Like others, I noticed George Young's query as to why no one on Liblogs seems to be posting on the Dhalla allegations.
To be honest, I've watched it unfold a bit today to try to understand it more clearly.
Let me say at the outset, that if indeed any of this proves to be true and is about her, not her brother or mother, then indeed whatever legal action is appropriate should take place. That said, since this broke, I've had an uneasy feeling about it.
This is not the first time that Dhalla has been attacked. There is a pretty powerful group opposing her, not the least of which is the Conservative candidate Parm Gill who has the support of Jason Kenney. That makes me uneasy.
Yesterday in QP, there was a tag team of sorts that began with Olivia Chow lobbing the most obvious accusations to Kenney for reply, which was followed by a similar attack line of questioning by Conservative Calandra, again lobbed to Kenney who could barely contain his glee at having yet another opportunity to push the point. That made me uneasy.
Today, well the Conservatives were practically salivating at the chance to raise the issue. Kelly Block (Con) got the ball rolling,
Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, the ontario minister of labor heard about the member springdale household paying living caregivers less than the minimum wage. Confiscating their passports, and forcing them to perform humiliating tasks not in their employment contract. These are serious accusationS. The ontario minister of labor has admitted that he's been sitting on the aless for two weeks, essentially protecting his federal liberal cousins. Will the minister of state tell the house what options are available to these female caregivers and others facing abuse?
Kenney: Mr. Speaker, the same labor standards protect all workers in canada, whether they are foreign-born caregivers or not. If the caregivers were paid less than the ontario minimum wage and provincial labor laws were violated, I do hope that the ontario labor minister applies provincial labor laws consistently and doesn't give the federal liberals any special treatment. For far too long, mr. Speaker, women in particular, our immigrant women, have been victims. They have been afraid to fight back, and our message to them is simple: They do have rights. It does not matter who they are up against, even if it's a member of parliament, the government will protect them.
(per closed captioning)
Lois Brown (Con.) , then got into the act using the opportunity to paint the entire Liberal party with a rather bizarre, but predictable broad brush. Kenney responded as expected.
While none of that surprises me, it has quickly become partisan and nasty before any of the allegations have been substantiated. Note the highlighting of women and immigrant women by Kenney. Didn't a recent poll mention that those were two areas that the Libs were faring well? Thus my lack of surprise at the tack being taken.
The last aspect that makes me uncomfortable about all of this is my memory of how the PM, no less, went after Navdeep Bains based on allegations about his family.
The question I suppose is would I have jumped on this had it been a Conservative MP? Maybe, but generally I like to know more about an issue before blindly wandering in. In fact, it seems to me that there was an issue concerning a Conservative MP recently that I stayed away from for precisely that reason.
I guess George is also asking whether or not we treat one of our own with more deference? Probably, but I'm not sure that is unnatural. However, that doesn't automatically translate to not taking the allegations seriously and expecting that it will be dealt with in a full and transparent manner. Nor does it mean that I would jump to her defense at all costs.
I guess it's wait and see at this point.
More at Impolitical and Far and Wide.