Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flirting with a backlash

The Citizenship and Immigration committee is still pursuing the Dhalla allegations. Which is fascinating given that they don't really know why or to what end it's all going to come to according to the chair:
...Conservative MP David Tilson, chair of the committee, says there are still discussions going on about whether to summon Dhalla's brother, Neil, and mother, Tavinder, to testify as well.

"We're considering it," Tilson said. "They're involved in this issue. Dr. Dhalla has said she wasn't involved in this, but her brother was. ... They are names that have been mentioned by Dr. Dhalla."

Tilson (Dufferin-Caledon) isn't sure yet whether the committee will be issuing any report or trying to make any judgment on the widely differing accounts it has been hearing about how caregivers were treated in Dhalla's household.

Asked why the committee was proceeding with further investigation into the matter, Tilson told reporters bluntly: "Because you people are writing about it."
Yes, why on earth would anyone expect Mr. Tilson to have any idea of what's going on. After all, he's just the chair of the committee. That media comment is very telling though and could explain it all.

Given these remarks, it's legitimate to ask what the point is in continuing to pursue what is essentially a question of the facts of what occurred in the Dhalla household. Is that a matter about which the committee can legitimately draw conclusions and write a report? Is it something that this parliamentary committee should properly be engaged in or should officials be left to independently pursue any complaints, if there are indeed any to pursue? Perhaps Mr. Tilson's inability to answer questions on where it's all going might be a hint that he's doubtful about what he's presiding over as well.

By the way, in case Mr. Tilson cares, the pursuit of these allegations to the detriment of the issue of caregiver policy and the committee's own work was roundly noted and criticized. They have an out.

Prediction: this will move into backlash territory the farther down the road it travels. The big question is whether these typically overreaching Conservatives can actually restrain themselves. And on that note, be watching for any reports of Jason Kenney's office being involved at the hearings today...the elephant in the room.