Barbara Roden – Black Press
Less than three months before the federal election, the new riding of Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon, which includes the District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs, has seen the withdrawal of Conservative candidate Liv Grewal.
Grewal was one of six Conservative nominees in the riding, and won the nomination in May. The 29-year-old Grewal is the son of Fleetwood–Port Kells MP Nina Grewal and former MP Gurmant Grewal, who was banned last fall from running for the Conservative party for reasons that have not been disclosed.
While Grewal says he withdrew from the candidacy, Conservative Party communications director Cory Hann said that Grewal had been removed. “I can say the party is running fair and open nominations. Any accusation of breaking rules—we investigate them and review them and that’s as much as I’ll say on that matter.”
An internal review was carried out over allegations that Grewal’s camp paid for people’s party memberships. “What the review found is basically that these concerns on how Liv Grewal’s campaign conducted itself were found to be true,” said a Conservative source. “The Liv Grewal campaign had purchased memberships for others which is against the rules.”
In May, Abbotsford News columnist Mark Rushton wrote about the reaction from some Conservative party members following Grewal’s selection. “I’ve received many e-mails and calls over the past couple of days alleging all sorts of things: interloper-candidate, mass membership purchases, voting by non-residents—none substantiated,” he said.
A press release from Grewal stated that “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. I’m disappointed with this decision by the Party.”
Where this leaves the Conservative party remains uncertain as of press time. The other nominees, who include former Ashcroft mayor Andy Anderson, are tight-lipped. “I can’t comment,” said Anderson. When asked what path the nomination process takes from here, he replied, “We haven’t figured out what’s next. I called to ask, and was told someone will get back to me.”
Other candidates for the new riding include Jati Sidhu for the Liberal party and Arthur Green for the Green party.