An alliance of organisations of caregivers in Canada on Tuesday demanded an investigation against Indian-origin MP Ruby Dhalla for her alleged mistreatment of two nannies at her family home.
The two live-in nannies - Magdalene Gordo and Richelyn Tongson - have publicly alleged that they were mistreated by Dhalla and her family. They have also alleged that they were forced to work up to 16 hours a day, their passports were taken away and they were made to do non-nanny jobs like washing cars, cleaning shoes and family-owned chiropractic clinic.
A former Miss India-Canada runner-up, 35-year-old Dhalla is a trained chiropractic practitioner.
However, the three-time MP from the Indian-dominated constituency of Brampton-Springdale on the outskirts of Toronto has denied any mistreatment of the nannies.
Taking up the case of the two nannies on Tuesday, Migrante, the caregivers' alliance, said the shocking report " belies Dr. Dhalla's claims to champion causes important to families and to raise awareness among women of ethnic communities.''
The MP's actions violated "labour standards as well as the Immigration Act,'' the caretakers' body said.
Calling upon the attorney general of Ontario province to initiate action against Dhalla for her treatment of the nannies, Migrante said, "These actions of an elected representative who allegedly abused her position of power and status must be put into question'' and investigated thoroughly.
"The two nannies have told us also that they were mistreated at Ruby Dhalla's home. It is very disturbing that an MP has mistreated her caregivers. We want the government order a thorough investigation...if Dhalla is found guilty she must be punished,'' Migrante co-ordinator Marco Luciano told IANS.
He said, "It is in Dhalla's own interest to come clean on this matter.
We are willing to sit with her and discuss the matter.''
Of the more than 10,000 nannies admitted into Canada each year, more than 90 percent come from the Philippines.
Two months ago, Dhalla was embroiled in another unsavoury controversy when she tried to stop distribution of DVDs of a locally produced Bollywood film 'Kyon Kis Liye'' in which she is shown in some steamy scenes with the film's producer and co-star Charanjit Sihra.
Dhalla denied that she ever did those scenes and alleged that her face was superimposed on them.
Considered a rising political star by the Canadian media, Dhalla has been rated as the world's "third hottest'' woman politician by Maxim magazine.