Troubled Sikh woman MP in Canada quits top job

May 6th, 2009 - 11:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 6 (IANS) High-profile Indian-origin MP Ruby Dhalla, who faces charges of mistreatment of her two nannies, Wednesday resigned as critic for youth and multiculturalism for the opposition Liberal Party.
In Canada, ‘critics’ constitute the shadow cabinet for the opposition party.

A former beauty queen, 35-year-old Dhalla represents the Indian-dominated constituency of Brampton-Sprindale on the outskirts of Toronto. Her two nannies - Magdalene Gordo, 31, and Richelyn Tongson, 37 - have publicly alleged that they were mistreated while working as live-in caregivers for Dhalla and her family.

In a statement, the Sikh MP said: “This morning I called the leader (Michael Ignatieff) to personally tender my resignation as multiculturalism and youth critic in order to focus my attention on clearing my name.

“I will work with the appropriate officials to ensure the facts of the matter are clarified and corrected regarding my family’s experience with live-in caregivers and will work vigorously to defend my reputation. I am honoured to represent the people of Brampton-Springdale and I will continue to do so. My constituents remain my first priority.”

Accepting her resignation, party leader Michael Ignatieff said, “This morning I accepted Ruby Dhalla’s resignation as youth and multiculturalism critic. Ms. Dhalla will continue to serve as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Brampton-Springdale. I look forward to a determination of the facts regarding her family’s experience with live-in caregivers.”

A three-time MP, Dhalla became the first Sikh woman parliamentarian in Canada in 2004.

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