Candidate accuses MP of trying to confuse voters with multiple Rubys

August 27, 2015 - All News

By Nouman Khalil
Brampton North Liberal candidate Ruby Sahota is asking for an apology from her opponent in the October federal elections, sitting Conservative MP Parm Gill, for allegedly distributing misleading information and misusing public funds.
Sahota, who is seeking a Parliament seat for the first time, alleges that, in July, Gill’s constituency office distributed a document referring to a private member’s bill introduced by former Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla in June 2009.
Dhalla’s Bill C-428 proposed to shorten the waiting time for immigrants applying for Old Age Security from 10 years to three years. It was defeated on the floor of the House and even Dhalla’s Liberal Party didn’t support the bill.
In the July letter, Gill asked residents, “Do you support Ruby and the Liberal policy of giving pension to people who have only been in Canada for three years and will cost Canadian $700 million per year?”
The document further reads that the Conservative government and Gill have vigorously opposed the bill and, under no circumstances would they support the legislation should it ever be reintroduced.
Because both Dhalla and Sahota share first name ‘Ruby,’ Sahota believes the wording is designed to lead voters to think she is behind the expensive and unpopular bill.
“I was very confused when I saw that pamphlet because I was not part of any bill or policy,” said Sahota. “I believe he is lying to the constituents and trying to confuse them and playing games.”
She said it would have cost the taxpayers at least $10,000 to produce and distribute the letter.
“It is very disappointing and the people of Brampton North deserve an apology,” said Sahota.
“Absolutely nonsense,” says Gill in reaction. “The letter that I had sent to my constituents was a while ago and this was in response to many, many inquiries that were received from my constituents who were concerned about the previous Bill C-428.”
He said people were concerned because the bill would have cost Canadians $700 million. He said his office regularly sent out letters in correspondence to constituents on different issues and this letter was one of them.
“It (the letter) was referred to ‘Ruby,’ but I can assure you that all of my constituents know that this bill was brought forward by Ruby Dhalla. So the people’s question always referred to Ruby.
“Everybody knows ‘Ruby Dhalla’ as ‘Ruby.’ To say somehow that I was trying to mislead anybody by not using (Dhalla’s) last name is totally nonsense,” said Gill.
Dhalla was Liberal MP for the Brampton-Springdale riding from 2004-2011. In the 2011 federal elections, Gill defeated Dhalla.
At the time, she was facing controversy over allegations she illegally employed and mistreated two caregivers hired to look after Dhalla’s mother. Dhalla denied the allegations.
In October 2014, Dhalla announced she will not be running in the 2015 federal elections.