News East-West Desk
TORONTO: Former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal has been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree by Caucasus University of Georgia.
An alumnus of Punjab Agriculture University in Ludhiana, Grewal, with his wife Nina Grewal, made his history by becoming first MP pair in Canada.
In awarding the doctorate to Grewal on October 12 in Tbilisi, Dr. Kakha Shengelia, President of Caucasus University of Georgia, said, “By the decision of Governing Board of Caucasus University the Honorary Doctor’s award Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and Diplomacy (Honoris Causa) was presented to Gurmant Grewal in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the development of Caucasus University and to global humanity. Dr. Grewal has significantly accomplished locally, nationally and internationally in a short time and is an inspiration to many.”
In his acceptance speech, Grewal said, “I am honored to receive the highest accolade by the Caucasus University and I humbly accept it.”
Amongst the dignitaries and special guests attending the convocation ceremony were the Education Minister of Georgia and presidents of about 50 universities in the world who were also attending the International Association of University Presidents forum hosted by the CU in Tbilisi.
A successful entrepreneur, manager, educator and a politician, Grewal earned his B.Sc and MBA from Punjab Agricultural University and later taught business management at the University of Liberia.
He was first elected as an MP in 1997, in less than six years after immigrating to Canada – a record. He and his wife Nina Grewal were the first married couple to concurrently serve in Parliament in Canada in 2004.
During his three terms from 1997 to 2006, Grewal was appointed to various senior positions, as Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada, he was the only visible minority to ever appointed as an Officer of the House; Senior Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs, Multiculturalism and Canadian International Development. Grewal was elected for seven terms as the Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee of the House and Senate for Scrutiny of Regulations, one of the only two Opposition MPs to Chair a Parliamentary Committee and the first visible minority to Chair a committee of Parliament. He also holds a parliamentary record of consecutive voting for 43 hours.
Grewal has been the only MP of the Canadian Alliance whose Bill C-205 on Regulatory Reforms has received the Royal Assent – a rare accomplishment by an Opposition MP and his Bill has closed the black hole in parliamentary scrutiny of regulations and restored accountability.
Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada and the Official Opposition Leader in 2003, called Grewal, ‘the Ironman of Canadian Parliament’ to a standing ovation for his steadfast work in the House of Commons.
Grewal introduced about 50 Bills and Motions, and raised numerous issues in the House including recognition of international credentials; protection of whistleblowers; protection of firefighters; removal of taxes on taxes, the Air India inquiry, the redressal of Komagata Maru tragedy; criminal justice; emergency preparedness; reforming visitor’s visa system; and removal of head tax on new immigrants, among others.
He was the first South Asian candidate of the Reform Party of Canada and helped it across the country in its ethnic outreach and in getting rid of its ‘racist image’. He was also a co-founding member of the Canadian Alliance party. In 2003, Grewal was one of the four MPs from the Canadian Alliance party to initiate the merger with the Progressive Conservative MPs to form the Conservative Party of Canada.
As an MP got the nuclear waste removed from the heart of Surrey that was temporarily stored for 25 years by the federal government. Grewal was awarded the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2002, Grewal was invited to speak at the Harvard Business School.