Vikileaks was the work of a Liberal

A member of the Liberal party’s research bureau was the author of the “vikileaks” Twitter account

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae rose after Question Period and reported to the House that a member of the Liberal party’s research bureau was the author of the “vikileaks” Twitter account. That individual has resigned.

The Harper government had accused the NDP of being responsible. Joe Comartin, the NDP’s House leader, stood after Mr. Rae and asked the government to apologize. Peter Van Loan and John Baird duly did so.

Update 3:19pm. A statement from Mr. Rae, distributed by his office.

“I learned yesterday that an investigation into the online activities of Parliamentary staff conducted by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons has found a link between the @Vikileaks30 social media account and an employee of the Liberal Research Bureau.

On behalf of the Liberal Caucus, I wish to apologize to Minister Toews and Speaker Scheer for the improper use of a parliamentary account and for sharing personal information intended to embarrass Minister Toews.

The employee involved has advised me that he took this initiative on his own, has apologised for his action, regrets the embarrassment he has caused and has offered his resignation. In the circumstances I have accepted it.

I shall be making clear that political controversy is one thing, personal attacks are another.”




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Vikileaks was the work of a Liberal

  1. I thought we already knew that.

  2. It’s become a personal attack to post factual *and public* information about a representative of the public?

    • Yeah, I found vikileaks to be a distasteful muckracking even while it made a point.  Certainly the Libs should wear that to the extent they are responsible.  Beyond that, what’s the actual problem? 

    • Yeah, as I mentioned in response to Justin Trudeau’s recent tweet, I didn’t (and don’t) see any problem with what @Vikileaks30 did. The information was already available, and tactics like what Vikileaks did tend to have an effect (just ask the developers at Blizzard Entertainment).

      • Not having a Twitter account, my knowledge of what was posted on VikiLeaks is limited to what was reported in Maclean’s and a couple of other sources. I think Toews deserved what he received, first for telling all of us who were / are concerned about the scope of the bill that we “stand with pedophiles” (basically insulting a huge swath of the populace), and second because it gives him a taste of what most of us think of the bill: It’s too invasive and goes too far. “Going too far” was the entire point.

        •  I can agree with that, but I think something can be deserved and still wrong to undertake (such as capital punishment).

        • You don’t have to have one in order to read them.  Politwitter is the best one because it shows responses.  Warning, huge timewaster…

          • Yeah I actually looked up the #TellVicEverything tweets but felt I didn’t need to read all the details of Vic’s marital woes; the MSM coverage was enough.

            It wasn’t the contents of the Vikileaks posts that were important anyway; they were merely the means by which the point was made. (After which, they were taken down.)

        • You know what Keith, as bad as the bill is, do you want parlimentarians afraid to present bills because they will be “blackmailed” by the fear of having personal information “tweeted” all over the internet, embarassing not only themselves but their entire families?  This bill is wrong…I have no doubt it won’t be passed in its current state because nobody likes it…certainly not the Conservative base.  They don’t want to treated like criminals when they own long guns, they certainly won’t stand for being treated like criminals for owning computers.  

          • No one should have to face blackmail – though this bill would make that a lot easier for government and others with access to do.  And given the CPC’s behaviour, I would not put blackmail beyond them.

            As to Vic, it;s hardly blackmail when all this was already public – I remember reading about all that before, so it was only a rehash of what was known.

            I might have some sympathy for Vic if he ever has the decency to apologize to all Canadians. Vikileaks may have been in bad taste (I much preferred #TellVicEverything, as the point was made with humour; I spent a lot of time reading those) but I certainly don’t think it’s anything the Tories themselves wouldn’t do.

      •  As opposed to the intimidation Minister Toews attributed to the exposure of personally embarrassing information about him that is in the public record, I saw an appropriate exercise in having a taste of his own medicine (as my Mom used to call it). 

        Here he is pushing a bill through that would allow wholesale scrutiny of private communications and comically purported to be to protect children from online sexual predators whilst he himself might, without exaggeration, be categorized as a real life predator.

        It takes a lot of gall to pretend to be the righteous injured and innocent party under these circumstances.  Or a form of insanity.  Your choice.

        As Mom always said: If you don’t want people talking about it — don’t do it.  Simple.

        • Did your mom also tell you that if you feel strongly enough to accuse someone of being a real life predator, then you should have the courage to go to the nearest police station and file charges.
          Unless, of course you are a coward.

          • I am pretty sure I’d have to have first hand information in order to file charges, Ellen.  I do not have that, since I do not know Mr. Toews or his current partner, so I cannot.

            It appears, based on information Carroll communicated (and which has not been denied) their relationship began around 2004. If the young woman really is in her “early 20′s ” as I’ve heard, then she could have been as young as 14 or 15 when this relationship started; he would have been at least 50.

            What would you call a grown man who has an intimate relationship with a young teenager if not a child predator?

            Oh, I know: someone who lives in Bountiful.

      • How was having the details of your ugly divorce sent to your colleagues a part of a regular work day for anybody?  Maybe you should remember if or when you get divorced or something awful happens in your life that you will be at the mercy of people who know about it and you will be lucky that they have more class and respect for a person’s dignity than vikileaks.  We don’t have to like the work Toews does but alot of things get claimed during a nasty divorce that many of us wouldn’t want aired in our work place.

  3. Okay hands up everyone who blamed the NDP …

    • C’mon it’s well known libs favour Garfunkle over Simon… I think we was setup :)

    • I was betting on a disgruntled worker in Toews’ own staff…

  4. Along these lines, I wonder if John Baird will rise and retract his accusations directed at the NDP?

    My guess is no.

    I am satisfied with the resignation; I also think it sets the bar at a certain level… certainly the Tories cannot say responsiblity for vikileaks lies at the top and also claim Michael Sona’s resignation closes the book on the robocalls (as Peter MacKay has insinuated today).

    • certainly the Tories cannot say responsiblity for vikileaks lies at the
      top and also claim Michael Sona’s resignation closes the book on the
      robocalls (as Peter MacKay has insinuated today). 

      ***

      Watch them!

      • But Duffy now says he thinks it’s ‘third parties’.  Seems to be a little confusion…

    • Did you even read Wherry’s blog post above?

      The Harper government had accused
      the NDP of being responsible. Joe Comartin, the NDP’s House leader,
      stood after Mr. Rae and asked the government to apologize. Peter Van
      Loan and John Baird duly did so.

      • It was posted as an update, so maybe you missed it.

      • Mea culpa.

    • I watched the exchange on Toew’s point of privilege on the HoC channel. People on both sides of the House were issuing apologies and retractions all over the place. I thought it was a veritable Kumbaya moment in that adult-sized sandbox and only wished we could see more examples of such civility on both the government and opposition benches.

  5. Prediction…many people here who previously criticized Harper for throwing young staffer Michael Sona under the bus for Robocon will now profusely praise Bob Rae for doing the same thing.

    • Harper was criticized for dumping Sona?

    • Yes, these are exactly the same situations. 

    • Sorry, but Rae did the adult thing — he took responsibility for the actions of one of his staff. I’ve only ever seen Steve point fingers at others – typically the kind of behavior that comes from a child. Rae didn’t throw his staffer under the bus. What the individual did was sleazy but certainly not illegal.  The robocalls to misdirect voters was a subversion of democracy — that’s the kind of ploy they use by banana republic fascists.

      • Actually, I’m just being a bit snarky. I do congratulate Rae on doing the right thing here, and doing so in a classy way.

        However I also suspect that Michael Sona is not the last Conservative domino to fall either.

    • Actually, it’s not quite the same.

      Bob Rae admitted that the Liberal staffer was behind this distasteful behaviour.

       Did the Conservatives admit Michael Sona was behind the robocalls? If they did, would he not now be up on charges? They made no admission of guilt; they simply fired someone to create the appearance that it was a wayward staffer…. not the same thing 

      • What they actually did was go into behind the back whisper mode, in which “senior Conservatives” call media and blame the kid anonymously. See Coyne’s excellent commentary on this in Post Media.

    • The best available evidence (correct me if I am wrong) is that Sona was responsible for grabbing a ballot box.   (I believe there is even a picture on the web)   

      The appearance is that Rae throws his kid under the bus as soon as he learned who was the guilty party.  Indeed, we heard about it from Rae.  As several have noted above, disclosing this now hurts the Liberals politically even though it is the right thing to do.  Rae at this point appears to be disclosing the entire story.

      Harper had his picture taken with his kid, and provided him with a nice job all post-ballot box grab.  Then an apparently unrelated incident grabs the news cycle and Harper must be seen to do something.  He throws his kid under the bus, which may or may not be the right thing to do, but is certainly a little late.  Harper does not disclose anything about the circumstances.

      Same thing?  

      • Again Stewart, I’m not really criticizing Rae here. On the contrary. Only pointing out that its very easy for commenters around here (and our host of course) to allow the parties we like to get away with the “pin the blame on the rogue staffer” game, while rejecting it as a nefarious plot for the ones we don’t like, regardless of circumstances. Last I checked, no one ever accused the Liberals of playing the game any cleaner than the Tories do.

        I don’t think Sona is going under the bus for the ballot box thing, that was an overblown non issue. I also think he will have company under there soon enough.

    • Because opening a twitter account and posting publicly available documents is the same as organizing a targeted voter callong  scheme which depended on data collected by the Con party.

      • You’re right. Engaging in a cowardly anonymous smear because you’re a Liberal who hates Tories is far worse. Thank you.

        • Reproducing information from publicly available court proceedings isn’t a “smear.”

          • Really. I recall most of you applauding the Vikileaks even before it was learned that the information was publicly available.

            Vic Toews’ divorce has absolutely nothing to do with the bill he has proposed. Releasing details of the divorce showed nothing but contempt for him personally. And it was done by a Liberal who obviously has nothing but contempt for people he disagrees with — a phenomenon far too common on here, by the way, which you’re displaying quite nicely as well.

          • Reproducing information from publicly available court proceedings isn’t a “smear” regardless of whatever reaction you’re imagining.

          • You know, repeating the same point over and over again isn’t an argument. No wonder you have to resort to smears when you can’t get your way. And that’s exactly what it is. Unless, of course, you can tell me what his divorce has to do with public policy. Next.

  6. I certainly hope that the Libs are going to throw him a very large party for leaving.  Not for leaving so much as for putting the documents out there.  I do not understand why Mr. Rae would feel the need to accept the resignation.  Accept an apology for using the account but that is not worth a resignation.

  7. The writer above forgot to give credit to Mr. Rae for his heartfelt personal apology to Mr. Toews for the vicious attack on him by the Liberal employee in the Parliament building.

    I was one of the few here who said that the type of personal slandering that was directed towards Toews and was coming from Liberal supporters was disgraceful and harmful for all. For saying that I was attacked as a conbot, tinfoil, kool-aid, boring stuff.

    It is a sad day for the Liberal party. I could never be a Liberal.

    • But Baird didn’t provide a heartfelt or any apology for his slander of the NDP. Are you tearing up your card?

      • Check the record.
        First Van Loan, then Baird apologized to the NDP for believing the press reports that Vikileaks originated from a NDP employee.

        Baird went further and retracted the statement that he had made where he said the Liberals were innocent.

        • “Withdrawing” a remark isn’t even an apology let alone a heartfelt one. And Van Loan just blamed the media.

      • Oh puh-lease! Man up and accept that a mistake was made. This endless circle of but, but, but is so childish and takes you nowhere.

        What Rae did was very well done. An LPC did something wrong and he apologized. End of story.

        • Wait, I thought this poster WAS Ellen.

    • Why?  Toews’ divorce was public knowledge as is the fact that he’s a big fat Con hypocrite. Toews has gotten some of what he’s reaped.

      • Oh boy!

      • And most of it had already been reported by the MSM back when there was talk he was leaving politics and going to be appointed to the bench.  I’m trying to think which would be worse – having him be a judge, or doing wht he’s doing now.

    • Just last week you were talking about your professed non-partisanship Ellen. What’s the matter? Can’t keep your stories straight?

    • It’ been noted how fair and objective you are – always quick to point out Tory wrongdoing – you’e a credit to your party.

    • “I was one of the few here who said that the type of personal slandering that was directed towards Toews…”

      In order to be slander, doesn’t the information need to be false?

      •  Yes.  There was no slander or that would have been Minister Toews’ very first complaint and it would have shut things down fairly quickly (presuming the perpetrator did not relish being caught in that circumstance).

        But Toews has never claimed any of the information shared (that’s what social media is about, dontcha know?) was incorrect.  Embarrassing,  politically damaging, career limiting and uncomfortable; all very likely.  But no lies were created.

  8. I probably would not have done what vikileaks did and the information was publicly available court documents anyway, but there was a good sense of “what’s good for the goose, Toews” in the entire affair. 

  9. I wanted to make another point, so I’ll do it by editing this initial no-post of mine.

    Specifically, I see a lot of people are praising Rae for this. But doesn’t he say in his own statement that the Speaker’s office was investigating this and connected the leaks to a Liberal staffer? In other words, Rae didn’t do anything benevolent here except try to spin this, and apparently it’s working with at least some posters on here.

  10. Welp. There goes Rae’s righteous indignation-moral high ground for a while. 

    • How so? When he became aware of a problem, he dealt with it in a forthright manner. Compare that to the way theTories behave when they get caught…

      Every party has its rogues. Everybody makes mistakes. The question is, how do you handle it when the S#!t hits the fan? I have yet to see the tories own up to anything unless the court forces them to.

      • Wait a minute. Wasn’t the Speaker’s investigation about to blow the lid on this case, and isn’t Rae just doing damage control before the fact? Don’t buy this holier than thou routine, especially since only days ago it was Rae accusing Harper of “dirty tricks” — without evidence, of course.

        • So you’re saying what… that Rae should have stonewalled and denied until the cows came home, and refused to offer an apology? That would make him a Tory then, wouldn’t it?

          • No, I’m saying exactly what I said, not what you want to say about a Tory party you obviously resent.

  11. The Vikileaks account was a particularly vicious example of an ad hominem attack (whether or not the information “leaked” was public) and, as such, was worthy of condemnation. Accordingly, I think Rae absolutely did the right thing by exposing and firing the individual who operated it, and apologizing to Toews on behalf of the Liberals. However, there is no evidence that this individual was acting in concert with others or as part of an orchestrated attack.

    Harper also did the right thing if, indeed, Sona was fired for his role in the robocall campaign. However, what’s different in that case is that it defies credulity that one person conducted such an apparently pervasive operation single-handedly. Hence, that situation definitely calls for more thorough investigation.

    Also, the Vikileaks caper was merely odiferous and sleazy. The robocall campaign, on the other hand, is odiferous, sleazy, and potentially illegal.

  12. Rae is boss of his party – how come has not accepted responsibility for culture of deception and tricks within his org? What is Rae doing about the nixonian culture that resides within Liberal Party? 

    What kind of political culture exists in Canada where mature pols can do whatever they want and never resign while young staffers are fired for inconsequential things. It is disgraceful. 

    Why did Liberals fire person for printing accurate info?

    Rae last week ~ The prime minister has created a Nixonian culture,” Rae said. “This stuff doesn’t happen unless the boss lets it happen. He has allowed to seep into his party and into his organization a culture of attack and, frankly, a culture of deception and dirty tricks, where almost anything goes.

    Rae this week ~ The employee involved has advised me that he took this initiative on his own, has apologised for his action, regrets the embarrassment he has caused and has offered his resignation.

    • Good point.

    • Let’s see… the Liberals under Rae have had one incident, which was dealt with openly and an apology offered.

      The Tories have had… well, I’ve lost count. In every instance the approach is to stonewall and deny. Those who break the rules might be asked to resign, but are all too often quietly given new cushy jobs when the dust settles.

      Compare & contrast, Tony

      (PS: I’m not entirely sure the resignation was even warranted; Tony is still head of the Treasury Board, after all, and gazebogate crossed more ethical boundaries than this. I think Vic deserved what he got for calling us all pedophiles and renaming the bill in such a deliberately misleading fashion. If he wants to invade peoples’ privacy without a warrant, then he deserves a taste himself. It was public information, after all.)

      • The Tories have had… well, I’ve lost count. In every instance the approach is to stonewall and deny

        It’s not their fault that your accusations against them prove to be false, is it? You can accuse all you want. It doesn’t mean it’s true, or that the accusers have to answer for anything.

        I think Vic deserved what he got

        Of course you do. You want to be able to throw all kinds of eggs at Conservatives, while getting furious when they defend themselves and are found to be innocent, like most normal people you have a problem with.

        • Nice try Dennis. You’re saying the gazebos weren’t built from funds destined for border security? You’re saying the Conservatives were not cited for contempt of Parliament? You’re saying the court was wrong to find them guilty in the in & out scandal? And on and on, with no attempt to ever “man up” and say sorry.

          Vic called me and countless other Canadians as being pedophile supporters because we have a problem with his bill. That’s slander. Vikileaks published facts. Not pleasant facts, but facts that were already on the public record. If Vic has apologized, I’ve some how missed it. So yeah I think if he’s going to offend a sizeable chunk of the nation that way then he deserves to be shown for what he is.

          • Every one of those so-called “scandals” were blown way out of proportion, and the electorate had their say on them all by giving the Conservatives a majority government.

            And it’s pretty common around here to justify all kinds of vitriol by claiming, “Well, that’s what they do, so we’re going to do it, too.” It’s hardly a standard of ethics from which to start throwing stones, is it?

          • and Lawrence Martin, whose article you linked to, has been doing it for all these years, and has been summarily ignored by the Canadian voter.

            And, for the record, I think it’s happening again. In the end, some ridings may have received some calls in a way that in no way affected the outcome. It probably won’t get any bigger than that.

            The opposition and the media don’t know how to pick their targets. They just go for Hail Marys on every single overblown accusation.

          • We already know they overspent in the 2008 election.  Now they may have been involved in some illegal activity in the 2011 one. So, using the fact that they managed a majority is a bit of a shakey defence. 

          • Let me get this straight. You say you know about some spending in 2008, and you’re accusing the Conservatives yet again for 2011, and this is what you consider damning evidence, do you?

            And no matter how much you think Canadian democracy is a “shakey defence,” I suspect Canadian voters will disagree with you, and already have for much of the past decade.

  13. Holy cow! REAL apologies. Will wonders ever cease?

  14. Well of course you couldn’t. From what I’ve been reading of you over these past few days, you’re clearly a staff member of the CPC doing your best at damage control. You’re a paid partisan hack, like Wilson, except not as funny.

  15. Your party was blaming the NDP, dear.  Now that the wikivics has been sorted out, are you going to direct your moral clarity towards the possible voter suppression scheme?

  16. And Harper in QP said today, basically, to the opposition – that if they have proof of wrong doing it’s for them to bring forward, not the government.

  17. What was it, i always have trouble following Tony.

    • You have trouble following Sesame Street.

  18. I’m shocked you’re standing with the adulterers, Dennis, after years of preaching sexual morality.

    • Well, it doesn’t shock me that you, once again, have to resort to this garbage because you can’t defend your leftist agenda. Thank you for being the poster child for everything I say about your cause. You keep proving me right over and over again.

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