November 27, 2018 5:13 pm
Updated: November 27, 2018 6:43 pm

Beleaguered Liberal Raj Grewal remains MP for Brampton East despite announcing resignation

Opposition MPs on Tuesday asked for clarification on whether a Liberal MP Raj Grewal, who announced last week he would resigned to seek help for a 'gambling problem,' is actually still an MP.

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Liberal MP Raj Grewal has not yet followed proper parliamentary procedure for resigning his Brampton East seat.

Because of that, he remains the MP for the riding.

Elections Canada confirmed the update to Global News following a series of questions posed by opposition MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday regarding whether Grewal, who announced on Nov. 22 that he had given notice of his resignation, had actually done so properly.

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“We have not received the warrant for Brampton East,” said a spokesperson for Elections Canada.

On Nov. 22, Grewal published a letter on Facebook to his constituents saying he had informed Government Whip Mark Holland of his decision to resign due to “personal and medical reasons,” which the Prime Minister’s Office later confirmed was referring to a gambling problem.

However, there is clear parliamentary procedure that must be followed when an MP resigns their seat, and in this case, Grewal has not yet done so.

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According to parliamentary procedure, an MP who wants to resign needs to either make a statement on the floor of the House of Commons stating that or deliver a written declaration to the Speaker of their intention to resign.

After receiving the notice from the MP, the Speaker then addresses what is known as a warrant to the Chief Electoral Officer.

That warrant lets Elections Canada declare the seat formally vacant and issue a writ for a byelection.

But Grewal did not meet those conditions when he apparently only told Holland.

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Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons, was asked to provide clarification about the state of Grewal’s resignation on Tuesday by Conservative Whip Mark Strahl and NDP MP Nathan Cullen.

In response, he told the members that he has not yet received the notification.

After Grewal’s Nov. 22 post on Facebook, the Prime Minister’s Office had issued a statement saying the government supported the move.

“Earlier this week, Mr. Grewal told us that he is undergoing serious personal challenges, and that he is receiving treatment from a health professional related to a gambling problem that led him to incur significant personal debts,” said a spokesperson for the PMO in an email.

“Based on these circumstances, we agreed that his decision to resign as Member of Parliament for Brampton East was the right one. We hope he receives the support he needs.”

When questioned in the House of Commons about whether that statement misled MPs by not making it clear Grewal had failed to follow proper parliamentary procedure, Government House Leader Bardish Chagger said the government had only ever said it agreed with “his decision” to resign.

There is currently no timeline for when Grewal will offer formal notice of his resignation.

Grewal, a first-term MP, had previously made headlines earlier this year after the federal ethics commissioner launched an investigation into his decision to bring along Yusuf Yenilmez, chief executive of a construction firm in his riding, along with him to an event on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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