Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers officers were in Vancouver last week probing the explosive Grewal affair while appearing to have rented at least one room at the luxurious Sutton Place Hotel. The affair involves accusations federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and the prime minister's chief of staff Tim Murphy spoke with Tory MP Gurmant Grewal about taking a patronage position in exchange for supporting the Liberals.
Mounted police media relations spokesperson Gilles Deziel declined to discuss whether any A-Division (Ottawa) officers had visited Vancouver, saying "We may have to speak to some people as part of the review. But that's as far as I can go. I can't confirm any specifics that may or may not have taken place." The force is currently considering a request by the Bloc Quebecois and the New Democrats to investigate whether any of those involved in the Grewal affair have violated the Criminal Code.
But, in an interview, Kalia Insurance Ltd. principal Sudesh Kalia, who acted as an intermediary between Minister Dosanjh and Mr. Grewal, said two RCMP officers with French names interviewed him last week at his office. And Sutton Place has a record of A-Division officer Elisa Lauzon checking out of their hotel on June 29. Ms. Lauzon did not respond to an email inquiry as to why she was in Vancouver. The federal government rate for rooms at the Sutton Place is currently $160 a night.
And that's a number the parliament's ethics commissioner may want to keep that in mind when he makes his own whistle stop in British Columbia later this month. The commissioner’s executive assistant Jocelyne Brisebois confirmed Bernard Shapiro would be visiting Vancouver for three days as part of his investigation into the Grewal affair. That visit is set to begin on July 19. But Ms. Brisebois declined to comment on how many interviews the commissioner would be conducting or where they would be taking place. A version of this article was originally published in today's edition of 24 hours.