The National Post carries a report this morning that is likely to cast even more doubt about the integrity of Liberal MP and former official opposition critic, Ruby Dhalla. According to the Post, Aurora Villanueva, 2007-2008 president of the Brampton Filipino Seniors Club:
… says she wrote a letter on May 13th to the Commons immigration committee retracting a May 7th letter that said Ms. Dhalla had been ‘unjustly smeared’ by allegations of mistreating caregivers, had a character of the highest integrity and had the support of the club.”
In an interview on Thursday, the 81-year-old Filipina accused Ms. Dhalla of “taking advantage” of her to falsely claim the support of the Brampton Filipino Seniors Club. “They took my signature,” Ms. Villanueva said, “I need to clear my name. I don’t want to die with a black mark on my name.”
Ms. Dhalla allegedly “took advantage of my being an old lady and being friendly” to obtain Ms. Villanueva’s signature on a letter prepared apparently by Ms. Dhalla’s representative and taken to Ms. Villanueva’s home two weeks ago, at a time when she was ill and unaware of the nanny-gate allegations. Ms. Villanueva claims that she barely read the letter.
In Ms. Villanueva’s letter of May 13th, she tells the Commons committee that she wishes to retract the earlier letter she believes Ms. Dhalla submitted to the committee. Here is an excerpt:
The implication that I personally, or the club has taken Ms. Dhalla’s side is totally false. I hereby request that Ms. Dhalla stop claiming that she has the support of the Brampton Filipino Seniors Club and me. Both claims are false and should not be used in her defence in this inquiry.”
Ms. Dhalla issued a brief statement on Thursday, as follows:
I appreciate Ms. Villanueva’s clarification; however she is not speaking on behalf of all the Brampton Filipino Seniors Club. Many members of the Filipino Seniors Club and community have expressed their support in letters, phone calls and e-mails. I appreciate the words of encouragement and support from constituents and Canadians.”
Can this affair get any more sordid?
Ms. Villanueva says that Dhalla called and asked her to retract her May 13th retraction, but that she refused. If true, this places the MP squarely at the centre of this scandal. Not even a hint that her brother or mother is to blame for this one.
Tacky little people caught in a tawdry web of their own deception.