10 things about glamorous Indian origin Canadian MP

May 17th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Ottawa, May 17 (ANI): Canada’s first Sikh woman elected to the House of Commons, Ruby Dhalla, resigned this week after being alleged for mistreating women she had employed to care for her 62-year-old mother, Tavinder.

This week, the Commons committee heard caregivers’ accounts and Dhalla’s defense, The Globe and Mail reports.

Despite saying that support from her caucus leadership has been important, party leader Michael Ignatieff accepted her resignation as youth and multiculturalism critic. Now Dhalla is not sure on whether she will get her job back.

Here are 10 things about Ruby Dhalla, which come straight out of horse’s mouth:

1. What inspired her to run for public office: Dhalla says at 10, she was struck by the violence in India and wrote to Indira Gandhi. The late Indian prime minister invited her family to visit. “At that point I realized that I have a desire to make that difference. That’s how I got involved in politics.”

2. What it’s like to be in politics: “When you’re young, you’re female, you’re from an ethnic community and you’re single, you know, those are all traits or qualities … [that] are not inviting for the type of political environment that we have.”

3. What her own journey has been like: “We’ve been through a lot in life. Even to buy a hamburger at that time for 79 cents or a dollar, you know, was a big deal.”

4. On her father: He came to Winnipeg from India in 1972. He left the family when she was 10 years old, and has since died. “It’s a long story.”

5. And from her mother: “My mom was educated at the time in India when a lot of girls didn’t have that opportunity. Here, she worked two jobs to pay the bills and make ends meet and look after us at the same time.”

6. Why she is perceived to be a real diva: “We live in a society where people just look at an image and they pass a judgment. People don’t know that on a Friday night, I’m at home sitting in my pyjamas with my brother. We always sit and chat about the week.”

7. How she copes with the Ottawa conundrum: If you’re young and single and seen having dinner with a male colleague, it is assumed that you are having an affair. Consequently, she says, she stays in her office and works, only to be accused of being “anti-social” or a “bitch.”

8. What she thinks of her current ordeal: “It’s been very difficult. The women who came out with the allegations, the caregivers, those are the very women that I’ve been trying to help my whole life.”

9. How she stays positive: “I always believe first of all that God never gives you anything you can’t handle. As my Mom says, ‘It’s not what happens to you. It’s how you handle it.’ And you grow as an individual.”

10. What ex-prime minister Paul Martin advised when he recruited her for the Liberals:Grow a “thick skin.” (ANI)

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