The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

May 14, 2009

Claims against Dhalla part of pattern: Lawyer



Dhalla lawyer hints scandal was politically motivated  A lawyer representing embattled Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla said allegations levelled at her and her family that they mistreated three Filipinos hired as domestic workers are false and suggested  they were made as a part of an organized campaign by Dhalla’s political opponents to discredit her. “Whoever has decided to target her has made a grievous error,” said lawyer Howard Levitt. “The allegations are absolute nonsense.”


Immigration Minister Jason Kenney,  insisted he’s remaining personally distant from the dispute, even as his aide was distributing anti-Dhalla documents at the committee hearing. Moreover, a story by The Canadian Press earlier this week suggested Kenney may have tainted any investigation into this case through his active politicking on the file.


Claims against Dhalla part of pattern: Lawyer One of the nannies accusing Ruby Dhalla of mistreatment made similar claims against the family that sponsored her to come to Canada, the embattled Liberal MP’s lawyer charged yesterday.  Howard Levitt made the allegation at his Bay St. office where he pulled out photos of the basement apartment where the nannies lived and hinted the “false and unsubstantiated allegations” were part of an effort by the nannies to get landed immigrant status.  Dhalla, the MP for Brampton-Springdale, has been under fire after two foreign caregivers employed by her family alleged they had their passports seized and were forced to work long hours and perform non-caregiver duties such as washing cars, shining shoes and cleaning clinics.  Two of the family’s former live-in caregivers, Magdalene Gordo and Richelyn Tongson, appeared before the Commons citizenship and immigration committee Tuesday, alleging mistreatment in the Dhalla home last year.  Levitt said the “he said, she said” story is changing now that he has been contacted by Gordo’s original Canadian employer.  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,” Levitt said.  “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.  SAW PATTERN  “I hope that my client’s name is not being used for the purpose of circumventing the process and providing permanent residency, that would be inappropriate and unfair to Ruby Dhalla.”  The original sponsor’s Mississauga lawyer, Shawn Philbert, said his client was an “average guy” who needed a nanny.  “My client was left with four young children, no caregiver, he’s gone through an extreme amount of expense to bring her here,” Philbert said.  When his client saw Gordo making similar allegations against Dhalla, he felt there was a pattern emerging.  Philbert said Gordo didn’t report any problems to the nanny agency in her weekly reports until the day before she left the home.  “Considering the lifestyle that she was living she had no reason to leave … He felt that she just used him to come to this country,” he said. “He can’t attest to whether the claims against Ruby are true or not but what he can say is they are very similar to what happened to him and in his situation he didn’t do that.”  During the press conference, Levitt showed photos of Dhalla’s basement nanny suite.  “The caregivers have described poor conditions. Let me show you the apartment they were provided,” Levitt said. He showed four photos of Dhalla’s furnished basement with mahogany furniture and a flat-screen TV. “Most Canadians would be delighted to have accommodation of this quality.  “Is that poor conditions? Does that look anything but eminently comfortable?”  Asked if the basement apartment he described as, “large, commodious, spacious, comfortable, well-furnished, even elegant,” was legal, Levitt replied, “I’m sure it is.” 


sadly these clearly false, selfish allegations will stereo type many of the other Nannies, will make other people hesitant to hire them, and will hurt other Nannies’ immigration attempts.. 

AND ” Why does Canada have a special, temporary immigrant program for nannies? If we truly lack qualified live-in caregivers, why not admit them through the normal immigration stream?”


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