Great moments in discretion (II)


The last question of QP yesterday, posed by Conservative backbencher Paul Calandra.

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal MP for Brampton—Springdale is in hot water for hiring two live-in caregivers and then refusing to sponsor their immigration applications, essentially keeping them in a position of involuntary servitude. The abuses the Toronto Star documents include improperly seizing their passports, requiring evening foot massages for the member’s relatives, cleaning the chiropractic offices of family members. Could the minister tell me what more the government can do to protect live-in caregivers from these kinds of tragic abuses?


Great moments in discretion (II)

  1. I don’t understand your link to the Discretion (I) regarding Bernier’s ‘indescretions’.

    This is rather more serious, if the accusations against Ruby Dhalla are shown to be true. I can’t comment on what sort of work her family required the caregivers to perform, she or the family had no authority to confiscate the workers passports (as above, if this is shown to be true). I just can’t see how such actions could be construed as anything other than coercive. This sort of abusive element was not raised in the Bernier narrative.

    • Seriously, AT? You see no link to what the Conservatives said when one of their members was questioned about personal issues? Read the questions again.

      Peter Van Loan. “Mr. Speaker, I am sure you would agree that if the House of Commons lowered itself to spending its days inquiring into the private lives of the members, our country would be a much sadder place.”

      Peter Van Loan. “Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that these are politically motivated, personal attacks on someone’s private life, which have no place in the House of Commons.”

      Peter Van Loan. “I should confess that I am not surprised that the Liberal Party continues to engage in deep personal attacks that are not matters of government business. If anybody’s judgment as to their personal partners is something that people disagree with, I do not think that is a matter of government business.”

      Peter Van Loan. “Mr. Speaker, this is a question that should not be answered here. It should not be asked here. It should not be asked now. It should not be dealt with ever in this kind of forum.”

    • Nope, Bernier’s offenses only put Canadian security at risk. That’s a far less serious matter than the way nannies may or may not have been treated.

      • What a joke. Canadian security was never at risk because of Bernier. The Bernier affair is much less serious than the allegations against Dhalla, if true.

  2. Is this whole story about Ruby real – wow I thought it was games as usual but some of this stuff is quite beyond the pale.

    • Which is why, Wayne, before a sitting MP is totally destroyed with a mere allegation, that we should all be more careful.

      IF PROVEN IN COURT, she will be (deservedly) toast. We are so not there yet.

      The phraseology of Calandra’s question crossed the line in my opinion. The Star reports the allegations — it is wrong to then take them as fact just because the Star said so. I have no doubt Calandra would avoid using that language outside the House, and I have never been a fan of using Parliamentary privilege for protecting partisan & insulting cheap shots. Which this was.

    • And so, Mr. Wherry, would you not agree that it would only be fair to also share the Minister’s reply:

      Again, Mr. Speaker, we have launched consultations with live-in caregivers and those interested in this issue to seek ways that we can better enforce regulations to protect the rights of caregivers. I encourage provincial ministers of labour to do likewise, to follow the excellent lead of the Government of Manitoba in this respect.
      Let us be clear. These are often vulnerable workers. They are filling an important labour market need. The program does provide a very important pathway to permanent residency for live-in caregivers, but none of us should tolerate the abuse of their basic rights. I call on the provinces— [interrupted by Speaker, presumably for time limit]

      A discussion of the issue generally, avoiding anything to do with the specific allegation. A fair answer to an unfair question. Although since they’re on the same team, it is fair to point out that Kenney should have availed himself of the opportunity beforehand to get Calandra to smarten up with his question.

    • guilty until proven innocent reigns supreme.

  3. I wonder how many people willingly accept full culpability for the actions/behaviour of their relatives…

    Kudos to Dhalla for stepping aside until this clears…shows a level of responsibility and maturity that is sorely lacking in Parliament…

    • Oh my, this comment is hilarious. It was in her home, but I’m sure she had nothing to do with it. She probably was not even aware they were there. And when she flew home to return their passports, that was just because a family member must have mistakenly added them to her briefcase.

      • I see…and I guess you have the inside scoop?

      • I love how conservatives whine day and night about the incompetency and agenda driven “Media” but the milisecond “The Media” come up with a largely unsubstantiated story about a non-conservative… brilliant trustworthy journalism, every word.

  4. Oh some many are judge and jury here aren’t they? She may be and may not be guilty of anything.

    I think Ignatieff has done the right thing – he’s not defending her (like Harper defends all his people) and he’s not attacking her either. He’s wanting the details before coming to any conclusion – that’s the right thing to do.

    Bernier was a security risk – he was just lucky.

  5. Liberals who frequent this site are very very partisan, Ruby’s former staff aren’t even defending her, they say they’re not surprised by the allegations. These allegations are just plain awful.

    • I had not read that. Where is your source for these statements?

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