TORONTO - Citizenship and Immigration Minister Judy Sgro said she had to resign Friday to fight the "ridiculously false" allegations that she promised to help a pizza shop owner avoid deportation in return for help on her re-election campaign last spring.
"As long as I was the minister, my hands were tied," she told CBC News.
"I wanted to be free to defend myself very vigorously against these ridiculously false allegations," said Sgro, who becomes the first minister to quit since Prime Minister Paul Martin took power in December 2003.
Martin accepted Sgro's resignation Friday morning. Human Resources Development Minister Joe Volpe replaced her at Citizenship and Immigration in an official swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall early Friday afternoon.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Lucienne Robillard will take over Volpe's old job as well as her current one. She was out of town Friday and will be sworn in when she returns...
...(Sgro) decided to step down a day after an affidavit from Harjit Singh, who owns a pizza shop in Brampton, Ont., was filed in Federal Court in Toronto.
In the sworn affidavit, Singh says Sgro pressed him for free pizza and garlic bread and asked him to supply "15 or 16" volunteers for her campaign office.
This came on the heels of the infamous Strippergate, where Sgro was fast-tracking Eastern Europeans into the country to work at strip clubs. Meanwhile, real immigrants who want to come into the country for the right reasons, who want to use their hard-won professional credentials, get nothing but regulations, grief and other BS from the government and industry and must take jobs pouring coffee at Tim Horton's. It's a disgrace and you have to wonder whose side the Liberals are really on.
I know I know, Judy Sgro is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, yada yada. I think this was a deportation case anyway, so it doesn't really matter. One thing's for sure, though. It's yet another black eye for the Liberals, who seem intent on caring more about their own friends and, for that matter, everyone else in the rest of the world as opposed to the ordinary citizens who pay the taxes and put up with the bureaucracy and regulations here.
I could go on about the embarrassments that have befallen this Martin Liberal regime in the short time it's been in power. There was Paul Martin's big, enthusiastic meeting with Libya's Kaddafi. There's the colossal mishandling of trade relations with the United States, due largely to Carolyn Parrish and her embarrassing antics on national TV- coming at a time when the beef industry is reeling from the Mad Cow debacle. There was the failure to move quickly off the mark on Tsunami relief. There's the continual failure to reduce the lineups for hospital beds throughout this country. And there's been the steadfast refusal by the government to give middle-class Canadians a tax break even though the government is rolling in taxpayer money. And let's not go into the gun registry or Groupaction fiascos, or the Liberals' rampant enthusiasm for demolishing the traditional definition of marriage and trying to use that as a wedge issue to divide the electorate. I could go on and on and on for a long time about the corruption. I'm sure I could find other stuff to complain about. This is all just off the top of my head.
These people are the reason why I'm so fed up with politics, folks. Surely, Canadians can do better than THIS group!!! Hey, Stephen, Jack and Gilles, time to pull the plug on this Parliament. Enough of THIS, already!