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

Nepal earthquake

Over 1000 dead in powerful Nepal earthquake that crumbles history, shakes Everest

BINAJ GURUBACHARYA And MUNEEZA NAQVI THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KATHMANDU, Nepal — A powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, killing at least 1,180 people across a swath…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE

At least 388 Canadians registered in earthquake devastated Nepal: officials

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — The Foreign Affairs Department says it is closely monitoring the situation in Nepal, where an earthquake has killed nearly 1,200…
Continue Reading »

At least 388 Canadians registered in earthquake devastated Nepal: officials

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — The Foreign Affairs Department says it is closely monitoring the situation in Nepal, where an earthquake has killed more than…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

PARENTS-VIOLENCE

Video shows a mom beating school staff after her daughter was stopped from carrying cellphone

  HINDUSTAN TIMES A woman allegedly beat up the director of a school in Jalandhar after her daughter was stopped from carrying a mobile phone…
Continue Reading »

fetish-desi sex-school girl-viral video

Video shows a young girl being brutally beaten with a stick, kicked by her father

VANCOUVER DESI A viral video of a father brutally beating up a young girl will make you shiver with anger and disgust, and want to…
Continue Reading »

gang life prevention

End Gang Life: Problems surrounding gun violence run deeper than skin colour or culture

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Kids are shooting at each other.  The violence these children are engaged in with each other has now…
Continue Reading »

desi sex-video-lust-bollywood

Video shows how a woman reacted when a pervert kept staring at her breasts

VANCOUVER DESI In a conservative country like India, where women’s rights are suppressed way too often, what do you do when a lecherous man won’t…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi-sex-boobs-india-porn-bollywood

Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone: People write all sort of crazy stories about me

HINDUSTAN TIMES Actor Sunny Leone, recently hit headlines when she was quoted as saying that she doesn’t like being compared to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The…
Continue Reading »

Deepika Padukone

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone not interested in donning producer’s hat

HINDUSTAN TIMES While many of her contemporaries like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor have entered the realm of film production, actor Deepika Padukone says that…
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut “had to learn triple jump for Tanu Weds Manu Returns”

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have seen actor Kangana Ranaut play a Delhi girl many times. Be it the flamboyant Tanu in Tanu weds Manu (2011) or…
Continue Reading »