Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I'll Bite George

George Young laments the lack of posts on Liberal blogs, concerning Ruby Dhalla:
Having said all this, most of the troubling thought I face this morning goes beyond the substance of this sad story. Liberal bloggers on Liblogs or Libs online managed to avoid comment on the Dhalla problems yesterday, just like me. Are we justified to do so? Obviously, if the shoe was on the other political foot, there would have been considerable comment. Will we tackle Liberal problems when they arise, or will we be as blindly partisan as our Tory adversaries? I like to think there is a balance that can be found that will set us apart from the opposition. Time for some introspection.

To be honest, I'm just starting to get my head around what all these accusations might mean, so don't confuse a lack of opinion with convenient partisan silence. In addition, it's pretty hard to say anything definitive when you don't have all, or even most of the facts. There is no video tape, which allows for basic common sense translation, let's call it the "type A" evidence. There is no audio tape, that implicates, the "this isn't for publication" category. There is no paper trail or raids, legal action and what not, that paints a clear attempt to usurp our democratic rules. In other words, to call for "introspection" at such an early stage seems an irrational request.

I think Ruby did the right thing in resigning, or more correctly, Ignatieff did the right thing in forcing her to resign, while this issue is sorted out. Kicking Dhalla out of caucus seems a bit premature at this stage, so the response is consistent with the revelation.

However, without reaching any conclusions, I am struck by the fact that we have two seperate accusations of possible illegal activity. One person, much easier to be quite cautious, but two women coming forward, essentially singing the same tune, it's a bad sign that something is truly amiss here. This is a serious matter, that deserves serious attention.

But, what else can you say? Sure, you can go off half cocked, making wild accusations. Or, you can do what we've seen to date, which means Dhalla must resign her critic role and the Liberal Party must monitor events closely. Ruby may well be DONE, if what's swirling around is true, there's no way out and she'll face legal action. I'd say the level of "introspection" is exactly where it should be, at this point, and if the truth crystalizes, no Liberal will excuse this type of treatment or behavior.


JimmE said...

LIke you've said - perhaps there is something to the charges, perhaps not, it's not the first time - nor will it be the last that employees & employers have disputes that are settled by a court. She did the right thing, & if guilty she should resign.
But I just gatta know - since when do we convict folks based on stuff on the interweb? (
Cheri DiNovo? are you serious? Really? Pity Ms DiNovo's standards were not employed in some of her past employees / employers disputes as she might have landed herself in the hoosegow.

Anonymous said...

What if Dhalla's being set up? What if it was her brother/mother only?

It's only been a few hours. Ignatieff trying to find out the details prior to any rash decision is the right thing to do.

Remember - Harper never, ever made anyone step down (Bernier lost his cabinet seat only).

Shouldn't details unfold before jumping to any conclusions?

It just seems/smells fishy to me.

Steve V said...

The funniest thing I saw today, was a Con MP (can't recall the name, probably because he's a NOBODY) rise in Parliament and state this is an indictment of all Liberals, the elitist culture. Gawd, talk about saying more about the messenger.

Jen said...

First of all Ruby Dhalla has resigned her crtics portfolio; she is still a memeber of Parliament and it is up to her constituent.If the voters of Brampton Springdale decide Ms Dhalla did something seriously wrong, they will vote her out of office. Just like Maxine Bernier, he lost his cabinet post; but his electorate returned him to Parliament where he now sits as a back bencher.

We still live in a free and democratic society where the voter counts

Robert McClelland said...

Don't you find it suspicious that these accusations surfaced the day before the standing committee on citizenship and immigration tabled its report on temporary foreign workers?

Steve V said...

That is odd for sure.

Möbius said...

Innocent until proven guilty.

Stepping down for the time being is fine, but if something is apparently illegal, call the police and let them deal with it.

Unfortunately, this is politics, and the usual rules do not apply.

Anonymous said...

"Don't you find it suspicious that these accusations surfaced the day before the standing committee on citizenship and immigration tabled its report on temporary foreign workers?"

How about The Star publishing it after the Ignatieff coronation, knowing full well they were working on it in the run-up to Vancouver?

Still The Star had done some excellent reporting on this issue and there was even report of involvement among advocacy groups.

Even if no charges will be laid, the optics are bad for Dhalla's career. A rising star who seems to be more concerned with her own self-aggrandisement. One who also had a reputation for being quite arrogant and aloof.

cls said...

It wouldn't surprise me if these accusations are part of a rather convenient set up to attack the Liberal party rather than Ignatieff. After all, hasn't there been a great deal of talk concerning when, on the one hand, the Tories would launch their attacks; but on the other hand, suspicion that such attacks would be poorly received by the public. So what better thing to do than to attack the party and to do so about a matter that concerns thre treatment of employees. And if they do so using Dhalla then might they also undercut women's support for the Liberals? It seems really fishy that this comes out just as the party is supposed to get a post convention support bounce. If nothing else it's just too convenient.

Anonymous said...

note, tho', that the two nannies knew each other -- they overlapped on one day of work, & were referred by the same placement / referral agent, whom I suspect may have been deceiving the family &/or the nannies & now the press about who had or could get the right paperwork / work visas / Labour Market Opinions, & who said what. I.e., they may be in cahoots.

Aurelia said...

Steve, dude!


Anyway, am finding it fascinating that the anons on all of these blogposts are really smart at answering and analyzing this stuff. They actually sound like people who have hired nannies!

I've looked at all the documents, and frankly, so what if her brother did something? My brother is a bonehead. God forbid they hold me responsible for his asinine exploits.

And the bit about starting early before the permit is issued? So what? The alternative is that the nanny is homeless and starving for 2-3 months while the department drags it's feet processing the claim.

Yes, it's under the table. So is half the economy. Did you ever give a waiter a tip? Hire a babysitter without paying taxes? Then you too are a lawbreaker.

To get my nanny's permit, I had to take her and her passport and make multiple copies, then take the original passport down to immigration to get the permit. I get why it happened.

Frank Frink said...

Mushroom, re: The Star's reporting on this. Brazao's been covering immigration issues for well over 30 years. he knows the territory and the beat.

On the main story. I'm playing let's wait and see. Evidence of Dhalla's direct involvement seems a bit sketchy at the moment.

Dame said...

Oh dear... what a blackhole..

Ok was it a Nanny position /or Caregiver/ privately hired and paid or through agency ... was it a "live in "position with providing room and meals?/was there any written form /contract / for the duties and responsibilites//this is all very different how the actual work falls Into place so is the actual pay. HRLY wage or day based /24 hrs duties continuously for five days per week./
I was working for 18 years in these positions and the work meant I had to do all ensuring maintaining the client comfortable living since I was the only one around so besides personal care and companionship Housework laundry cleaning was natural part of the routine. Once in a while even snowshoweling dammit....

This story is a cooked up garbage at this point.

I do not deny there could be abusive attitude but so far there is No evidence of that.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments and it does look like a great gift for the Conservatives with impeccable timing, but there are significant disparities in what they were paid and what the brother said they would be paid according to the application to the government program - even accounting for his estimates of room and board - and that is according to hard evidence provided by the family's lawyer. The allegations could be true, false or something inbetween (exaggerated).

The so-called investigative reporting is disappointing. The Star publishes the allegations about Ruby Dhalla taking the passport against the woman's wishes but never asks the woman to reconcile this with the hard documentation of a letter signed by the woman saying she had given her passport to the brother (not Ruby) for immigration purposes and could have it back anytime she wanted. Why not just follow up with a few pertinent questions if you are going to call this a Toronto Star exclusive investigation? Or did they get the answers but are not publishing these?

More questions than answers at this point, although that doesn't stop some people from making up their minds.

jarrid said...

Good common sense comment Steve. A third person has now come forward. We'll see how all this shakes down.

Möbius said...

Did you ever give a waiter a tip? Then you too are a lawbreaker.That's a load of crap. If they don't declare their tips, then they're lawbreakers, not you.

JimmE said...

This is interesting Don Martin?