Controversial Tory MLA Peter Sandhu a surprise guest on Alison Redford’s Punjab tour

Published: January 13, 2014

DEAN BENNETT
THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON — A controversial Edmonton member of the legislature has made a surprise guest appearance at Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s business trip in India.

Peter Sandhu

Alison Redford in Punjab (l) and Peter Sandhu (r). Handouts/Postmedia

Peter Sandhu was on hand Monday in the Punjab as Redford signed a deal to increase trade relations with the state government.

Redford’s spokesperson, Neala Barton, said Sandhu is not part of Redford’s group on the trip, which is costing taxpayers $120,200.

Barton said he flew over to India on his own and will not be reimbursed for any expenses.

“He basically said, ‘I’m going to be there anyway. Is it OK if I join you for this part of the mission?”‘ said Barton, who said his offer was accepted.

Sandhu’s spokesman, Felicia Dewar, said Sandhu flew to India on Jan. 5. He has family in the region and other commitments, but asked to help out at the signing, she said.

Sandhu spent much of 2013 outside Redford’s PC caucus while Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson investigated him for breaching ethics rules.

In a report released last Oct. 17, Wilkinson determined Sandhu, who represents the riding of Edmonton-Manning, broke the rules when he failed to notify the legislature about six outstanding liens against him and his home building company. Wilkinson ruled that Sandhu should not be punished because he had been acting on the advice of his lawyer, who said the lawsuits were so close to being completed they didn’t need to be reported.

Sandhu was also investigated by Wilkinson for lobbying cabinet ministers and bureaucrats for changes to what Sandhu termed “vexatious” liens against his building company and against other builders.

Wilkinson noted that even government officials felt Sandhu was crossing the line from public advocacy to lobbying for personal benefit. However, Wilkinson noted that because Sandhu was lobbying for changes that would benefit others as well as himself, it did not constitute an ethics breach.

Redford’s caucus reinstated Sandhu on Dec. 10.

Barton said no snub was intended by not inviting Sandhu on the India trip.

She said the delegation had to work to keep costs down, which meant the line had to be drawn somewhere.

“You can’t take everybody every time you go.”

Redford is being accompanied on the trip by Human Services Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Naresh Bhardwaj, the associate minister responsible for persons with disabilities.

Redford has been in India since last Friday and already signed a similar trade pact with the Indian state of Meghalaya. Monday’s deal with the Punjab government involves agriculture and animal genetics and will establish a working group to expand trade ties on other projects.

Critics say the India trip is too lavish and borders on junketeering. They have criticized pictures posted by the premier’s office of Redford as a tourist snapping pictures at the Taj Mahal.

Redford will tour India for the rest of the week before heading to Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.

The province estimates more than $102 million worth of products and services are exported to India from Alberta each year.

16:32ET 13-01-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

WKLChampions

Spice Sports: World Kabaddi League Champion Crowned

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi! Heading into the final weekend of the Wave World Kabaddi League season, the…
Continue Reading »

bibeau

Terror on your doorstep: A third of B.C.ers believe radicals are living on their block

GORD MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI Half of British Columbians believe there is a serious threat of homegrown terrorism in Canada, according to a poll by the…
Continue Reading »

monkey main

Killer monkeys invade India after government issues wildlife preservation to protect wild apes

CEN AGENCY A ban on capturing monkeys in India has led to an explosion of ape attacks – some which are deadly – across the…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Hockey legend Pat Quinn remembered as a straight shooter with a heart of gold

HKN-OBIT-Pat-Quinn, 7th Writethru Correction By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS On the ice, behind the bench and behind his desk, Pat Quinn was an imposing…
Continue Reading »

WKLChampions

Spice Sports: World Kabaddi League Champion Crowned

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi! Heading into the final weekend of the Wave World Kabaddi League season, the…
Continue Reading »

bibeau

Terror on your doorstep: A third of B.C.ers believe radicals are living on their block

GORD MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI Half of British Columbians believe there is a serious threat of homegrown terrorism in Canada, according to a poll by the…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Surrey

Surrey’s YouTube prankster Ace Journey on a roll (w/video)

KRISTI ALEXANDRA SURREY NOW SURREY — If you were recently chased through Bear Creek Park by a Sasquatch, chances are you were part of a…
Continue Reading »

desi-sex-bollywood-bhabhi

Venus Williams dances on a Bollywood number in India (w/gallery, video)

CEN AGENCY Former world number one tennis player Venus Williams, 34, took the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream by dancing to a Bollywood number…
Continue Reading »

desi bride loaded in gold

Indian bride draws flak for wearing $700,000 jewellery at her wedding

CEN AGENCY An Indian sweet maker made sure his daughter was the golden girl at her upcoming wedding by covering her in gold jewellery worth…
Continue Reading »

India

Video: Bear mauls Indian farmer to death, injures second man (Warning: Graphic Content)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian farmer was mauled to death and another left seriously injured after a terrifying and unusual bear attack in Karnataka on Monday,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone the next hit Bollywood couple?

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone are known to deliver hits on their shoulders alone. Now, audiences may be in for a…
Continue Reading »

Indian Director of the film 'Eklavya' Vidhu Vinod Chopra listens during a press conference in New Delhi, 28 September 2007. Chopra says he'd like to make 3 Idiots in different languages. AFP PHOTO/ Manpreet ROMANA

Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra wants to make 3 Idiots in different languages

IANS Panaji — Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra says he wants to make the blockbuster 3 Idiots in various languages because it left an impact on…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood Actor Shah Rukh Khan attends a signing event as the new brand ambassador for the DHFL housing finance company in Mumbai on November 21, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Shah Rukh Khan sends out audio card to 10 million Twitter followers

IANS Mumbai — Superstar Shah Rukh Khan treated his more than 10 million Twitter followers with an audio card on Sunday, thanking his fans for their…
Continue Reading »