Gurmant was born in India. At the age of 8, he and his younger brother were asked to welcome Hubert Humphrey, the Vice President of the USA during his visit to India at a local event. Impressed with their performance, he extended an invitation to the Grewal brothers to the Vice President’s Gallery at the US Senate Chamber. Little boys were inspired with the invitation.
Gurmant received his post secondary education from the prestigious Punjab Agricultural University with degrees in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Honours and MBA. He received university merit scholarship given to top 1.5% students. He also excelled in sports and received two university colours - a rare honour. He was recruited from the campus to work as management trainee for the then 4th largest private sector company in India and later as a senior marketing manager for a British conglomerate with a responsibility for four Northern Indian states.
After their marriage, Gurmant with Nina moved to Liberia, West Africa. Gurmant worked as a manager in multinational companies, and taught as assistant professor of management at the University of Liberia. Gurmant and his family also started a small business and succeeded in growing the business in a short span of time into a renowned business in the country. Due to the onset of a civil war, most foreign-owned businesses were looted and the Grewal family immigrated to Canada.
As a new immigrant with young family and facing the usual challenges, Gurmant quickly integrated himself into the Canadian society. He got involved into various community organisations and contributed as a volunteer. In 1997, he was elected as a Member of Parliament in Surrey for the Reform Party of Canada. He was not only elected in the shortest time (5 years and 8 months) after immigrating to Canada but was also the first Sikh and Indo-Canadian to be elected in Surrey and in the Official Opposition of Canada. As an MP for three terms, Gurmant was very accessible, helpful and worked hard to represent his constituents.
Gurmant was appointed to senior caucus positions. As Co-Chair of the powerful Standing Joint Committee of the House and Senate for Scrutiny of Regulations, he engaged all premiers in Canada and initiated significant reforms to the regulatory process and disallowed many faulty regulations. The Bill (C-205) of Gurmant plugging the black hole of accountability in the regulatory process received the Royal Ascent; it was the only Bill of Canadian Alliance to become a law of Canada. As Deputy House Leader, among many other tasks, Gurmant’s initiative implemented changes to improve Private Members Business.
As a solution-oriented and innovative politician, he raised numerous issues and significantly contributed to the legislation. He was one of the most frequent participants in the parliamentary debates and became a strong voice for ordinary Canadians. Gurmant introduced many Motions and Bills and six of them passed the vote in the House. Most notably, recognition of foreign credentials, elimination of GST on other taxes, whistleblowers protection, elimination of discriminatory head tax on immigrants, call for Air India inquiry, redress of Komagata Maru tragedy (later, two Prime Ministers offered an apology), equality of all Canadians (remove hyphenation), visitor visa reform, combating corruptions in Canadian missions abroad, regulatory reforms, tackling organised crime, fire-fighter’s protection and more. Gurmant is proud that many of these issues were stolen or adopted by the government. As an opposition critic, Gurmant brought the Government’s incompetence to the forefront with alternative visionary solutions. Due to his whistle-blowing on vote buying/corruption in government, he became a victim of the vendetta of the PMO but the honesty prevailed and he was cleared form any wrongdoing.
Among notable accomplishments, it’s worth mentioning that Gurmant found out that all the 3-levels of governments had forgotten for 25 years about a ‘temporary storage’ of hazardous radioactive material in the populated area of Surrey. With his courage and initiative, he finally got about 400 tonnes of the material removed.
Gurmant was the first South Asian candidate in the Reform Party of Canada, and he successfully played a leading role in ethnic outreach with minority communities across Canada and helped the party to improve its image and acceptance. He was one of the founding members of the Canadian Alliance party and played initial role in initiating the merging Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives, which created the Conservative Party of Canada that governed the country until 2015.
In 2004, with the election of Nina Grewal, the Grewals became the first couple to concurrently serve in the House of Commons, a record among many other parliamentary records. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper called Gurmant "the Ironman of the Canadian Parliament."
Gurmant is confident that with his experience, vision, and solution-oriented approach, given the opportunity, he will lead BC Liberal party and British Columbia to help build a strong, sustainable and prosperous future for all.
OFFICIAL OPPOSITION'S SHADOW CABINET ROLES, AND PARLIAMENTARY MEMBERSHIPS:
- Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada
- Official Opposition Chief Critic for Foreign Affairs
- Official Opposition Chief Critic for Multiculturalism
- Official Opposition Chief Critic for Scrutiny of Regulations
- Official Opposition Chief Critic for Canadian International Development
- Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic for Canadians Abroad
- Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic for Asia Pacific
- Official Opposition Deputy Critic on the Environment
- Official Opposition Deputy Health Critic
- Co-Chair, Scrutiny of Regulations, Standing Joint Committee of the House & Senate (7 terms)
- Member, Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet Priority & Planning Committee to govern the caucus
- Member, Liaison Committee of the House of Commons (7 terms)
- Member, Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
- Member, Standing Committee on Public Accounts
- Member, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade
- Member, Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
- Member, Standing Committee on Health
- Member, Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage
- Member, Standing Committee on Transport
- Member, Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
- Chairman, Sub-Committee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations
- Member, Sub-Committee on Organized Crime of the Standing Committee of Justice and Human Rights
- Member, Sub-Committee on Committees Budgets of the Liaison Committee
- Chairman, Treasurer and Co-Founder, Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Vice President, Commonwealth Parliamentary Group
- Vice Chair, Acting Chair and Co-Founder, Canada-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Vice Chair & Executive Committee Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)
- Vice Chair, Canada-ASEAN Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Executive Committee Member, Friendship Group of Parliamentarians for UNESCO
- Executive Committee Member, Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA)
- Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
- Member, Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas (COPA)
- Member, Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association
- Member, Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group
- Member, Canada-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group
PARLIAMENTARY RECORDS AND AWARDS:
- Called “The Iron Man of the Canadian Parliament” by the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper in House of Commons in 2003.
- With the election of Nina Grewal in 2004, became the first married couple to serve concurrently as MPs in Canada.
- Elected to the House of Commons in less than 6 years after immigrating to Canada (a record).
- Only member of the Canadian Alliance (Opposition) to receive Royal Ascent for a Private Member’s Bill (C-205) – a significant bill that plugged the black hole in scrutiny of statutory instruments (regulations) in Canada.
- Introduced over 50 Private Members’ Bills and Motions.
- Raised international issues with various heads of states.
- Delivered more speeches than colleagues during many sessions of the House of Commons.
- Held parliamentary record for attending the most consecutive votes.
- As an Opposition MP, Chaired the Joint Standing Committee of the House and Senate for 7-terms.
- First visible minority to be appointed Officer of the House and Chair of a Joint Committee of Parliament.
- Awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals for outstanding services to Canada.
- World Sikh Award in Professional category (2012) at London, U.K. (named 28th most powerful and influential Sikhs in the world)
- Awarded a PhD in Political Science and Diplomacy (HC) by Caucasus University, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
- Key note speaker at Harvard Business School.
- At the age of 8, received an Admit Card to the Vice President’s Gallery, United States Senate Chamber from Hubert Humphrey, Vice President of the USA.
- Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and Diplomacy (H.C.) 2012, Caucasus University, Georgia
- M.B.A. - Master of Business Administration 1981, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India
- B.Sc. (Hons.) - Bachelor of Science Agri. (Honours) 1979, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India