The saga involving Liberal MP Rajvinder Grewal and his compulsive gambling which prompted him to file his resignation continues with new discoveries every day. The latest news came from Quebec Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais and his assistant Richard Desmarais stating that they first learned about the investigation into the problem gambling issues of Mr. Grewal about 18 months ago by a former officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Ottawa reception was where the two official first found out about the gambling issues experienced by the Member of the Parliament. It took place in May 2017 and the information was confirmed by a former police officer who had more information on the subject. He told them that there is, in fact, investigation in progress looking into Mr. Grewal’s gambling habits and the millions of Canadian dollars he is pouring into gaming facilities in the Ontario region.
Questionable Communication between RCMP and PMO
The retired officer told him then that the MP was spending a lot of cash at casino venues and there is an inquiry in progress. Mandatory reports of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada of transactions exceeding CA$10,000 was what notified the RCMP that there is an actual issue, drawing the attention of RCMP and triggering an investigation.
The two official claim that it is highly unlikely that the Prime Minister’s Office was unaware at the time that there was a probe in progress. If such information had reached the Prime Minister and officials surrounding him, they should have demanded the immediate resignation of Mr. Grewal. Shortly after the announcement in which he stated “personal and medical reasons” have prompted him to resign, the Prime Minister himself revealed the true nature of his resignation.
Justin Trudeau stated that gambling addiction was what concerned the MP and treatment was needed. However, he claimed that he had no prior knowledge of the gambling habits in question. What should be pointed out, is that the conversation between the Senator and the former officer did not reveal specific details about the alleged investigation. In this sense, it cannot be suggested that the RCMP, in particular, was conducting a probe.
More Questions Raised this Thursday
The Senator’s assistant Mr. Desmarais remains doubtful about the possibility that the RCMP and the PMO have such weak information channels. The Mounties are well-acquainted with leading officials and their knowledge of his gambling issues should have made it impossible for them not to notify the Prime Minister about a probe in progress.
Thursday saw a heated discussion on the subject during Question Period at the House of Commons. One of the main reasons of the prevalent discontent is that the Member of the Parliament is still in the structure of both the Liberal caucus and the House of Commons, despite his announcement from last week. The Chief Government Whip, Mark Holland, stated that he expects this to happen in the upcoming days, even though his initial understanding was that the MP’s exit was immediate.
Furthermore, Conservative MP Mark Strahl wanted to know more about the Prime Minister’s knowledge of the gambling investigation. Ontario Provincial Police was wiretapping individuals allegedly involved in a money laundering network linked to the Middle East.
Conversations among them have brought up the Liberal MP’s name on several occasions, mentioning his gambling problems. Following an evasive answer from Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger, MP Strahl remained discontent, stating that such lack of information about ongoing investigations seems unrealistic.