Vic Toews demonstrates his respect for the justice system


The Public Safety Minister, responding to the NDP’s Joe Comartin during QP yesterday.

Mr. Speaker, I do respect my colleague opposite but I know that he comes from a long and distinguished career of defending criminals, as a defence criminal lawyer. Our perception is a little bit different.

After howls of complaint from the opposition side of the House, Mr. Toews allowed that Mr. Comartin had pursued an “honourable profession.”

Glen McGregor notes a couple of defence lawyers the Harper government seems to respect. Mr. Comartin discussed the matter with reporters after QP.

I was offended because it was an attack on the Criminal Law Bar. The reality of my own career, I only practised criminal law for about seven years at the start of my career. The rest of my career was in the courts but it was in the civil courts doing family law where I acted for a great number of victims of crimes, domestic violence in particular.  And then I acted as a civil defence lawyer in personal injury areas and other types of litigation. So he was wrong about that.

That’s not why I was angry. I was angry because this was an insult to the defence lawyers in this country who provide an absolutely essential service to our criminal justice system. If they are not there, our system doesn’t function. And for him to attack them just in a blanket way the way he did, that’s where I was angry.  It was unfair, it was unwarranted and it’s inaccurate.


Vic Toews demonstrates his respect for the justice system

  1. The only legitimate profession in the justice system is executioner. Defense attorneys, judges, etc. are all pedophile-lovers who hate your children.

  2. I always thought lawyers defended the accused.  Silly me.

    In a Vic Toews Canada we would simply do away with trials! 

    • Silly Loraine,

      Only criminals need lawyers.

  3. Wow.  I assume the next crime bill will legislate away this silly notion of a presumption of innocence for those accused of crimes?

    Of course, I’m being silly. There will still be an advocacy system available for those accused of white collar crime, or expropriating $50 million dollars of taxpayer money for projects unrelated to, say, border protection services. Those are the Conservative’s kind of criminals, after all.

  4. I would expect such an idiotic comment from Dean Del Mastro, or Pierre Poilievre, but… Mr. Toews used to be a Crown Attorney in Manitoba.  Isn’t such a comment from someone trained as a lawyer and a former Crown prosecutor VERY frightening?

    • Perhaps his career as a Crown Prosecutor was one filled with fewer successes than he’d have been happy with…

    • You’re a criminal if you don’t unequivocally support Our Glorious Leader.

    • Forget Crown Attorney, this guy used to be Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada!!!

  5. Ah yes, one is reminded of those Taliban prisioners of Bairds.

     It is all so much more efficient when one rolls up the charges, the accused, the examination of evidence, the cross examination into one neat bundle. Eliminate the red tape from the pocess – indeed why not have the verdict first and the sentence last as the Queen says? Better yet why bother going beyond the confession!

  6. Didn’t Vic Toews have a baby with a young women in his office? And then divorced his wife of 30 years.

    • Yes but is that relevant?

      • Well, it certainly colours any claim he might have to defending traditional family values.

  7. Has it occurred to Toews that when defence lawyers are successful, it technically means they were defending innocent people???

    • innocent people don’t need lawyers, LKO.  Your sentence makes no sense.

    • The cops liked those “innocent” suspects for a reason, LKO.  They have never wrongfully accused anyone.

  8. Wake up Canada, or get used to having your rights erroded. This government just finished passing a law that includes mandatory sentences, taking the judgement process out of the hands of the judges. Now we have a member of the same government critical of the profession that defends people that are supposed to be presumed innocent. Where do you think this is headed. Didn’t we just spend millions of dollars in Libya opposing this type or government. The government of Canada is elected to lead not dictate.