Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Living in the UAE for a year now, I realise I have come to view my home and native land in an impossibly rosy light. I catch myself saying "back home" a lot, and pondering good old days when people didn't pervert the word "inshallah" to mean "never going to happen"; a girl could kiss her guy on a street corner without fear of being arrested and foreign workers weren't blatantly exploited with no fear of reprisal. Right. Turns out the Toronto Star, one of those rare papers that still funds major investigative journalism, has revealed otherwise. After interviewing two dozen foreign workers, reporters Ron Cribb and Dale Brazao found that dreams of working abroad instead lead to fraud, mistreatment and misrepresentation - if not no job at all.

The pieces have even swept up the federal Multiculturism and Youth critic, Brampton MP – and Liberal darling – Ruby Dhalla, who is accused by two women employed by her family to care for her aging mother of an assortment of mistreatment, including withholding their passports.

I sniff an NNA for this one:

A Toronto Star investigation has found that the popular federal Live-In Caregiver Program has become a nanny trap. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of foreign caregivers have paid $5,000 or more to come to Canada to care for children or the elderly during the last decade – jobs that too often turn out to be fake. Once here, their federal contracts are void. Faced with what is for them a crushing debt, some are forced to work illegally at part-time, sometimes menial jobs; others are deported.

Federal authorities are turning a blind eye to this exploitation.

Documents obtained by the Star show Canada Border Services Agency officials believe there is "ongoing fraud and misrepresentation" within the program, but the immigration and human resources departments are not taking action.

The Star presented its investigative findings to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney who said his department is aware there is abuse in the program.

"We have this whole industry, most of which is unlicensed and unregulated, and large numbers of unscrupulous operations in Canada and throughout the world who exploit people's dreams and hopes to come to Canada," he said.


Anonymous said…
The difference between the Star and your newspaper is that the Canadian press doesn't self-censor. Yours does. Instead of documenting the case of Sheikh Issa and the Abu Dhabi police torturing—on video— an Afghan grain dealer a year ago, when the the alleged abuse first came to light, The National chose to consciously ignore the incident until it became a geopolitical incident. And when the National did finally run one (1), small article about the torture it got buried and referred to as alleged abuse (I saw the video, there was nothing alleged about it—it was clearly torture of a defenseless man by a powerful ruler with the aid of the AD police in uniform).

Johann Hari points out, quite astutely, the utterly non-germane argument of "whataboutism." A Lame Argument Ann, pointing out that human rights abuses occur in Canada, and the USA, and the UK, and in Sierra Leone, et al. doesn't mitigate the disservice the press does when it abandons its obligation to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

If you aren't standing up for the little guy then you're just an entertainer.
rosh said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosh said…
Nicely said Anon.

Ruby Dhalla is another example of an opportunists, self centered, cold hearted woman, who shall ill treat the less fortunate. It's most unfortunate dirt such as she, have come into power disguised as Canadians, completely unrepresentative of the Canadian ways of life. I hope, they hold her accountable and sent her & family back to Punjab or wherever!
Anonymous said…
I have been reading your blogs with much interest. I have to agree with Anon on this one.However,the reality is,(in my humble opinion)one has to be careful what one writes in the UAE "newspapers"...Ie.rags.One can find themselves being escorted to the airport for being politically incorrect.Having said that,I've done a couple of interviews by phone with the National...being told it was a "survey", only to find my words being twisted around, and misquotes up the ying yang..I was furious. Called to make a complaint,and basically got an "Oh well, too bad." I don't read it anymore,thought was ok when firststarted, I"ve heard same complaints of people being misquoted and fabricated words..Totally unprofessional. Maybe they should think about getting the Globe and Mail to the UAE to teach journalism courses?

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