Author Topic: Mistreated Filipina Caregivers by a Canadian Liberal MP  (Read 914 times)


Mistreated Filipina Caregivers by a Canadian Liberal MP
« on: May 06, 2009, 07:34:52 pm »
ano masasabi ninyo dito mga ka espiya?.....
masyado nang inaabuso mga kababayan natin kahit sa maunlad na c
insert ko picture nun politiko......- i think indian descendant siya.......

Storm erupts over Ruby Dhalla and the nannies

The federal government is facing pressure to launch a legal probe of Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla in the wake of charges that she and her family illegally hired two nannies and subsequently mistreated them.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said yesterday there are several legal penalties for the type of allegations the nannies have made against Dhalla, 35, MP for Brampton-Springdale since 2004 and the Liberals' critic for youth and multiculturalism.

He did not specifically mention Dhalla or the specific allegations published in the Star and he said he could not launch his own probe for fear of politicizing the process.

"We're aware of stories of abuse of the rights of live-in caregivers that are very disturbing. These are typically vulnerable workers," Kenney told the Commons.

Dhalla did not make herself available to reporters yesterday, and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would only say he was still "collecting facts" on the case.

NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said that if the nannies' reports are true, "then there are three or four laws at least that have been broken, whether it's labour laws or immigration regulations."

The Star reported yesterday that two nannies, Magdalene Gordo, 31, and Richelyn Tongson, 37, have publicly complained they were abused while working as live-in caregivers for Dhalla and her family.

They alleged, during a public forum two weeks ago with two Ontario cabinet ministers, that their passports were seized, they worked unpaid overtime and were forced to do non-nanny jobs such as washing cars, shining shoes and cleaning family-owned chiropractic clinics.

"One question I have is if this information came to light in a public forum, I would hope that any responsible authorities would have notified the appropriate officials," Kenney said.

"I think these allegations may have been provided two weeks ago to a minister of labour in Ontario and I presume that the appropriate authorities were informed."

Jill Fairbrother, Ignatieff's spokesperson, would not say what facts he was collecting nor how long it would take him to make a decision, if any, on Dhalla's fate. Dhalla couldn't be reached for comment, but her office released a statement late yesterday saying she took the assertions in the Star story seriously.

"I have hired a lawyer to vigorously defend my reputation and ensure the facts of this matter are fully explored and corrected."

Dhalla told the Star on the weekend she was "shocked and appalled" by the allegations and said "anyone who has ever worked in our home has been treated with a lot of love."

Dhalla's name is becoming synonymous with controversy, and her troubles present Ignatieff with tough questions about how to handle someone who has been a loyal supporter of his since the 2006 leadership race.

Generally seen as a probable cabinet pick should Ignatieff ever assume power, Dhalla may be coming to be seen as too controversial, despite her photogenic and multicultural appeal. She's the first Sikh woman ever to be elected as an MP.

Only a little more than a month ago, Dhalla was embroiled in a dispute over release of a Bollywood DVD in which she appeared, before she got into politics.

And just over a year ago, while on a trip to India, Dhalla was portrayed as cavalier and insensitive when police administered beatings to two children who stole the purse of an aide to the Liberal MP. Dhalla later said she condemned violence of any kind.

Yesterday, the head of a non-profit group that advocates for caregivers said she gave Dhalla 24 hours to turn over the passport and other documents seized from Tongson.

Agatha Mason, executive director of Intercede, said she warned Dhalla that if she did not hand over the documents immediately she would call in the RCMP to retrieve them.

Mason said she called Dhalla in Ottawa last May after nanny Tongson, who was working "illegally" as a caregiver in the Dhalla home, was having trouble getting her documents back from her employers.

"I said to her, in 24 hours if you don't give her the documents I will call the RCMP – I have your address – and have them go there to get the documents," Mason told the Star.

Mason said she told Dhalla Tongson shouldn't be working at the Dhalla home because the family did not have federal approval under the Live-In Caregiver Program.

"I remember telling her that, until you have and LMO (government approval documents) the person is working illegally, so you're breaking the law," said Mason, adding she has notes and telephone records to prove she contacted Dhalla.

In a telephone interview with the Star last week, Dhalla denied she had spoken to anyone from the Toronto-based agency. "I have never spoken to anyone there," Dhalla said. "What is Intercede?"

The Independent Workers Association called on Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley to investigate Dhalla's employment of nannies, and for Dhalla to be relieved of critic's responsibilities until the inquiry is completed. "These accusations should be investigated promptly and thoroughly. And while the investigation is ongoing, Ms. Dhalla should step down," Peter Leibovitch of the association said in a news release.

Coincidentally, the Commons immigration committee – on which Dhalla once served as a member several years ago – is due to deliver a report today on undocumented and temporary foreign workers.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Conservative MP Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges-Markham) said the nannies' complaints painted a picture of "involuntary servitude" in their employment with Dhalla.

Kenney responded by listing potential offences Dhalla could be facing.

"If someone was working in a home who was here without a work permit appropriate for that job, that would be my ministry and so that should be reported to the officials at Immigration Canada. If someone was paid under the table without taxes paid, that should be reported to Revenue Canada. And if workers did not have their basic labour code rights respected, if they were forced to work 12 hours a day or something then that should be reported to the provincial ministry of labour," Kenney said.

"As it relates to passports, you know, I think that would probably fall within my ministry. Passports are the property of the government, are administered by the department of foreign affairs."

At Queen's Park, an aide to Labour Minister Peter Fonseca said the minister last spoke with Kenney about three weeks ago, before the public meeting where the allegations about Dhalla were raised.

Susan McConnell confirmed Fonseca was aware of Dhalla's case because he co-hosted the forum in question. But McConnell said the minister, who has been lobbying Kenney to fix the immigration system, has not discussed any individual cases with him.


Re: Mistreated Filipina Caregivers by a Canadian Liberal MP
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 08:34:05 pm »
marami talaga dito nyan sa canada, mistreated ung mga caregivers, yung iba di lang nagsasalita..bilib ako sa dyan sa nagfile ng complaint.. sa mga nagbabalak na magaply ng caregivers sa canada, siguraduhin nyo muna kung ano ugali ng magiging amo nyo para di kayo magsisi..  smoking::

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Re: Mistreated Filipina Caregivers by a Canadian Liberal MP
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 02:12:25 pm »
update mga ka espiya.......

End of Dhalla's political career?

OTTAWA–Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla had very real fears this week that her career in politics was over.

And while that would be a blow for any politician, fellow MP Judy Sgro explained why this was particularly difficult for the young, ambitious 35-year-old member of Parliament for Brampton-Springdale.

Dhalla, said Sgro, "was working very hard on her career. She didn't have any other life. Her career was her life."

Ambition is a tolerable trait in male politicians, but it's still true, by and large, that ambition is seen as a flaw for women. When Belinda Stronach defected from Conservatives to the then-ruling Liberals in 2005, for instance, Stephen Harper said it was "just ambition" that drove her away.

Dhalla has made no secret of her bid to be a high-profile player in federal politics. There's "Ruby TV" on YouTube. She's cultivated friends in high places among the political and media elites. Dhalla can be counted on to be front and centre in any group photograph – last weekend at the Vancouver convention was no exception.

So her silence this week over allegations by former caregivers, who say they were overworked, underpaid and made to carry out menial tasks for the Dhalla family, was out of character, as her pugnacious lawyer, Howard Levitt, noted at a news conference yesterday.

It fed the speculation that Dhalla may well be looking at the end of her political career. Once seen as a shoo-in for any future cabinet – she's been a supporter of leader Michael Ignatieff since 2006 – that possibility looked a little more remote this week.

The basic story line of her defence in the current controversy has emerged in the last 48 hours: the allegations are unproven, if not false; it was Dhalla's brother, not the MP, who had the main dealings with two caregivers, and thirdly, somewhat mysteriously, someone is out to destroy Dhalla.

Communications professionals say that for any story to stick, whether it's a good story or a bad story, it has to be part of a pattern, or "narrative."

Dhalla's troubles, unfortunately for her, have drifted into a kind of narrative about her character. There was the incident in which an aide's purse was stolen in India, the child thieves were beaten by the police, and Dhalla seemed to be insensitive. Then there was the story in March, about Dhalla trying to block the release of a Bollywood DVD in which she starred before becoming an MP. And now there's this latest blow-up.

The controversies, taken together, paint an unflattering picture of haughtiness, even arrogance. Even if it's a wildly false picture – her friends and supporters say it's totally off the mark – a narrative, once established, is hard to shake.

Communications pros also would say these stories stick if the person under attack manages, even accidentally, to confirm the portrayal.

Dhalla's spotty record with Parliament Hill staff members – none has wanted to go public this week with his or her stories – has helped feed the fires.

Dhalla has made clear that she's going to fight this latest attack, and she's going to fight it aggressively, even if it means taking on the caregivers making the allegations. There's a risk there – it could be seen as part of that insensitivity or arrogance that has been portrayed.

For Dhalla to recover from this controversy, she's going to have to grapple with that "narrative," and either turn it around or find a way to make it work for her.