Figures. As soon as we leave Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, we get news of a child slavery ring at a local Chinese restaurant (link to part one of a three part transcript). In brief, the owners of the restaurant were “born again” Christians who took on kids believed to have strayed from the straight and narrow. The owner, also a pastor, instead put the teens to work in the kitchen for no pay. There are also other allegations of psychological abuse, including a little girl who claimed she was locked in closet until she stopped crying. In general, cruel, degrading, dehumanizing bullshit.
The restaurant in question was one we often passed but we never actually ate there. We stopped in once, looked at the menu, and decided not to eat there believing the price to be a bit high, which is odd when you now consider that the labour costs were nil.
We caught the full CFCF story the other day (it ran about half an hour). The reporter Todd van der Heyden did get caught up in some goofy journalistic clichés like spooky Chinese-style music when shots of a generic restaurant kitchen are shown in slow-motion. Or the script describes Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue where everybody knows everybody else. If that were true, than this story wouldn’t be a surprise, would it? And then there’s the reporter asking the parents of the abused children, “The expression ‘blind faith.’ Just think about that for a moment. Do you think you had blind faith in Mr. Ho?”
It reminded me too much of stuff “The Daily Show” would do:
“Give me 17 adjectives to describe how you felt at that moment.”
“Uh, I was shocked. Um, confused. Uh…”
“That’s only two.”
Still, the show was pretty engrossing given that this had been going on under our noses with nobody knowing. What’s even odder is that no criminal charges have yet been layed.