Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Curious Case of Ruby Dhalla

I know a bit about nannies. I employed three of them while my kids were very young. Two were Phillipinos. All three were really quite nice and were treated very well. The nanny suite comprised a separate entry, a large bedroom, a sittingroom with stereo and TV and a private bathroom.

I got to meet quite a few Phillipino nannies. It turned out most of them didn't have the sort of suite we provided so they tended to congregate at our place on weekends to socialize. From time to time one of our nannies' friends would have a minor legal problem that I would attend to, giving me a broader insight into their lives.

Most of the Phillipino nannies I met came to Canada indirectly after serving a stint in Singapore or Hong Kong. From their stories it was pretty clear that Canadian employment conditions were a definite cut above what they'd experienced previously. That said there were enough problems for them here in Canada.

What I find particularly curious about Ms. Dhall's situation is that three Phillipino nannies would come forward with allegations against her. Those I've known were very sensitive about authority. Power and authority made them deeply apprehensive. Ms. Dahl is powerful. She has money. They know that. They also know she has some political standing. Remember that Canada is, for them, a foreign country, an unfamiliar place where most hope for nothing more than landed immigrant status. They understand there are many ways to jeopardize that chance and that making waves is one of them.

Nannies are not the sort inclined to make waves, just the opposite. Then what could they possibly hope to gain from exposing themselves in this way? They're not going to get any money out of it. There must be something sufficiently valuable and certain to make them come forward, especially to make all three come forward at the same time.

Jason Kenney says he's not behind this but his assurances are hardly convincing. I think someone is behind this and, as I mentioned, immigration is almost certainly a priority for these women.

These nannies are taking a huge risk. If their complaints are contrived, any skilled trial lawyer should be able to expose them without breaking a sweat. The best liars are the professionals and anyone who's had much experience taking the best down would have a field day with rank amateurs like these three.

There's too much at stake here to leave this to Ms. Dhalla. Michael Ignatieff should, on behalf of the LPC, be hiring his own top guns on this one. If what these women are saying is true and the Tories aren't behind this, that will be apparent soon enough and Ms. Dhalla should go before she can do further harm to the party. However, if this is a set up, that will also be apparent soon enough and then the question will be who lies behind it all? If these women are not telling the truth, there is definitely someone driving this.


Anonymous said...

“Ruby Dhalla strikes back at allegations”
Wow! It must be nice to know what you are charged with when you have to defend yourself. The allegation suggests that the complaint against her occurred within a specific period of time. She even knows what the allegations are when she has to defend herself.
In the Ontario College of Teachers discipline hearing which has destroyed the lives of citizens, an organization sanctioned by the liberal government including the Minister of Education and supported by teachers Union, doesn’t even have to provide any specifics of any allegation. A teacher can be accused of unethical conduct without even knowing what they supposedly did. The so-called offence could have even occurred over a period of years. At least Dhalla can have some fighting chance to defend herself. A teacher in the province can be accused of unprofessional conduct and not even know what the charged is. The Liberals are being absolutely two faced about this and even speaking out the side of their mouth… Shame on all of them
For more details…
Canadians for Accountability:
Religious Position:
CTV Report of Sex Offenders:

Anonymous said...

But wait...Ruby is not involved so says her lawyer. Apparently this is NOT about Ruby. It's about her brother and her mother. And of course I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.If Dhalla's lawyers come on too strong, she's sunk and judging from the press conference he is definitely going to come on too strong. She's sunk, even though it's not about HER.
The exploitation of all involved is too salacious for words. Meantime McGuinty is teflon.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 9:17, what a curious position. You're saying that because someone (presumably you) has been treated even worse than Ms. Dhalla, she ought to be held in contempt.

And Anon 10:08, don't be so simple.

Anonymous said...

Jason Kenney says he's not behind this but his assurances are hardly convincing.Almost as bad as Ruby's assurances, I'd say...

But I'm sure that those "top guns" that you want hired will able to spin this in the Liberals favour...

Now, the agency that called on behalf of one of those nannies.. well that's another story...

And of course, there was the "presser" that Ms Dhalla had with her lawyer - quite the curious affair - attacking the press, not answering questions all in the hopes of clearing your name...

LeDaro said...

Mound, I think you have a good point here. What a blind man wants? Eyesight. I think immigration for these nannies is lifetime achievement and they may be willing to do anything for it. No disparaging of nannies from Philippine but difficulty to get immigration and desperate challenge requires desperate action. That is my take on it.

The Mound of Sound said...

CWTF, this isn't about 'spinning' anything. It's about getting to the bottom of a situation that smells of political manipulation. I gave clear reasons why I don't believe Phillipino nannies would come forward, together, with these sort of allegations on their own. If these women - and Dhalla - are being gamed then we need to find out who lies behind this.

I just don't see these women sticking their necks out unless they stood to gain something worth the risks.

Constant Vigilance said...

Well said. It coalesces a lot of the thoughts I had swirling around about this mess. The whole thing smells like something Rove and The Republicans cooked up down south.

If the Liberals are able to expose the Conservatives as having cooked this up as a smear it might discourage them from doing this again.

cls said...

It's the lynch mob mentality about the so-called nannygate that bothers me the most. The assumption seems to be that because nanny/caregivers are treated badly by some employers therefore it follows automatically that anytime a nanny/caregiver makes a claim it must be true. Ironically, for all the concern about power imbalances one gets created the moment anything Dhalla does or says is discounted just because she's a 'powerful' person.
Having seen lynch mob mentality in action has made me a true defender of the tenet of 'innocent until proven guilty'. Patience and careful thought seems to be trampled these days by news cycles.

The Mound of Sound said...

This case is literally steeped in assumptions - from both sides. As I've said before, Ms. Dhalla is doing herself no favours by seeking to defend herself in the media. If the accusations are indeed groundless there is a much better forum for her to use. If, however, the accusations are true, the LPC would be well off without her.

penlan said...

"Jason Kenney says he's not behind this but his assurances are hardly convincing. I think someone is behind this and, as I mentioned, immigration is almost certainly a priority for these women."

Also interesting is that Kenney's office came out with a statement on this within minutes of the allegations being made public. Some other Con did too. Can't remember who. There is no way they did not have prior knowledge.

With Kenney being Immigration Minister & the fear that nannies, from other countries in general, have of not getting immigration status this looks somewhat suspicious. He could have guaranteed them status if they came forward with these allegations - true or not. Just a thought.

IF the allegations do end up being proven in Court, not crucifixation via media, then Dhalla should resign her position as MP & of course pay all penalties as set down by the Courts.

I'm not defending Ruby Dhalla. It's all allegations at this point & apparently there have still been no legal filings as of this time. I just dislike automatic presumptions of guilt by those on a Liberal bashing meme.

Anonymous said...

You are probably right that the truth will come out soon enough.

But its isn't just the nannies accusing Dhalla. There is the NGO [Intercede?] director who phoned Dhalla on their behalf a year ago.

So if the Conservatives are behind this, they had to have set it up before that. And then they sat on it instead of using it in Brampton during the election- in a seat they want badly?

That plus the improbability that all three of these women's stories would hold up for all this time- on promises they are getting a payoff... that they all beleive, and are knowledgable enough about how this all works that they never deviate from the script????

Its more than improbable.

I wouldn't for a minute put it past the Cons and Kenney to have stepped in to keep this alive. But even that would have serious and obvious political dangers. These people aren't stupid... and what's the likelihood that if they did their involvement never comes out in testimony?

Still- they would ceratinly consider it, and they might be reckless enough to do it.

But that they concocted the whole thing a year ago and sat on it just defies the odds [let alone the even greater likelihood of such a total fabrication coming out and the attendent backfire damage]... so if the Conservatives are involved directly with the nannies, Dhalla had to have given them the material.

Anonymous said...

As I've said before, Ms. Dhalla is doing herself no favours by seeking to defend herself in the media. If the accusations are indeed groundless there is a much better forum for her to use. You are right as far as you go.

And actually her defense if the accusations are groundless would be easy even in the media. Remember her lawyer waving around what he said were the "we have proof" documents.

It is her public reputation at stake. This isn't a court of law, so there is no reason to hold back the supposed proof for later.

All she had to do is provide the proof, and the story ends. In fact, it would boomerang on the perpetrators.

That is not what Dhalla did. What she IS doing is the only strategy available for a cover-up.

We don't know that it is a cover-up yet. But so far what we do know is consistent with it being a cover-up. And there isn't a shred of evidence consistent with her claims that there is NO basis to the accusations.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well, anon, I certainly hope we get to the bottom of this one way or the other. If the accusations are valid Ms. Dhalla's political career is certainly washed up.

Oemissions said...

2 commentors at the National Post, are surprised hoe wuickly the ministry has responded. Usually it takes a couple of years for due process.
As for what do the nannies get: possibly alot.

Oemissions said...

As one commentor said: when was the last time any of us got to meet with a cabinet minister?
2 nannies get right in there.Or did he visit them?

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes OEM, that does sound as though Kenney is exploiting this situation and his office for partisan political advantage but that, as they say, is how he rolls.

Anonymous said...

I have not heard or read anything about the outcome of this inquiry or case.
Has the matter resolved? What was/is the outcome?
Did the lawyers bring a motion for no media coverage? Can they do that when such public figure is involved?

The Mound of Sound said...

I have no idea Anon. This suggests to me that the whole thing was driven by the Tories and simply died on the vine when they lost interest. Call it a "drive by sliming."