Star reported: “In an April 2017 filing with the federal elections’ commissioner, Grewal indicated he was receiving “employment income” from Zgemi Inc. His most recent filing in January 2018 indicates he expects to receive that income for the next 12 months.”
Grewal told the Star: “I’m pretty careful … I don’t touch any of the files that would have anything to do with the federal government.”
So if anyone was expecting a huge scandal out of this to embarrass Grewal or the Liberal Party and Trudeau, they must be really disappointed after reading the Star’s excellent, thorough reporting.