The Commons: Vic Toews teaches us a valuable lesson

Where once his critics stood with child pornographers, now he welcomes their advice

The Scene. Charlie Angus, the honourable member for garish colour combinations, rose this day wearing a purple shirt, silver suit and silver tie. Whatever the attitude thus conveyed, he first struck a sorrowful tone.

“Mr. Speaker,” he lamented, “what is clear is Canadians cannot trust the government with protecting their privacy rights.”

To justify this contention, Mr. Angus called his first witness. “Let us try out this quote, ‘What we’re seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. The real threat to Canadian privacy is coming from within, from our own federal government.’ Does anyone know who said that?” the New Democrat asked. “It was Ann Cavoukian, the privacy commissioner of Ontario.”

And with that much established, Mr. Angus rounded on the Public Safety Minister, his sad tone replaced with adamant indignation. “According to the minister, she is on the side of child pornographers,” he charged. “He is wrong. She is on the side of average, law-abiding Canadians who play by the rules. So why is he on the side of intrusion, snooping and treating Canadians like criminals?”

Vic Toews, perhaps tired from the last 48 hours of dancing around and away from that thing he said, seemed unwilling to engage this provocation.

“Mr. Speaker, that member is a member who has never said anything accurate about the bill in the House or outside the House,” he sighed. And on that note he changed the subject. “In fact, the issue is where that members will stand tonight,” he ventured. “He has told his constituents that he will be voting against the long gun registry. I trust that he will in fact carry out his word to his constituents.”

Mr. Angus was apparently happy to debate personal courage. “Mr. Speaker, here is a minister who today hides behind guns. Yesterday he hid behind children,” Mr. Angus shot back. “At 10 a.m. yesterday the name of the bill that he was bringing in was called Lawful Access. By 11 a.m. he was being hammered in the media, so by 11:17 a.m. he changed the name of the bill to Protecting Children from Internet Predators. It is about using child victims as political cover so the minister can treat average Canadians like criminals. Why this abuse of public trust and why this abuse of our child victims?”

Various New Democrats stood to applaud.

“Mr. Speaker, that is rich coming from a party that never stands up for victims,” Mr. Toews replied weakly.

The Public Safety Minister turned to his script, finishing with a concession of sorts. “We will send this legislation directly to committee,” he said, “for a full and wide-ranging examination of the best way to do what is right for our children.”

Standing next, Bob Rae pressed the advantage. “Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the people who come forward with amendments will not be called Adolf Hitler,” he scolded from the far end of the room, “will not be called terrorists and will not be called friends of pedophilia by the minister when they come forward with reasoned amendments.”

Then Ralph Goodale stood to make clear the extent of the retreat. “The Prime Minister implied a few moments ago that he will entertain amendments to Bill C-30,” he lectured. “Do we have his guarantee that amendments will in fact be welcomed in the parliamentary committee?”

Mr. Toews stood and admitted that where once his critics stood with child pornographers—those critics having apparently turned up on his own side—now he welcomed their advice. The government would, he said, “entertain amendments.” The minister managed some criticism of the Liberal corner, but it seemed relatively futile by this point.

Showing no mercy, the NDP’s Francoise Boivin stood across the aisle from Mr. Toews and pronounced shame on the minister and the legislation. Mr. Toews rose to impart a bit of wisdom.

“Mr. Speaker,” he said, “the member, by trying to over-emphasize her point, discredits herself.”

There were chuckles on the opposition side, but here, for sure, is a valuable lesson.

The Stats. Military procurement, nine questions. Online surveillance, seven questions. Pensions, six questions. Government spending, four questions. The environment, three questions. Immigration, firearms and infrastructure, two questions each. Air Canada, transport, aboriginal affairs and government contracts, one question each.

Julian Fantino and Vic Toews, eight answers each. Diane Finley, six answers. Stephen Harper, four answers. Denis Lebel, three answers. Shelly Glover, Peter Kent and Jason Kenney, two answers each. Lisa Raitt, Joe Oliver, John Duncan and Rona Ambrose, one answer each.




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The Commons: Vic Toews teaches us a valuable lesson

  1. That last comment from Toews is priceless. May we take it that he didn’t see the irony?

    • There is certainly a deficit of irony comprehension on behalf of Conservatives nowadays.

  2. https://twitter.com/#!/vikileaks30
    pass judgement for yourselves on the man proclaiming to protect children..Ottawa Lock up your Nannies and Baby sitters Criminal Vic Toews is in town and on the prowl.. 

    SCARED YET?

  3. “Heterosexual marriage has a unique social purpose that other relationships simply do not share.” Vic Toews 3/24/2005
    ya you get to screw your nanny or baby sitter..way to go predator!!

  4. Funny huh, how same sex marriages generally do not produce offspring, yet ANTI SSM Vic Toews who has kids, then screws the nanny or baby sitter… And this PERVERT is in charge of protecting Canada’s Children…

    “Marriage is a uniquely heterosexual institution, that indeed it is a sacrament.” Vic Toews 06/18/2003 from https://twitter.com/#!/vikileaks30

    Dirty Old Man, Liar, Hypocrite, SCUM… and conservatives voted a CRIMINAL to be in charge..so what does THAT say about conservative voters!!

    • You are over-killing your point. All old men are dirty :)

  5. If you voted Conservative, you supported a dirty old politician screwing a nanny and baby sitter… or what did good old Vic say…  you either support the bills or you support child pornographers… hmmmmm

    Conservative voters have a tough choice, support Vic Toews who preys on babysitters and nannies or Child pornographers… LOL.. good luck with your moral judgement on THAT choice!

  6. Read Section 16 of Bill C30. . .  
    This bill allows internet information to be accessed without a warrant by police officers, CSIS agents, and Commissioners of Competition (under the Competition Act) who are acting within their Duty or Function.  It does NOT need to be for a Criminal Investigation; rather they may access information without a warrant for any purpose within their Duty or Function.  (read Section 16 of Bill C30).   In the text of Bill C30 Internet Predators are NOT mentioned.  The Conservatives have framed this to be about Internet Predators, and will attack those who oppose it as being soft on Internet Predators.  It is not just police officers, also CSIS agents, and Commissioners of Competition, may access this information without a warrant.  And it does NOT need to be for a Criminal Investigation.

    • I just read Section 16. Does anyone know how the Commissioner of Competition is involved in the investigation and/or prevention of child pornography?

  7. Remember during the last election when Awish Aslam, a second-year political science student at the University of Western Ontario, was asked to leave a Conservation election rally.  Why, the Conservatives had viewed her Facebook page and found something they did not like.   And, there were others excluded from Conservative election rally because of information they found on the individuals Facebook page.   The Conservatives will use the powers of Bill C30 to access information for political purpose.   They have been found guilty of violating campaign financing rules; they have a record of intimidating Federal Government Employees.  Of course they will use Bill C30 as a political tool.

  8. This is a great day (Flag Day, too!)  Because I’m quite sure various amendments put forward will include the word “warrant”.  And the government will entertain them.

    Of course, I’m not so overjoyed as to not be mindful that entertaining amendments could also mean serving the amendments fruit juice or something.

  9. someone needs to fire this guy before a long gun  ends up in the wrong hands.  we cant trust politicians with our money and we sure as hell cant trust them with our information,  this is the beginning of the patriot act. someone tell bush… i mean vic teows that he has lost his marbles 
            Too many canadians have died protecting our rightS FOR US TO SIT IDLY BY WHILE THEY STRIP US OF WHAT WE DIE FOR.

  10. Good. Now insert “warrant” in every place even vaguely mentioning the gaining of permission to access this stuff and we’re good to go.

    • You are so right. But I think this is a strategy north and south of the border now. dangle a ridiculously over zealous assault on citizens’ rights, then backpeddle, but not entirely… and and up with some vagaries that still permit the abuses of power they were looking for in the first place. 

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