Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal wanted to clarify the situation and dismiss any controversy swirling around recent speculations on a fundraising event, but ended up raising more questions all related to money. He pointed out that the dinner that took place in April 2018 managed to amass around CA$285,000, but not all of the 1,200 guests of the event used paid tickets to make their way into the venue. It all took place while Mr. Grewal was struggling with problem gambling and generating debts worth millions of Canadian dollars.
Last week one topic became viral and caused more eyes to turn towards the event that took place almost a year ago in Brampton. April 6, 2018 was a special date for many people, as it saw an event with the special guest by Mr. Grewal transforming Chandni Banquet Hall into a heated location. According to the information, every ticket for attendance cost some CA$500 and the previously issued information showed that the event allegedly saw as many as 1,200 individuals making their way in, a record amount for this type of event.
Lack of Transparency Fuels Speculations
Up until that point, the overall number of individuals rarely surpassed 100 people attending a given event and this sudden surge of interest triggered concerns in the public space. Mr. Grewal’s gambling addiction has supposedly been in full swing at that time and in addition to that, no further details were revealed as to what the amassed cash was spent on. In the wake of the recent speculations, he was quick to make an attempt at dismissing them with a tweet.
He claimed that the event at question was able to see some CA$285,000 raised by the Brampton East Liberal Riding Association during the said event dinner. Once everything around it was paid for, the association remained with around CA$250,000 to operate with. Mr. Grewal also confirmed that the number of people attending the event was in fact 1,200, but as it often happens at this type of fundraising events, not everyone pays for their tickets.
Brampton liberals were invited to attend the special event which explains the larger interest towards it. It should be also taken into account that the Brampton East election campaign from 2015 saw spending limit reaching CA$220,000, meaning that the upcoming year’s election is expected to raise the bar even higher.
How does a South Asian backbench MP have such a successful fundraiser? Because he works hard for his constituents, he’s an excellent organizer and he’s only held one fundraiser since 2014 which was also a huge success. #cdnpoli
— Raj Grewal (@RajLiberal) February 2, 2019
About 570 People Paid for Their Attendance
If this is, in fact, the amount generated at the event, this means that only about 570 people paid for their tickets. If every single one of the 1,200 people had paid, the overall sum would have reached CA$600,000. Mr. Grewal stated that the fundraiser ended up being a success with impressive attendance because the only other similar event organized by him took place in 2014.
However, previously issued information shows that events featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fail to reach this impressive level of interest. NDP MP Nathan Cullen is well-acquainted with the situation and previous controversial situations surrounding Mr. Grewal’s name and he was among the first parliament members to express a position on the subject.
He stated that it is unusual for a fundraising event to allow guests to take their seats without paying for them. The NDP MP even went so far as to state that for him this entire explanation seems like a made up story. The exact cash generated by that event should be issued publicly, as transparency has always been highly valued by the Liberals.