Valedictorian slams Vic Toews as he sits by -

Valedictorian slams Vic Toews as he sits by

Public Safety minister’s honorary degree a politicized moment


The valedictorian at the University of Winnipeg’s fall convocation criticized Vic Toews as a “vocal opponent of the expansion of human rights”—with the federal Public Safety minister sitting nearby, eyeing the program for a ceremony that included his acceptance of an honorary degree. Toews is arguably Manitoba’s most powerful federal politician, but his staunch opposition to gay marriage and hardline advocacy of locking up more convicted criminals for longer prison sentences have made him a divisive figure in his home province. The valedictorian, Erin Larson, 22, call the decision to honor him “questionable at best.” Her university’s president, Lloyd Axworthy, the former federal Liberal cabinet minister, was mildly critical of her decision to politicize the moment. As for her fellow graduates, some cheered, others sat on their hands after Larson’s address. Toews slipped up quietly by a side door afterwards, avoiding some quiet and orderly picketers who backed Larson’s stand.

Winnipeg Free Press

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Valedictorian slams Vic Toews as he sits by

  1. Erin, you're my hero!

  2. Now that's what I call chutzpah! Good on you, Erin!

  3. Slipped "up"? Did Miss Larson leave a banana peel trap by the door? That would have been only slightly less classy than her speech.

  4. Rude to invite a guest and then insult them. Maybe the Univercity should have a course added on manners and protocol.

  5. U of W prides itself on its inclusiveness – so Vic Toews CANNOT BE PART OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I find that a bit rich…. Perhaps they should include a course on logic too

  6. Remember that this is the same man who was so vocal about family values, his fellow MPs nicknamed him the Minister of Family Values. The nickname was turned into a derogatory term after Toews fathered a child with one of his much younger assistants and abandoned his wife of more than thirty years. This man's ethics are very pliable; he deserves just what he got in Winnipeg. The only reason Lloyd Axworthy, the University President was civil to him, is that the University depend on the government for much of its funding.

  7. Ignorant little girl.

    • Wow, that's the most sexist comment I've seen here in a long time. *slow clap*

      • Is she not a female? acting childish? Yes on both counts unless the report is entirely inaccurate. Facts aren't sexist.

        • but would you call a male valedictorian voicing the same opinions a 'little boy'? I doubt it.

          • What's-his-name Trudeau acts like a little boy all the time – and he's 30 or something, but not a Valedictorian

  8. Erin Larson at the age of 22 should learn some manners. What a way to ruin a ceremony for so many to simply utter hew own political views which had nothing to do with being a valedictorian or a U of W graduate. Completely selfish.

    I used to attend the U of W, but I left as it was full of left wing nut wits, both at the student and faculty level. It was hard to get a non biased prof. at that university (though U of M was pretty left wing too).

    • She spoke truth to power, something we could wish for in more adults….

  9. Sounds as if Ms. Larson might be an intelligent young woman, but lacking in common sense…Pity !

  10. Editors: this is Canada, we get honourary degrees, not honorary ones.

    • Both spellings are acceptable in Canada to all Universities and Governments.

  11. Utterly CLASSLESS "LADY"
    What she forgot is that her own University invited TOEWS as a guest.
    She directly and indirectly insulted both the University and its guest. Valedictorian protocol was established in the 1800s in Cambridge England. Never would a Cambridge valedictorian directly insult a guest. She lacks basic manners and commonsense, something lacking in some young people it seems. SHAMEFUL. God help any male friend who gets hooked up with this jungle creature, a snake.

  12. Posted from Xtra
    Typical of the self centered group.
    UPDATE 15 OCT 4pm – Even the graduating class' valedictorian, 22-year-old queer-identified Erin Larson, is speaking out against honouring Toews.

    “We're honouring a known homophobe who's prejudiced against members of the Islamic faith and denies women their rights,” says Larson. “I want the university to know that we do not recognise Vic Toews as our moral and ethical equals. I feel it detracts from my own accomplishments on Sunday. I'd almost rather have a diploma that doesn't say ‘University of Winnipeg' on it.”

    Larson plans to address the controversy in her speech to the graduating class.

    “I'm going to encourage our student body to rebuke the university and instead of donating to the university as alumni, to make donations to human rights organisations. The university needs to know that we won't stand for being put in the same category as Vic Toews,” she says.

    • " A known hemophone who's prejudiced against Islamic faith and denies women their rights"? In one sentence? Was she referring to Islamic faith's stands on the rights of their women and gay people? Or did she mean that Islam treat their women and gay people better than our country? Spoken like a brainwashed lefty islamist meld propagandist than a graduate, let alone a valedictorian.

      • Sorry for the typo, it is suppose to be homophobe.

        • Thanks for pointing out the irony of the post, but maybe he is a hemophone too.

  13. Everybody must have noticed by now. Homosexuals love and crave the sensationalism, the media exposure, the tearing down of the established society. The greatest "I am me" bunch you will ever see. It explains a lot of history!
    You don't become disliked, for no reason!
    Our ancestors were not stupid. But I can't say the same about some of us panderers.

  14. Try replacing the words "gay" and "homosexual" with "Jew" and then take a look in the mirror. Everyone who is chastising Ms. Larson is in dire need of some perspective.

    • I believe the history of the Jews would at no time be associated with the history of genetic mistakes or mental mommies, take your pick. The band wagon is full and has moved on. We are not chastising, we are asking for charges laid!

    • Many of us are supporters of gay rights but it does not mean we condone lack of manners. You might like to think first before jumping to conclusion.

  15. Obviously the university from which she graduated felt that Mr. Toews was worthy of their honour. Whatever her views may be, to express them in such a way on such an occasion was tacky and tasteless.

    • If the university will not allow valedictorians to address these issues in their speeches, it should clearly state so beforehand.

      • It is very easy to shame people, especially if one has the stage and and the shamed one not able to respond. She is not in office yet, she knows how to abuse the time, place, and chance she has been given.

      • Really? Is that your best defense? Maybe, just to be extra careful as you suggested, the university should also state that while giving the address to not act like a monkey, set fire to the podium, slap the university president, jump up and down and yell "Death to Canada", burn the Canadian flag, and the list goes on.

        It comes down to common sense and respect, which are things she lacks.

  16. I am one of those who support gay rights in society, but I would say for occassions like this, it is out of taste for a valedictorian to incorporate shaming into her valedictorian speech (and invited one at that). It destroys a suppose to be joyous and celebratory occassions for all graduates and attending guests. This is a good example on how one's achievements does not paint the whole picture of one's true education and mental capacity. Manners should be added into the curriculum from primary to University education.