BY RATTAN MALL
A week ago, The VOICE had learned that Liv Grewal, the younger son of MP Nina Grewal and former MP Gurmant Grewal, was not being given the green light by the Conservative Party as their candidate for the new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon federal riding even though he had bagged 54 per cent of the 1,846 votes cast in the nomination battle in early May.
Although all other candidates had put up their websites (I checked this out with a Conservative Party candidate), Liv had not yet put up his even more than two months after winning the nomination. Sources told me that a number of objections had gone to the party about his candidature but said they could not reveal exactly what those were. So I decided to wait for an official announcement one way or the other.
WELL, today (Wednesday), Liv emailed the following to the media under the heading, “Grewal Withdraws as the Conservative Candidate in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon”:
“Liv Grewal will not be a Conservative Party candidate in the next federal election in the new constituency of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon (MMFC). Grewal won the nomination in the first ballot garnering 54% of the votes against four other candidates on May 2nd, 2015. Mr. Grewal graduated in Political Science with Honours from Simon Fraser University and holds a Masters in Public Management and Governance with Merit from the London School of Economics. Grewal has interned in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada in the Department of Strategic Communication. Mr. Grewal has contributed as a volunteer in seven federal election campaigns and three leadership races. Many Conservative MPs have endorsed Grewal’s candidacy, calling him an intelligent, articulate, and passionate individual who has the potential to be a strong leader.
“Grewal had submitted a fair majority of the total 3900 memberships. Grewal said that he, his volunteer team and his family including his 80 year old grandmother had worked hard day in and day out for many months knocking doors to convince residents to become members of the Conservative Party. 100% of all membership forms were submitted by personal cheques or credit cards and all forms were duly signed by the members agreeing to the terms and conditions of the membership. The Party had done its due diligence by calling the membership prior to the vote. An experienced Returning Officer then conducted the nomination vote, as per the Party’s rules and the result was duly announced.
““For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been passionate about public service. Over the last 18 years, I have been actively participating in the Reform Party of Canada, Canadian Alliance, and then to the Conservative Party of Canada. I’m disappointed with this decision by the Party. Sadly, it is the result of an unfair political process.””
IN May, I had asked: “Will the Grewals make history again – this time with a mom-son team in the House of Commons?
Earlier Gurmant and Nina had made history as the first husband-wife team in Parliament.
The new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon federal riding where Liv had won the nomination comprises the northernmost portion of Abbotsford, all of Mission, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs, and up to north of Lillooet and Ashcroft.
Liv beat out Doris Woodman-McMillan, Korky Neufeld, Paul Redekopp, Brad Vis and Morley (Andy) H. Anderson.
But I was told of deep resentment against the Grewals in the Conservative Party as they were seen as being too politically aggressive with even Gurmant wanting to run in the federal election from the new Surrey-Newton federal riding. But sources in the Prime Minister’s Office had consistently told me over the past decade that he would not be considered as a candidate – something that has proved to be true.
However, if the Conservative candidate from Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, whoever he may be, loses in the election, Liv may have the last laugh.
(Abbotsford businessman Jatinder (Jati) Sidhu has been nominated as the federal Liberal candidate in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.)