A candidate vying for the United Conservative Party nomination in Calgary North East promoted an Alberta NDP candidate just two years ago, at the same time posts advocating for the firing of former premier Jason Kenney were shared from his Facebook account.
Inder Grewal announced his candidacy in Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Rajan Sawhney’s riding on March 24. Sawhney has announced she will not seek reelection in the riding.
Less than two years prior, in a July 2021 Facebook post, Grewal shared a photo with Alberta NDP candidate Parmeet Singh saying it was nice meeting with him during the Stampede City Roadshow. Singh is still the NDP candidate for Calgary Falconridge.
A couple days later, Grewal shared another photo and again tagged Singh, thanking him for the “really wonderful” stampede breakfast.
Grewal said his past affiliation with an Alberta NDP candidate does not constitute political activity, but rather, support of a family friend. He said he’s never been a member of the Alberta NDP and his past activity didn’t hurt the UCP.
“I think if you’re going as a family friend, not as a political activity, there’s no harm,” he told True North.
In October, a CUPE Alberta attack ad against the UCP was shared on Grewal’s Facebook page. The ad’s graphic reads “Sign up to defeat Jason Kenney,” and the text beneath it reads “Hand Jason Kenney his termination papers.”
The description above the ad lamented that the UCP had “gone to war” with doctors, nurses, teachers, and healthcare workers — a common Alberta NDP attack line.
Grewal said he didn’t share the post, noting his family also had access to his Facebook account in the past.
That same month, a Mainstreet Research poll showing the Alberta NDP on track to form a majority government – 45 points to the UCP’s 29 — was also shared from his account.
Other photos of Grewal with the NDP candidate date back to April 2019, during the last provincial election. Grewal said he never doorknocked with the party.
Grewal is running against former Dashmesh Culture Centre chairman Harjit Singh Saroya for the UCP nomination.
Saroya said Grewal “should make his stand clear.” He also said it’s “unfair” that he recently switched his allegiance, noting he’s supported the Conservatives for 26 years.
UCP spokesperson Dave Prisco said it’s not a “hard no” if a nomination applicant used to work for or support another party. The applicant must show commitment to the UCP during the application process, he said, and the review board investigates specific complaints.
He said specific applications are confidential, meaning the party won’t comment on whether Grewal’s past NDP support was reviewed before he was approved.
Grewal told True North his old posts did come up in the application process, and he told the party he was merely supporting a family friend as is custom in his culture.
Calgary North East party members will head to the polls to choose their candidate on Saturday.