02.19.2012 01:05 AM

In today’s Sun: a cautionary tale for Geoff and Jordan

It’s a tale of two nations, you might say.

When an American politician introduced a bill to crack down on Internet lawlessness, what was the reaction? And when a Canadian politician introduced a bill to crack down on Internet lawlessness, what happened up here?

Well, in the case of the U.S. bill — Rep. Lamar S. Smith’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), aimed at punishing copyright infringement — companies such as Google and Wikipedia came together to launch a smart and effective grassroots lobby campaign. Their effort, which culminated in a web blackout on Jan. 18, stopped SOPA in its tracks.

Up here? Well, the Canadian bill — Bill C-30, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act (PCIPA) — saw opponents come together to publicize Toews’ divorce files. The sickening campaign culminated in a shocking Ottawa Citizen story Thursday, which revealed the Twitter account that had been disgorging salacious details about the Toews family had been — wait for it — run out of the House of Commons.


  1. MCBellecourt says:

    From what I’ve been reading, the court docs quoted in those tweets were available to the public. And, also, from what I’ve been reading, there are a lot of people who have access to those computers. If those computers are hooked up to wireless routers, then they are not secure (thus the reason I stopped using mine). What I do like about that Twitter account is when they began documenting Vic Toews’s spending habits with our tax dollars.

    People here feel as though their own government has declared war on them, and let’s face it, Mr. K., the Opposition parties have been pretty ineffective up till now.

    I notice that the people’s opposition had also stepped up since the release of this item from Terry Milewski, one of Canada’s most respected and knowledgeable journalists.


    Terry has dissected the bill quite nicely in this article and puts it out there in plain language. As per usual–I’ve been a big fan of Milewski, and my ex has taken many a page out of his book in his own journalism career.

    If your readers haven’t already read this piece, I highly recommend it. There is a sense of betrayal coupled with a sense of urgency out there. The Harper Government is solely to blame for this whole thing. I don’t condone what that Tweeter did, but I understand it, and you have to admit, it drew attention to this piece of legislation, and Canadians are finally waking from their self-imposed stupor.

    It’s war, Mr. K. Like it or not, I’m afraid it has come down to this. There’s too much at stake for us to be fighting amongst ourselves now.

    • William says:

      Yes, the docs are public but it’s the bill that needed addressing, not Vic’s past.

      And there is more than ample ammo to take down the bill and do it without crawling in the mud.

      Leave that BS to the CPC machine. Irwin Cotler knows all about it.

  2. Bill Templeman says:

    WK: I’m with you in lamenting the loss of open-mindedness in Canada that allowed, to take an example that will warm the hearts of long-time CBC radio fans, Camp, Kierans and Lewis to engage in open political dialogue on Peter Gzowski’s Morningside. That was then. This is now. Those same CBC fans have, in the last few months, been called anti-Canadian radicals for supporting David Suzuki in resisting the Northern Gateway pipeline and now they have been called child-pornography allies for resisting full Internet surveillance. Peaceful coexistence is a lovely model of human interaction. But it has nothing to do with the cultural war we are in right now in Canada. I share your distaste for these tactics. Toews’s private life should not have been used this way. I wish we were not at war.

    • Jason King says:

      I cannot wait until the Tulk comment spam is behind us as well. It’s dumb, dumber and dumbest filtered through tinfoil and an insurance pamphlet.

    • Jon Adams says:

      Speaking of eras we’ve left behind: calling people Communists.

      • Torgo says:

        “Red” = disagrees with Gord. It also appears to render your opinion invalid. Good to know.

        I also have a vision of this conversation in 2040 where people recall things like Sun News, the National Post and Charles Adler and say ‘Thank god that era is behind us”.

    • Bill Templeman says:

      Please Gord, cannot you not look past the politics and see the process? Regardless of your evaluation of where those radio conversations fell on the political spectrum and how you felt about the participants, there was a semblance of open dialogue. Alright, how about Gzowski’s conversations with Preston Manning? Again, very different political biases but there was an open dialogue. My point is that debate has been dumbed down so much by media formats today, among other factors, that all we get is yelling matches. Can you imagine a similar debate today? Stock Day, Svend Robinson and Shiela Copps? It would be a bloodbath. They would just yell. Zero listening. Who would you suggest as an unbiased moderator? Ezra Levant?

  3. Kenneth Lichti says:

    WK: I think you have it wrong. I don’t think it was conservative comment: I think the #TellVicEverything twitter campaign was the killer.

  4. Mike says:

    What I think is a bigger shame than the personal politics of the last few months is the quality of the people our country has selected to represent us. Many of these people I would not invite into my home yet they make the decisions that govern my nation. I agree their dirty little secrets should be secret when it has no impact on their public life. I just wish they had fewer dirty little secrets. Not a single politician of the day inspires…

  5. fred says:

    Mr. Toews : ““This is the first time that I’m hearing this somehow extends ordinary police emergency powers. In my opinion, it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t.”
    He doesn’t know what’s in his own legislation?

    • MCBellecourt says:

      …which begs the question: If what Toews says is true, then who wrote this piece of Kent legislation?

      Three guesses–and the first two don’t count!

  6. William says:

    American politics is consistently dirtier than Canadian politics but we have our moments.

  7. Chris says:

    Warren what would you call your attacks on Stockwell Days religious views back when he was the Alliance leader?

    • Warren says:

      Fair game. He had given a speech to Civitas, and elsewhere, saying that his religious beliefs informed his political decision-making. At that point, it wasn’t just fair that I highlight what those beliefs are – it became essential.

      I wasn’t interested in his wife or his children, but the man, and the man’s public words. But I don’t expect the likes of you to be able to make the distinction.

      • Michael says:

        His wife and children became involved because Toews impregnated his parliamentray assistant, all the while preaching family values.

        I would agree with you if it was solely the actuions of Toews’ family that were broght to light. (ie the minitser did nothing wrong, but a child got arrested). But this was a case of the minister’s actions being brought to light, and unfortunately it was embarrassing for the family.

        If Toews had practiced what he preached, and kept his pecker in his pocket, this would not be an issue.

      • Anon says:

        I’m not sure I make the distinction. A Politician goes on record regarding issues and is then exposed for his hypocrisy — fair game as far as I’m concerned. Especially when the Politicians’ publicly advocated views can have the effect of discriminating against and actually hurting some of the vunerable amongst us. Btw is it not fair game for me to know of some relevant aspects of my MP’s personal life so I can decide whether the person is a scumbag not worthy to share the sidewalk with let alone an esteemed public office?

      • Chris says:

        Seems like many people don’t see the distinction between what you have done and do currently and what is happening to Toews.

  8. Torgo says:

    Funny, I don’t see any right-wing/Republican/Conservative politicians listed here. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence…

  9. MoeL says:

    Of course the Harper government backed down on this legislation because the base disagreed. Do you honestly believe that there is anything that the opposition could say or do that would persuade them change their minds? My feeling is that most of the base agrees with what is proposed here, but only oppose it for fear of looking like total hypocrites given their rhetoric on the gun registry and the long form census.

    • MoeL says:

      Are you saying that the PM, PMO and CPC caucus members (who probably saw or were at least briefed on this monstrosity before it was released) don’t share your stated altruistic opposition to it. If they do, how could this bill have seen the light of day?

      • MoeL says:

        First, how the hell would you know that “PMSH had concerns prior to its becoming published” and second it is absurd to believe that it would have been tabled if PMSH (or any competent PM) had any serious misgivings about it. You can’t be serious!

    • que sera sera says:

      Apparently it is physiologically possible to both suck & blow at the same time.

  10. que sera sera says:

    The fact that a PM and his government in general, and this Cabinet Minister in particular, feel free to blatantly demonize, criminalize and treat Canadians with contempt, and requiring 24/7/365 warrantless surveillance, is the issue. The fact that Canadians retaliated with contempt and scorn and derision in return, is appropriate, wildly appropriate.

    Pretending that only the politicians, the political parties and punsters, and the media have the exclusive right to frame these debates and indeed determine what should be debated and in what way, is exactly what turned off the electorate and got us to this point where a fascist government elected by a minority of voters believe they can treat citizens and voters with total and complete contempt.

    I applaud Canadians for throwing the gauntlet back in the government’s face.

  11. JH says:

    Am I wrong of is this Bill not just a reworking of a Liberal one that died on the order paper when Martin went down – and is very similar to it? Isn’t this something the silly servants have advocated for and wanted passed for some time?
    I’m sure I heard that reported and then it disappeared.

  12. MCBellecourt says:

    Here’s Tom Clark with his take. He details a rather disturbing piece of this crap bill.


  13. dave says:

    I am not so sure that this shows a PMO that is letting cabinet ministers have a feer rein. That Toews was not aware of some aspects of the legislation suggests to me that Toews was handed the bill and ordered to intro it without really having a chance to vet it. It almost looks as if no one in Toews’ minstry had a chance to vet it and brief the minister.

    The heavy handedness of the intrusions, with impunity for the police for the intrusions, suggests a ‘wish list’ bill, intorduced with a full wish list to see how far it would go, with a readiness to cut a few small parts if there were difficulties with public reaction to the bill. Cutting a bit here , and modifying a bit there will still give the police (and CSIS) the secrecy and impunity they want.

  14. MCBellecourt says:

    You guys might want to check this out as well. I stumbled upon it about a half-hour ago.


  15. Mike says:

    I think it might be fair to give Mr. Layton the benefit of the doubt: maybe he had this funny thing called HOPE.

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