Her side

The Ruby Dhalla press conference—an unequivocal denial

by Aaron Wherry

After a brief opening statement—and rather unequivocal denial—from Ms. Dhalla, her lawyer is putting on a rather dramatic show of paperwork, receipts, boarding passes and witness statements, making ominous and vague statements about an organized attack on his client.

More from GlobeCanwestCanadian Press, Toronto Star , CBC and CTV. Video here.

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Her side

  1. My favourite part was when he got in first one, and then a series of fights with a series of reporters over the substance of the very first question, refused to let his client speak, attacked the media – both in general, and specifically the “one outlet” that has been especially naughty, got into a debate with yet another reporter over whether he should let his client speak, and was finally beaten to the microphone *by* said client when she realized what a disaster it was turning out to be, whereupon he did his best to interrupt *her*, and eventually bid everyone a good day.

    Worst. Lawyer-dominated presser. Ever.

    • So pretty much the whole thing was your favourite part?

      Looks like her lawyer pulled a Hillary. Make her the victim. His performance sure would of made me want to cry…

    • I am sorry I missed it, your description makes it sound rather entertaining. Hopefully it will feature on tv news later today.

      I enjoy chivying the msm but I would never do it if I was a public figure because it’s a battle that can’t be won. Having a go at the msm, when you really need them on your side, is not a good strategy.

      • Or you need to make them look foolish, which requires Trudeau-père-esque cool.

        • I hesitate to defend the guy, but I think he was just trying to fire a howitzer across the bow in preparation for the Commons Committee if she actually has to go there. Saying to Tilson and all, you want a fight? we’re gonna fight. If this guy appears as her lawyer before the committee Kady should enjoy it.

          Another point. Everyone who lives in southern Ontario knows how snow contractors work on auto pilot. When the poor helpless nannies claimed they were forced to shovel snow they may have taken it a step too far. And cleaning the offices. It often happens when you’re on a role with a compliant press, you can just got so impressed with your own story you go over the line.

          This could be better than Schrieber/ Mulroney at Ethics.

          • I shovel my own snow in southern Ontario, so this didn’t strike me as odd. I wondered about shampooing all the rugs in a four bedroom house (the number of bedrooms was thrown in with this chore) every day, though.

            But I’d ask the woman who runs the agency, Akemi Taniguchi, some questions. Why would an employment agency tell the women to quit, when she actually sent them sequentially, one right after another? I didn’t think that made sense.

            Still, who knows. Even nonsensical accusers could be right.

          • You may shovel, but the point is, the Dhallas didn’t, they had a contractor. Ordering nannies out to shovel snow doesn’t on the surface make that much sense.

    • I’ve heard Levitt is a character.

      I didn’t watch the press conference though, I just read the transcript. And it would seem they presented some evidence they contend refutes some of the facts of the case as put forward by the nannies in the Star.

      So, besides the style points, any thoughts on the substance of the press conference?

    • I’ve avoided commenting on this story anywhere to this point, but now I simply have to know if this is the same guy who penned “How to pick a lawyer who can win your case,” last fall.

      Don’t know if you allow links to the competition on this blog but…

      http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=880442

      • Good find, Jim. It’s the same guy.

    • Ya, because by gosh the media shouldn’t be attacked. Well, they should. They’ve got her guilty already and only a one-sided investigation.

      You guys (you Kady) are usually okay, but not perfect and no immune to mistakes and attacks.

      Did you listen to some of the “stupid” questions? One reporter, I don’t know who, tried to ask that because she’s an MP shouldn’t she be responsible for her family? Duh. I’m sure as hell not responsible for my “grown up” siblings – stupid, stupid, stupid.

  2. Ordinarily I would chime in with my usual conbot rejoinders but somehow I just feel sorry for her now. Where did she get this lawyer I mean really the first rule is keep your mouth shut until you are on the witness stand -

  3. That’s a pretty unequivocal denial alright. Whoa nellie, this could get ugly, whichever way it goes.

  4. Ruby is done

  5. Luckily for these nannies they didn’t accuse a Conservative MP of this. If they had they’d already be accused of being anti-semitic terrorist supporters.

    • Very good point – could you imagine the venom that would be flying around. Even the mainstream media would be joining in whereas here it’s all tender touchy feely thank you very much let’s all not ruch to judgement now play nice! Where are all the pundits having a field day – instead they are sitting back only wishing it were a conservative think of the headlines.

    • LOL – So true!

  6. Tilson is the head of the Immigration Committee? I suppose he’s interested in this so he can review and overhaul the entire foreign worker program?

    • Sorry. Got my committees confused. The nannies are going to Immigration, that’s confirmed? Does Ruby have to appear?

  7. We’ll see if Don Martin is right. Can we trace this to Jason Kenney?

    • Good point. Maybe the lawyer everybody is trashing has something in his back pocket regarding orchestration of this. He certainly was trying to suggest he does, but may be bluffing.

    • It is my impression that Tor Star is the original source of these allegations. If that is accurate, it seems entirely unlikely that Kenney and Tor Star are in cahoots with one another.

      Someone here posted a link to Tor Star stories from a couple of months ago that looked at the problems faced by foreign nannies when they come to Canada. My guess is that Tor Star decided to shine a light on the abuses by going after a high profile person, and unfortunately for Ms Dhalla and her family, they are about to get the big fingered proctologist treatment.

      • The problem with a political conspiracy theory, I think, stems from the fact that an outside agency (Intercede) now claims to have called on behalf of one of the nannies demanding that her passport be returned to her (or Intercede would sick the police on the Dhallas). So this means the nanny in question didn’t just come out of thin air last week with her accusations. The alleged conspiracy then was very large and played out over the course of a year.

        http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hd1QZYYq3jbTAEUXwH9yasgCpvIA

        • My link disappeared. Visit my place of Canadian Press for link.

        • Seems like the lawyer presented evidence that refuted at least one of these claims…

        • Okay, now I’m confused. How does Intercede enter the conspiracy and what exactly does this have to do with the allegation that Tongson impersonated Dhalla with HRDC?

          As far as I understand, one side says Tongson quit when the impersonation was discovered and the other side says she quit when Intercede demanded her passport back and she retrieved it. Both sides seem to have “independent” people verifying their version – one with HRDC and the other with Intercede. Is Intercede part of the conspiracy according to one side?

          • Catherine,

            Intercede is a kind of Domestics Workers Rights group. They say Tongson approached them about Dhalla keeping her passport, and they called Dhalla and demanded it back.

            The whole HRDC thing… well, I don’t know. Its starting to get crazy now.

          • Maybe it’s the Green Shift issue being replayed in a different guise…consistency of tactics (or rather lack of creativity) is a hallmark…

          • Perhaps they have a tape. Hard documentation of both sides of the conversation must be mandatory if you are in the business of calling people up and threatening to report them to the police.

            Another strange witness. One of the reasons she remembered phoning Dhalla is because she was put on hold for a long time. I guess she doesn’t use the phone much if being put on hold is a memorable experience a year later. The other reason is because Dhalla was “so unpleasant”. Most people who are threatened with police action by a stranger calling them out of the blue are much more pleasant apparently.

            And what about HRDC – they should have hard documentation too, especially in cases where impersonation becomes an issue.

            These particular allegations should be verifiable.

      • leaving aside the great allusion to a finger as it were, I agree JWL. I don’t think anyone including those Liberals that are trying their best really means to cast aspersions on the nannies it’s just that they can’t help it. Their heads were full of ideas about wonderful polling numbers because of Iggy’s semi-leadership convention however such a dream has been cast aside for a dose odf reality and a dagger right through the heart of the LPC. I have no doubt the next Nanos poll will be seeing a bit of a dip as it were rather than the anticipated peak.

        • I don’t think this will hurt the Liberal party all that much. It may for the next poll but you’re forgetting how fast people forget. Take Tory Nina Grewal’s scandal (or that of her husband), take the RCMP raiding the Conservative party head office last year, or the Income Trust scandal….

          I also think it won’t affect the party because it really has nothing to do with the party itself but of the personal life of one MP’s family.

          • True. People know how to judge a real scandal. This was at most a crime, not a scandal.

      • A theory out of left field but not as ridiculous as you summise — what better way to launch this ‘story’ than through a non-friendly entity? Just as you say, how likely are they to take CON talking points or suggestions — but you are forgetting the competitive nature of the journalistic business. Also, all reporters and editors are not poured out of a single-source mind-think vat. Because the CONs have shown creativity before in trying to both sculpt a story and also freelance-release of info (see Goodale leak by con-friendly RCMP agents), you can not eliminate the fact that they may be looking for and finding willing people who will align themselves or take what they feel is real information.
        Dhalla, as we’ve heard, is not universally loved even in her own camp. If she’s guilty, the pile on that has already begun before any dissection of the evidence will be merciless. But if she’s not the guilty party made out to be from these accusations, the media attention has already wounded her. In that case, just like Goodale, Srgo and Jane Stewart, some mistakes may have been turned into damning evidence for political gold.

        • Wow, you are a true conspiracy theorist. Completely loony.

          • Coming from you baby that’s a compliment.
            And since you’ve already judged the whole event as a ‘crime’ we should surrender to the odor of your soiled diaper?
            Someone said the CONs would never team with the TorStar (or vice aversa) because of their bad chemistry. I responded that a union (or more likely an arms-length correlation) isn’t impossible but completely plausible in the world of journalism. Hey, wasn’t it your guy who even told a G-G once that he was willing and ready to work with the Bloc to take over in a minority parliament? Oh right, we’ve rewritten that piece of history. I guess it was another of those “this isn’t for publication” moments, right?

      • This has nothing to do with the Star. They’re a paper that reports stories. Newspapers are not supposed to be in cahoots with political parties, and the Star has shown that it isn’t.

        • And cahoots, I suggested, was only the most longest of shots. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t being played a little. C’mon, you CON-bots think the media’s got it out for your team — suddenly, despite various events that show Harper has the ethics of a ring worm, the media speak the truth and only the truth? I don’t doubt that it’s likely the truth they think they’ve got, but so far there’s been little investigation by a nonpartisan, balanced source to support either version.
          But I guess along with throwing 14 year olds in jail, public floggings are coming back. Kinda like prejudging foreign-looking Canadians who some American type said was a terrorist and was shipped off the Syria, right? Harper got that one right too…

        • Bingo. Anyone who speculates that the Toronto Star may somehow be in cahoots with the Tories is completely off their tree. The Dhallas brought this on themselves, through what is alleged to be extremely abusive and possibly criminal treatment of the Filipinas who may have been misleadingy employed as caregivers.

    • Some of them are not kidding. They’re just nuts.

  8. The good reporters have done the first step – listen and done some checking of the accusations. While the wheels of justice begin their slow, convoluted churning, said reporters now should be checking as to why the complaintants waited this long to come forward – and ask what their situations have been over that time. Did they find new employment? What is their next step – are they being temporarily supported by an agency or gov’t program? Does that group have a relationship with the gov’t?
    Of course, this is along with the inquiring on the Dhalla story – damp carpet accusations, snowblowing etc.

  9. So, perhaps this lawyer isn’t media savvy – big deal. Perhaps he got angry because the press wouldn’t let him finish what he was trying to say.

    • The rudeness of the reporters was shocking, especially when you consider they knew they were on live TV.

  10. I now see the lawyer said there was a statement from the man who removes the snow, boarding passes for Dhalla, allegations of one woman impersonating Dhalla, etc. All these things can and should be checked out. Even before this some of the women’s statements were difficult to swallow (washing walls, floors, rugs every day) but this new information makes things a lot more complex.

  11. Kinda like Stephen Harper’s accusations of tape doctoring in the Cadman affair?
    Core supporters always take a hard line. I guess they all hope that enough pressure will provoke a tipping point that will sway a majority of public opinion.

    • “Kinda like Stephen Harper’s accusations of tape doctoring in the Cadman affair?”

      No. The tape was hard evidence and Harper’s allegations were just words. Here it is Dhalla who has provided all the hard evidence. Perhaps the employment agency or Intercede will provide some hard evidence (a tape of one of the phone conversations?) but so far there is no hard evidence on the nannies’ side.

  12. In the end – none of us, the press, or anyone else knows the truth until it all comes out.

    If the media want to investigate, it might be considered a decent investigation if the looked at both sides of it and not just headline stuff.

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