Canadian parliamentary body clears Indian-Canadian MP Dhalla of maid exploitation charges

June 17th, 2009 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Toronto, June 17 (ANI): Thirty-five-year-old Indian Canadian member of parliament Ruby Dhalla has been cleared of charges of exploiting two former Filipino maids at her home in 2008. A parliamantary committee, however, asked “authorised bodies” to probe the allegations.

The Filipino nannies had charged Dhalla for overworking and underpaying them. They also said their documents were taken away and that they were forced to do jobs like cleaning shoes and washing cars.

The parliamentary committee cleared Dhalla personally, but simultaneously recommended that “authorised bodies probe the allegations of the ex-maids and take appropriate remedia action.

Dhalla and her supporters had all along described maids charges as a “political conspiracy” initiated from the top. They claimed that it was a smear campaign aimed at unseating her politically.

Dhalla said she could not understand how “the caregivers came forward with false, unsubstantiated and baseless allegations almost 15 months after their employment”.

Being struggling immigrants themselves once, she said her family could not even think of exploiting anyone.

Dhalla said that last month she was so devastated by the whole episode that she wondered whether her career in politics was is over.

The allegations by the two nannies — Magdalene Gordo (31) and Richelyn Tongson (37) — tainted the reputation of Dhalla’s Liberal Party so much that she had to quit her post as the Liberals’ youth and multiculturalism critic.

Dhalla was one of the party’s high-profile MPs, travelling widely to speak at public events, and briefly flirting with a run for the leadership.

The MP for the Brampton-Springdale area has been described in the past as glamorous, energetic and career-oriented. Fellow caucus members also view her as a “high maintenance” self-promoter, unwilling to engage in parliamentary drudgery, and is very demanding with her staff. (ANI)

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