House of Intrigue


The Sun reports that before Vic Toews went out and said that thing he said, before the government’s legislation was widely scorned and before members of his caucus told him they couldn’t support the bill, the Prime Minister had decided that C-30 would be sent directly to a parliamentary committee for study and amendment. It apparently just took his government three days to say so.

Meanwhile, the Citizen traces Vikileaks to a House of Commons IP address.

While its impossible to say who is actually the using the address without a full-scale investigation undertaken by the House of Commons, a trace of the IP address shows it is also used by an employee of the House to post comments on a website for fans of the musician Paul Simon. When reached by phone, the employee said that while he frequents the Paul Simon website he has nothing to do with the Vikileaks30 Twitter account.

Justin Trudeau claims to prefer Garfunkel.


House of Intrigue

  1. Daily Mail ~ Twitter Spoof Of PM’s Eccentric Guru:

    He is the unconventional, shaven-headed ‘blue skies’ thinker who has become David Cameron’s most trusted adviser. Now Steve Hilton has been targeted by a mystery internet prankster, who has set up  a spoof Twitter account parodying his consciously trendy, California-influenced jargon.

    But, apart from the jokes, the phoney posts demonstrate an uncanny knowledge of Government secrets, feuds and gossip – sparking feverish speculation throughout Whitehall about who could be behind the ‘SteveHiltonGuru’ account.

    While the real Mr Hilton is ripe for parody, with his predilection for padding around No 10 without shoes and reputation for wild ideas and outbursts, the posts also score satirical points against many of Westminster’s key players.

  2. If the SUN says it, it must be true.

  3. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, justice happens.  Haven’t read the vickyleaks and will not, about to board plane – but am told by someone who did that the ex provided some details as to Toews’ use of perdiem – some 80 bucks charged to the taxpayers daily for which a receipt is not required nor provided. 

    Some will recall that Mr. Toews was on the committee that looked into Dave Dingwall’s expenses, and I vividly recall Mr. Dingwall pointing at his accusers and telling them that he at the Mint had changed the rules so that per diem expenses had to be documented while the members of parliament didn’t have to produce receipt. 

    Funny in the end how big a scandal was made and how much fun the press had over a $1.29 receipt for a pack of gum for which a reimbusement was never sought nor given while no journalist would ever touch on the vikileaks revelations due to their journalistic ethics.

    • You, and the leaked affidavits, raise a good question: do ALL MPs automatically charge their maximum per diems for food and anything else that can be expensed without receipts, just for the money (and because they can)?

      I would like to know which MPs do this.  And perhaps we could consider closing that loop hole and asking for receipts (like any other employee would have to present).

      • Federal employees, and I would think it is the same for MPs, are reimbursed a set amount for meals when they travel on government business and are not required to provide receipts. All other expenses incurred by the employees require receipts – I don’t know whether that applies to MPs as well.

  4. Using Toews’ twisted logic, he must support H*tler.
    Adolf H*tler himself, referring to such tactics, wrote:
    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the
    government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure
    almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. ” -Mein Kampf, Adolf H*tler, Publ.
    Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

    Read more:

  5. The Prime Minister had decided that C-30 would be sent directly to a parliamentary committee for study and amendment. It apparently just took his government three days to say so.

    So, “incompetent boobs” then, not “Machiavellian schemers”.  That line is so thin with this government!

    • Why on earth would the pm let public fury grow when it could have been nipped in the bud?  Could it be, as Emily has often posited, that they just have political tin ears?  Or does someone enjoy seeing Vic contorting to answer good questions with stupid answers — even letting him change the name of the bill to such a stupid name?  Hmmmm.

      • Somewhere along the way, Harper said Canadians ‘didn’t like surprises’….yet in the last couple of weeks he’s sprung at least two on us [there may be others we don’t know about yet]….pensions… and govt snooping in our lives.

        To say now, that he knew it all along is just silliness in the extreme.

        So either he has a tin ear.[because it would take that to not realize the OAS is a third rail in Canada]…or he believes in his other mottos….that Canadians are apathetic, and not paying attention.  Or that with a majority he can do anything he wants.


      • Based on today’s Ottawa Citizen piece, it seems highly likely three days of Toews contortion are about to produce a Dipper or Dipper staffer misusing parliamentary resources for scurrilous purposes.  Pretty good trade-off, if you ask me.

        As for “incompetent boobs”, (and if the Citizen story has legs), I nominate the Vikileaks twitterer, for being too stupid to appreciate one shouldn’t use a House of Commons IP address to engage in political mischief (although, in his/her defense, I suppose the ease with which the Citizen tracked him/her down is yet another example of why Bill C-30 overreaches).

        • Yes, you are looking at it from a misuse of public resources and I’m looking at it from a more general public pov.  Which do you think does more damage in the eyes of voters — one more example of a stupid staffer (or MP) misusing the equipment — or the fact that more than 10,000 unique users registered as followers, and who knows how many tuned in to read the twitter feed without bothering to “follow”? 

          Assuredly the vikileaks story had legs; now we will see if the public, with its short attention span, stays tuned to find out who posted the public material to twitter…

          • I could be wrong, but I think the story with legs is going to turn out to be the identity of the vikileaker.  Although many think Toews deserved it, the mainstream political community (including Mr. Wherry) either condemned or at least resisted the urge to promulgate the salacious and one-sided details about his divorce into the public realm.

            What do YOU think does more damage in the eyes of the voters – the Tories tabling a bill but then walking it back a few days later when public backlash establishes it to be flawed, or a revelation (if in fact it occurs) that one of the “holier than thou” opposition parties engages in the very worst of the “American-style” gutter politics they so often accuse the Tories of?

      • Another possibility is that this is being used to distract our attention away from something else. 

        Or, that, after all this, any watering down of the bill will be considered an improvement over its current provisions and will be viewed as a victory by those who oppose it.

    • I very much doubt it was Machiavelli. After all, Machiavelli urged rulers, after they took over a city, not to abuse the populace. 

      • To be clear, I didn’t mean to imply that the proposed snooping law itself was “Machiavellian” per se, so much as that the means by which the Tories were attempting to pass said law was “Machiavellian”.

  6. Sun Media is exclusively reporting the Prime Minister’s hindsight. Of course the PM had that intent.

    And Peter Kent knew the difference between atmospheric and ground-level ozone. Just ask him now. 

  7. I wonder what Stephen Harper thinks about his Public Safety Minister suggesting that he is standing with the child pornographers.

    That being said Aaron, I’m quite curious to see how you are going to handle it when it’s identified who in Parliament, if anybody, is responsible for @VikiLeaks30.

    If @Vikileaks30 is proven to be tied to a member of the opposition, I hope you, as one of our MSMs foremost crusaders against the lack of decorum and overall nastiness in politics, can be counted on to properly call the perpetrator to account, as you (rightfully) would if the Conservatives were behind something like this.

    • Aaron just reports on and/or links to this stuff; in fairness to the Canadian media — the stuff about Toews’s divorce was gossiped about here and there in fora such as this one, but the media did not report on this stuff.  But I would be surprised if someone at MacLeans didn’t bother to post the results should a Parliamentary anyone be found to be “vikileaks30.”

      • I’m not talking about just posting it. I’m talking about making an example of a scumbag who uses HoC resources to do something like this. It doesn’t matter if this info is in the public domain; it’s the inherent nastiness in posting the details of someone’s marital breakdown & other personal problems for partisan advantage.

        How long did Aaron spend on the CPC-“Irwin Cotler is retiring” dirty tricks? How many posts? Answer: Several, in order to cause maximum embarassment to the Conservatives.

        And rightfully so. I, who dislikes the Liberals more than the average person, publicly praised him for it. Because you either legitimately want this kind of garbage to go away, and are willing to non-partisanly call it out and make an example of whichever party is the perpetrator to achieve that end, or you don’t really care, and you just use this stuff as an excuse to slag the party you don’t like.

        I already know Aaron doesn’t like the Conservatives. I’m curious to see if his frequent writings of the deteriorating state of the Commons are genuine and crosses party lines, or just another strawman he uses to attack Conservatives.

        • Aaron can start with Justin Trudeau, if he’s serious, for trying to ensure as many people as possible get a glimpse into Vic Toews private life. From the G&M:

          Most MPs kept their distances from the Twitter attack but Liberal MP
          Justin Trudeau quickly embraced it and made a point of republishing the
          account name of the anonymous feed for his more than 110,000 followers.

          Later Wednesday afternoon Mr. Trudeau followed up with a plainly
          sarcastic message that once again rebroadcast the anti-Toews Twitter
          account to his readers

          • I was the first to post the link here. so what.

        • There is a difference, or at least, there is to people with ethics, about using embarrassing but factual information, and using lies.

          Irwin Cotler is retiring was a lie. That was the outrage. Not simply that the CPC was saying it.  Vic Toews *is* a deadbeat dad. That is the outrage.

          • And? John McCallum is known for having had a drinking problem in the past. Are you saying it would be perfectly cool for a Conservative MP to open an anonymous twitter account and start dredging that stuff up again into the TwitterSphere using HOC resources? You’d seriously have no problem with that???

          • Wrong tap on the like button here.

            John Macullum didn’t smear his opponants, or sleep with his 16 year old babysitter.

          • Okay, if your issue is them using HOC resources, that’s valid. What does it matter *who* it is doing it then?

          • @Gtrplyr055:disqus

            I thought you liberals generally frowned upon the whole “They did it first” excuse.


            I’d be just as disgusted if, for example, Pierre Poilievre was doing it from his basement.

            And so would you. And so would Wherry.

            But never mind. You clearly care as little for Parliamentary decorum and nastiness in the HoC as Wherry does, as soon as the answer to the question “Who is the perpetrator” is anything other than “A Conservative MP”.

          • If John McCallum was sponsoring a new alcohol prohibition bill, as a member of a government with a House majority, and calling his opponents whatever the booze-related equivalent of “pedophiles” would be — then no, I would have no problem with some anonymous twitter user roasting him over it, even if that user happened to be an opposition member.

            But then, I like using context to understand situations, which I know isn’t everyone’s preference. Some folks find it inconvenient.

        • BUT — Toews stands on his petard of morality and lambasts anyone whom he considers to have sinned. I think that outting this hypocrite with information that is already in the public domain is justified. Live by sword, die by the sword — or as someone else commented — yesterday Toews was the pigeon, today he’s the statue.

  8. I suggest anyone who is interested in this story read the comments after the Citizen story where sophisticated readers criticize the conclusions in the article as follows:

    a) The IP address they “discovered” could apply to every communication using the H of C gateway
    b)The IP address could have been spoofed
    c) The investigation and “discovery” of some poor sap who likes Paul Simon is a nifty demonstration of the perils of giving anyone the powers created in the act
    d) The Citizen (and the G and M and CBC and Macleans) seem uninterested in the allegations. Vic Toews is a moralizing, walking smear factory. He talks big about crime but has a conviction for election spending irregularities. He’s the one who cast aspersions on his opponents’ characters; does that not bring examination of his own character into play?

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