Nobody should lose their job for telling Canadians the truth about Vic Toews

"It's not journalists' job to keep politicians' secrets."

Poll

Do you agree with the tweeting of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews's divorce details by @vikileaks30?

Yes 91%
1395 votes
No 6%
95 votes
Unsure 3%
45 votes

So tweeted my colleague, Stephen Hui, in response to the ongoing tempest over the 2008 divorce of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

Hui appears to be a rarity in the Canadian media. Apparently, the divorce was widely known in the Ottawa press gallery, but it wasn't deemed newsworthy by most of them, even though Toews allegedy fathered a child out of wedlock.

When Pierre Trudeau became a dad out of wedlock, it was reported across the country. But when that paragon of family values, Toews, allegedly did the same thing when he was in Stephen Harper's cabinet, it was suddenly a nonstory in the mainstream media.

Sooner or later, we're going to find out who created the @Vikileaks30 Twitter account, which claimed to release the affidavits from the now-famous divorce involving Harper's senior cabinet minister from Manitoba.

The Ottawa Citizen has already revealed that the posts on the account came from a House of Commons computer.

I expect that some opposition-party caucus staffer or researcher will fess up, possibly lose his or her job, and the Conservatives will play this up as an awful breach of ethics.

And the media cheerleaders, who value protecting politicians' privacy above telling the public about rank hypocrisy, will pile on with more criticism.

From my vantage point, it appears that all the Vikileaks revelations came from the public record.

Toews and his ex-wife chose to slug it out in the courts, which are financed by taxpayers. Anytime anyone ventures into the courts, which are public venues, they should be prepared to have their affidavits publicized. Nobody should know this better than Toews, given his position in the government.

As for the other Vikileaks tweets, they appear to be entirely focused on how Toews spent tax dollars.

The only real criticism the Conservatives can make is that if the NDP was involved, it was acting somewhat hypocritically. That's because former leader Jack Layton repeatedly emphasized that he wanted to bring civility back to the House of Commons.

Keep in mind that this so-called "persecution" (Postmedia's word, not mine) of Toews is nothing compared to how the Conservatives have skewered their opponents.

Look no further than the nasty attacks by Defence Minister Peter MacKay on diplomat Richard Colvin for speaking truthfully to a Commons committee about Afghan detainees.

How about the online attack ad showing a bird defecating on former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion?

Or the launching of Conservative personal attack ads on opponents between elections?

Then there's a recent Toronto Star story about the smearing of Veteran's Affairs and Appeal Board member Harold Leduc, whose private medical records were revealed in a reported attempt to discredit him.

Harper heads the nastiest gang in Canadian political history. The Vikileaks Twitter account doesn't come close to the persecution that the Conservatives have inflicted on their opponents.

And nobody should have to lose their job if it turns out that the Vikileaks account told Canadians the truth about the man who wants to lock up marijuana growers and allow the police to search through your Internet browsing history without a warrant.

I'm going to give the last word to Straight sex columnist Dan Savage. Here's what he wrote about Toews in 2010:

Canada’s unofficial “Minister of Family Values”, member of parliament Toews—surprise!—doesn’t like the gays because we’re a threat to the family and the institution of marriage. Toews has described gay marriage ceremonies as satanic “Black Masses” and insisted that adding gays and lesbians to existing Canadian civil rights statutes would bring the “jackboot of fascism [down] on the necks of our people”.

You know where this is going, right?

It turned out that Toews—who once warned that gay marriage could lead to polygamy—was cheating on his wife of 25 years. After getting a much younger woman pregnant, Toews wound up getting divorced. Another marriage destroyed not by gays stomping around in fabulous jackboots, but by another straight “Christian” shitfuck politician slamming his dick into someone who isn’t his wife.

Toews’s affair became public two years ago, but the scandal didn’t destroy him—he became minister of public safety this January—because the Canadian press sniffed that Toews’s affair and divorce were private.

Excuse me, Canadian-press pansies, but a politician who scares up votes attacking the private lives of others, a politician who insists that other people are out to destroy his marriage, can’t be allowed to hide behind “my private business!” when it turns out that the only threat to the politician’s marriage was the politician’s own greasy cock.

Here’s hoping that all straight folks everywhere one day realize that antigay ravers come in just two flavours: assholes who are externalizing their own internal struggles against homosexual desires (Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Charlie Crist, Joseph Ratzinger, et al.) and assholes who are attempting to compensate for and/or draw attention away from their own moral shortcomings (David Vitter, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Vic Toews, et al.).

Toews is pronounced “taves”, and it seems to me that it should be a word for something nasty. Get on it, Canada.


Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

Comments (34) Add New Comment
Chris_K
Something nasty huh? His name sounds appropriate for "the shocker." Then we can say "don't Toews me bro!"
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ROOZLE
Apparently it is unfair to share information that was gathered from a public court room.
In order to be fair, we must restrict the debate to knowledge gathered by hacking into his private email, and or any other private internet communications.
This is the "fair and just" Canada that the Harper Government believes in.
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Thom Corbett
Have shared this excellent article and it should be shred widely.
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Gloria
I don't have the least bit of interest in Toews divorce. I couldn't even be bothered to read about it.

What I don't like is, Toews henchman attitude. Because, Canadian citizens don't agree with Toews and Harper's, internet snooping, does not mean we are pedophiles.

I think the internet snooping is all about control. The media is controlled and are now, just propaganda machines for the government. The only place citizens can get to the truth, is on the internet. All dictators have to hide their dirty deeds from citizens. Harper has secret meetings behind closed doors now. He just hates to be exposed on the net. Harper has a lot to hide.

That's why Hitler had Goebbels as propaganda minister, to stop any bad press about Hitler getting to the public's ears. Anyone who tried to start up a new newspaper, ended up in concentration camps. So the German people didn't realize the truth about Hitler, until it was far too late.

No dictator wants Freedom of Speech, nor Democracy nor, Civil Rights and Liberties, all of that is being taken away from the Canadian people. Other country's media, have written about, Harper destroying Democracy in Canada.

They banned Harper from the, New Trans Pacific Trade Group. They wouldn't even give Harper a seat in the U.N. Our once, good country's name is in tatters.
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Get over yourself Toews
Your wife did. No worry the only one caught is Vic Toews as people give the Harper government to much credit for a start.
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lolz
the info was all public record. that twitter account simply reminded people what a phoney two faced dbag toews really is.

sadly whoever set it up didn't think to at least use a VPN to hide their IP#er so shut it down immediately once the citizen located where they were.
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KiDDAA Magazine
The people who voted for conservatives and Harper Majority are now getting a Canada that looks and acts more like Texas.
These right wingers now want more prisons, no chance of legalizing pot and of course could give rats about freedom of speech or human rights.
Harp and the boys wanted a war in Iraq now want Canada to support war against Iran based on no nukes.
Harp and the boy were happy to go to Libya and of course extended the Afghan mission.
The UN chose to say no to Canada on the UN security counsel because it approves every Israel action regardless if its illegal.
Now people are complaining about the Cons too bad you voted for them!
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dreger
guys a loser period.lets dig up his background in school.probably a loser then and now.makes me sick 2 laws.one for us and one for government
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KiDDAA Magazine
A few years back KiDDAA Magazine had some unmoderated blogs about a case re-Erwin Singh Braich. The blogs talked about KPMG and other local big wigs.
The BC Supreme Court and the powers that be shut down our unmoderated blogs and hyperlinkgs.
The point is there is no freedom of speech and truth in media. If you piss off the very rich, the right wing, you could lose a job or land up in jail.
Yes Canada is more free than say North Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia or Burma but freedom of speech in totality really doesn't exist. Truth has never been paramount.
Look at the media we got National Post, VAncouver Sun, Shaw Global its about as warmongering, racist and right you can go. Because they are paid for by these same aholes.
Towes can do anything he wants and will!
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Glen I agree with you sorta
Canadians should know these things about the people that run their country and have a direct influence on their everyday life's and it is also essential to be able to make good choices.
I want the good, the bad and the ugly and then decide instead of all this marketing to pick the next party that isn't very democratic because the rich have the advantage. Changes need to be made that gives credence to all Canadians voices instead of being shut out or told to shut up. Harper is a bully and most of his Ministers are picked accordingly not because of their good stuff but because they will do anything they are told to get ahead. Bully tatics shouldn't work but bullies work for Harper no doubt.
Not very democratic and why have a whole bunch of politicians who have to blow out their ass instead of doing the job Canadians paid them to do which was represent them and not the King.
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Ross Mikalson
Is Toews, in all likelihood a right wing Christian fundamentalist, related to the traveling clown revue burning books while attempting to impose censorship upon schools and libraries in the Alberta outback? His modus operandi, under-pinned by an all too familiar and stinking hypocrisy in Canadian conservative politics extant since the black days of Brian Mulroney, is remarkably similar to the great republican whore cum comedy show on display south of the border as well...inbred stupidity begets inbred stupidity?
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Sarah Scott
Good for you,Charlie

As a former political reporter from Quebec, I think it's totally legit to write about Vic toews behavior in his personal life. He fathers a child with a babysitter, who was what age? He supposedly cuts off support to his wife? He promises to cut off relations with his child so he can pursue a life in politics? Totally relevant, in my books, because it reveals the character of the man. And it is about character, isn't it?
I find it really sad that my friends in the Ottawa press gallery are so intimidated by Harper that they're not exploring these questions, as any American journalist would immediately do. Think John Edwards. What did Vic toews do to keep this quiet up to now?
I hope you'll keep going with this story, Charlie. It's a story about Vic, to be sure. But it's also a story about the suppression of dissent, and right now, sadly, the georgia straight seems to be the only print publication that's willing to tell the real story.
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Janice
"The Ottawa Citizen has already revealed that the posts on the account came from a House of Commons computer."

Oh, please! Don't propagate the same misinformation that the Citizen has been guilty of and called out on by several other journalists and critics of the government's Lawful Access and similar legislation.

An IP address associated with the Twitter account that was disclosing apparently true and publicly available (even without C-30 - how about that for irony?) facts concerning Mr. Toews' divorce proceedings was traced to the House of Commons NETWORK. But that doesn't mean the computer using that network at that time had any association with anyone in office. Honest it doesn't. But it makes for a sensational story, doesn't it? So the Ottawa Citizen chose to ignore (or not appraise itself of - who knows?) the hard facts. Don't follow in their footsteps.

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Roedy Green


Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety has come out opposing anti-bullying legislation, claiming it violates the Charter Rights of religious people to bully gay people. In his view, religious rights are violated if even students create clubs to curb bullying. In his view, Christian students must not even in the gentlest way have their right and duty to beat up gays challenged. It is not as though religious bigots are being forced to join such clubs. There is no religious or constitutional right to beat up gays, any more than there is a religious right to beat up Jews, First Nations people or Francophones. Toews is more than derelict in his duty to ensure the public safety of all Canadians; he is deliberately fostering illegal violence. He must resign.
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