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Now we know what it takes...

...To get a Liberal Minister to resign. You have to offer asylum to an immigrant in order to get free pizza for your campaign -- then try to get the guy deported to bury the evidence!!!

Singh, who is facing deportation next Thursday pending a last-minute hearing, says in his affidavit that he approached Sgro last year to assist him with immigration problems he and his family were having.

"I told her my whole situation and she assured me that if I helped out in her election campaign she would get me immigration in Canada," says the father of three in his affidavit.

Singh, who came to Canada from India in 1988, helped Sgro as she asked, including pizza deliveries to her campaign office, he says in his affidavit.

"I own a pizza store in Brampton and Judy said that she wanted me to deliver pizza, garlic bread etc., to her campaign office in North York. I did this. She also said that she needed 15-16 people to help work in her campaign. I organized this for her as well."

It's been years and years since a cabinet member stepped down. I can't remember any of Chrétien's ministers doing the honourable thing when caught in a scandal. Instead the very effective delay, distract, and deny strategy was used, allowing Chrétien to make the laughable claim that he ran an honest government come election time. Sgro had been closely following this now perfected strategy up until now, but it only works up to a point -- and she has just soared past it.

True, Sgro's accuser could be lying. But personally, I'm more inclined to believe him than her:

"I have been here for 16 years and have no criminal record. My whole family is here and my wife's grave is here. I have worked hard in Canada. What am I going to do if I am sent back to India? I have no one there. My family, my business and all of my property is here in Canada."
There's a lot of angles to this story that will be investigated. There's corruption, betrayal, and ruthlessness -- I'm really eager to see where this will go! I'm almost disappointed that Sgro is stepping down. Seeing her try to twist, gyrate, and wiggle her way out of this would have been hilarious political theatre. But since (theoretically) government is not there just for our entertainment, it's perhaps all for the best. Maybe we'll get a replacement that will attempt to do the important job in the department of Immigration, and not just look to use the authority to get personal favours.

And if this story is true, I really hope Sgro gets charged for this. This is an incredible abuse of power. Shaking down potential immigrants for goodies is reprehensible. It's bribery, and it's extortion. She should be locked up.

UPDATE: There's more info about Singh here. Who to believe? Well, there's a handy rule of thumb I use to help judge trustworthiness in this type of situation: believe the person who isn't the Liberal cabinet minister...

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Comments

Is there another side to this story? Because if there isn't it's hard to believe. Perhaps Mr. Singh was in the process of being deported before approaching her? Even so, Sgro exploited his vulnerability and desire for a better life to her own ends and then stands by while he is deported?

It's Trollopean.

"But since (theoretically) government is not there just for our entertainment,"

Trying to think of another reason for government...help me out here.

There's an opinion piece in the Star that says that Singh was going to be deported before getting involved with Sgro, so maybe his credibility takes a bit of a hit. But the rest of the story should be able to be verified. It's no fun withholding judgement -- I say she's guilty now!

As to the point of government, you know, I can't really think of anything of great importance our federal government does that couldn't be done better by municipal and provincial governments. They just take great gobs of cash and hand them out to those they think will help them get elected. *sigh*

If he was going to be deported prior to contacting Sgro, then it seems me what she did was even worse -- at least, more cynical.

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