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Dr. Ruby Dhalla



Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla step down after two nannies claim they were mistreated


Brampton, May 06, 2009
J. Gill/Gary Singh

NRI Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla has stepped down from her position as the Liberal party's multiculturalism and youth critic when two nannies claimed that they were mistreated by her family members.

The two nannies- Magdalene Gordo,31 and Richelyn Tongson, 37 said:

  • They worked 12-16 hours per day for $250 per week
  • They were hired to take care of Dhalla's mother, Tavinder Dhalla and forced to work long hours for cash
  • They also performed other duties such as washing cars.
  • One nanny alleged she had to clean a chiropractic clinic run by Dhalla's brother, Neil Dhalla, and shine his shoes.
  • Their passports were seized.

The allegations were not proved as written by local paper

Dr. Ruby Dhalla said she was "shocked and appalled" by the allegations and denied any involvement in the selection and supervision of the workers. Ruby Dhalla said:

  • This morning I called the party leader to personally tender my resignation as Multiculturalism & Youth Critic in order to focus my attention on clearing my name.

  • I will work with the appropriate officials to ensure the facts of the matter are clarified and corrected regarding my family’s experience with live-in caregivers and will work vigorously to defend my reputation.
  • I denied these allegations, and had nothing to do with employing the nannies.
  • Anyone who has ever worked in our home has been treated with a lot of love, with a lot of care and compassion and money has never, ever been withheld from anyone.
  • These are clearly baseless allegations.
  • I am honoured to represent the people of Brampton-Springdale and I will continue to do so. My constituents remain my first priority.

Dhalla's brother Neil Dhalla has also denied any wrongdoing in a telephone interview with CTV News. He said, "In no way shape or form has my sister been involved. I hope my family and I are not being used as a scapegoat to deflect attention from their possible misrepresentations and any current legal difficulties that these live-in caregivers may be facing."

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said:

  • He accepted the resignation but she will continue to sit in the Liberal caucus.
  • I look forward to a determination of the facts regarding her family’s experience with live-in caregivers

The Independent Workers Association called on the Attorney General of Ontario and other federal bodies to launch full investigations into potential breaches of the law.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney would not speak about that specific case and said:

  • He was not aware of the specific allegations levelled against Dhalla and her family but employers should not hold the passport of a foreign worker.
  • If caregiver's passport is kept by employer, they can be easily exploited because they don't have access to their own travel documents.

There are more than 30,000 live-in care givers come to Canada each year.





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