Liberal MP Raj Grewal abruptly resigns his seat after admitting gambling addiction
By Barfi Culture Team
24th November 2018

Raj Grewal, the MP for Brampton East and until recently a Liberal Party rising star, has announced he is stepping down from public office and admitted he was suffering from a gambling addiction problem.

In an unexpected note posted to social media, Grewal initially said he was stepping down due to "personal and medical reasons".

After speculation started mounting in Canadian media, he released a longer statement last night:

"There has been a lot of speculation about the circumstances surrounding my statement and I wanted to take this moment to provide details and apologize.

"I have been struggling with a personal gambling addiction."

He added: "It is for that reason, I decided to take some time to look after my health. As many Canadians that suffer from addiction issues, I recognize that I have a problem. My focus is now entirely on my mental health and spending time with my family as I recover."

Grewal was elected in 2015 on the Liberal wave as Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister. He was also among 20 Sikh MPs currently in the Canadian parliament. The young 33-year-old backbench MP was seen as a potential rising star in the Liberal party.

The Globe and Mail reported last night that Grewal's gambling activities had started to attract the attention of law-enforcement authorities, including the federal agency that tracks large financial transactions.

The Prime Minister's Office said the RCMP had made "inquiries" about his gambling too. There is no indication that Grewal has broken any laws.

"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 the PM's spokeswoman. She added: "We hope he receives the support he needs."

There was some speculation that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh might want to contest the newly vacant seat, as he previously represented a part of Brampton, but Singh said he plans to continue campaigning in Burnaby South (British Columbia) for the upcoming by-election.

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