UPDATED by Raj:
No Investigation for MP Ruby Dhalla
The Conflict of Interest Code for Members of Parliament in the
House of Commons has its stated purpose to maintain public confidence
and trust in the integrity of Members of Parliament and to demonstrate
that Members place the interest of the public ahead of their own.
As someone who has always believed in transparency and accountability
Dr. Ruby Dhalla requested the Ethics Commissioner of Canada’s
Parliament to investigate the allegations made by caregivers.
The Ethics Commissioner has confirmed there is no need to launch
an investigation. The decision of the Ethics Commissioner not
start an investigation confirms that the Ethics Code has not been
The allegations made against Dr. Dhalla are false, unsubstantiated
and unfortunate. Dr. Dhalla hopes her family is not being used
to gain permanent residency to Canada.
Dr. Dhalla thanks her constituents, supporters, and friends for
their encouragement and support during this difficult time.
Commons committee recommends officials investigate
Ottawa, June 04, 2009
A House of Commons committee recommends officials investigate,
that must involve:
- The federal departments of Citizenship and Immigration
- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)
- Canada Border Services Agency
- The provincial labour department
Both, federal and provincial governments should investigate allegations
by caregivers that they were mistreated and abused while working
at MP Ruby Dhalla's home
The citizenship and immigration committee 31-page draft copy
says, the committee "regrets that such situations may occur
under the live-in caregiver program" through which thousands
of foreign caregivers and nannies come to work in Canada each
Caregiver Magdalene Gordo said:
- She welcomed the investigation
- I have endured a lot of emotional trauma since I went public
with this, but I felt I was doing the right thing to improve
the working conditions for all caregivers working in Canada
- I am confident the truth will prevail, and we have told the
nanny made similar claims against the original sponsor
Brampton, May 17, 2009
Ruby Dhalla's lawyer, Howard Levitt told media that
the story is changing now that he has been contacted by Gordo's
original Canadian employer. He said :
- The anonymous employer, described as a married father of four
living in the GTA, only had Gordo in his home for three weeks
in December 2007 before she left.
- He made her part of his family, gave her lots of Christmas
gifts over the holidays and after three weeks she walked out
- When he complained to the nanny agency, who he paid good money
to bring her from the Philippines, Ms. Gordo then apparently
made the same allegations against him, of overwork and harsh
treatment, that she's now making against Ruby Dhalla.
- When Gordo making similar allegations against Dhalla, he felt
there was a pattern emerging.
- Gordo didn't report any problems to the nanny agency in her
weekly reports until the day before she left the home.
- When caregivers have described poor conditions, he showed
four photos of Dhalla's furnished basement with mahogany furniture
and a flat-screen TV.
parties have been exploiting this in sensational ways
for their own partisan purposes
Brampton, May 14, 2009
J. Gill/Gary Singh
Ms. Dhalla's lawyer Howard Levitt said:
- MP Ruby Dhalla is the victim and she is
not the employer, not the sponsor and there is no linkage between
her and the immigration issue.
- She was rarely in the family home shared with
her mother and brother and whose contact with the nannies appears
Statement from Dr.
Ruby Dhalla, Member of Parliament Brampton-Springdale
May 12th, 2009
you for accepting my request to speak this morning. The work that
this committee is undertaking is vital to the building and growth
of a nation in which there is equality, fairness and justice. In
fact, fairness is what brings me here today. Fairness for those
bringing forward these allegations, fairness for all foreign workers
who have a right to be welcomed and treated well in our country,
and fairness for anyone falsely accused of wrongdoing who like,
myself, has found themselves condemned without so much as a honest
airing of the facts.
I am here today to speak to you about an issue that has taken on
a life of its own. An issue that has been based on innuendo and
allegations, which are false and unsubstantiated because politics
has been in large supply but fairness has been hard to find. Reporters
have been reporting, journalists have been writing and political
parties have been exploiting this in sensational ways for their
own partisan purposes. You can only imagine what it’s like
to have been the subject of these stories. To have your character
and conduct maligned without so much as an opportunity to fairly
defend your name. Can you imagine how it feels to have the very
values and beliefs that have defined you as a person, and that you
have championed as a family put into question?
But I am here today to set the record straight to ensure
that the truth is brought to light.
1) I Ruby Dhalla did not employ Magdelene Gordo or Richlyn Tongson.
I did not sponsor Ms. Gordo or Ms. Tongson. I did not pay the salaries
of Ms. Gordo and Ms. Tongson. I was not the person Ms. Gordo and
Ms. Tongson provided care to. I had no involvement from an immigration
or employment perspective.
My involvement: As a daughter of a mother who needed care I did
what any child would do for their mother I only made the initial
call to the agency after receiving the referral through a good friend.
After that call both my mother and brother were in contact with
the agency. I don`t know why these caregivers have come forward
15 months after leaving on what my family thought was on good terms
and with almost identical allegations. I don`t know what their motive
is or who is behind this.
So why I am here today to tell you I’ve done nothing wrong?
Look at the allegations:
2) Ms. Gordo alleges she was not paid for her work however -she
hand wrote a receipt in her own handwriting that she received money
from Tavinder Dhalla-my mother and not me and nothing more was owed.
3) Ms. Gordo says she worked for 3 weeks and I held her passport
for two weeks but when you look at the evidence, she herself has
confirmed that she has only worked for 11 days and today. Today
she changed her testimony and stated she never gave the passports
4) It is alleged that I have had regular contact with Ms. Gordo
but my boarding cards prove I was in the GTA for only 3 days in
the entire time she worked for me and my calendar shows that I was
busy with community and constituency events; therefore I could not
have interviewed her.
5) They both claim they shovelled my snow but my mother has hired
someone who has been shovelling her snow for the past 5 years and
has never arrived in the past 5 years to have it already done.
6) They both claim they clean my brother’s chiropractor clinic
but the statement from the contractors cleaners show that my brother
has a regular cleaner
7) Ms Tongson states I took her passport but she signed a receipt
stating that she gave her passport to Neil not to me to assist her
8) In an effort to advance her immigration claim, Ms. Gordo went
so far as to impersonate me, a Member of Parliament, with Human
Resource Skills Development (HRSDC). HRSDC has confirmed this.
9) There is one final outstanding item. It has been suggested that
Ms. Gordo and Ms. Tongson were in Canada illegally however I want
to report that the agency providing the caregivers has confirmed
that both Ms. Gordo and Ms. Tongson were in Canada legally.
10) After presenting this evidence it is clear that I, Ruby Dhalla
am not the employer. I am not the sponsor. To that end, and to ensure
my name is cleared I have personally asked the Ethics Commissioner
to investigate this issue. And I will cooperate with that investigation
I am the daughter of a loving, and caring single mother who was
an immigrant to this country. Like these caregivers that we are
talking about today my mom also came to Canada with a dream and
desire to make a difference. She like many other new Canadians left
behind a good life and came with hope for a better life for her
children. She came to Canada without a dollar and worked to save
dollar by dollar to build a good life for her family. She overcame
the challenges faced by many new Canadians of learning English,
looking for a job and getting used to a new way of life. She tried
she struggled and persevered and raised two kids of her own. I remember
growing up and watching my mother make sacrifices for our wellbeing.
She taught us the virtues of honesty, integrity, respect and hard
work. My mother worked in factories, she worked as a caregiver,
she worked as a child care worker, and she gave us the opportunities
that have blessed our lives ever since. Growing up in an inner city
neighbourhood I learned that whether one is a CEO or janitor or
teacher, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and fairness.
I hear about some of the words that have been used to describe our
family this week and I wish they could know the life story of my
I have learned about valuing people for who they are on the inside
not from where they come from or what they do. That is why these
allegations have gone against the grain of every value my mother
has raised my brother and I with. If any one knows of the vulnerabilities
faced by immigrant women it’s me. I’ve seen it. I’ve
lived it. I know it.
People have used the words power to describe those that are in
politics and the caregivers as the vulnerable. However for me politics
has never been about power but about helping those very women that
spoke today that are struggling to be heard, the voiceless, and
those that are powerless. It’s been about the hopes and dreams
of people. It is these values that have helped to shape my focuses
in parliament my thoughts and ideas.
As many of you know my journey has not been easy. While all of
us know that being in public life exposes us to people at many levels
it is only through events such as this that you experience the extent
of it. To have your home which is supposed to be your private sanctuary
described in detail in public is a violation of privacy that has
no words. To have your mother’s health records displayed and
your family’s home address flashed all over the world has
felt like an intrusion. I never thought the day would come in Canadian
politics when my quest to break down barriers for women, for young
people and immigrants would result in my own family becoming a victim.
I think all of us as Canadians must never forget that politicians
are people. People are human beings with feelings and emotions.
It is no small challenge to live in the public eye and to climb
the steep hill that still stands before women and especially young
women in politics. But it is a modest challenge compared to those
that confronted my mother. And it is her example – and only
her example – that I seek to live by.
While the allegations made against myself are false and unsubstantiated
I do believe there are specific reforms that must be made to ensure
that the live in care giver program protects both caregivers and
employers. I am committed to working with this committee as well
as organizations like the Canada Care Givers Association and other
advocacy groups to ensure these reforms are implemented. There must
be fairness for the workers. There must be fairness for employers.
There must be fairness for us all. After all, that is the Canadian
Anyone ever entering my family home always been treated with love,
care, compassion and respect. This is why the past week was difficult
but I am blessed to have so many constituents, friends, and Canadians
who have called me, emailed me and written to me. Please know your
words of support have encouraged and given my family and me strength
as we bring forward the truth and facts. As a Member of Parliament
and as a daughter, as a sister and as a Canadian, I thank this committee
for the opportunity to appear. I hope we have an opportunity to
work together to ensure there is fairness for care givers, and employers.