07.09.2012 08:00 AM

You had an option, Mr. Harper

Mulroney: You had an option, sir. You could have said, ‘I am not going to do it. This is wrong for Canada, and I am not going to ask Canadians to pay the price.’ You had an option, sir — to say ‘no’ — and you chose to say ‘yes’ to the old attitudes and the old stories of the Liberal Party. That sir, if I may say respectfully, that is not good enough for Canadians.

Turner: I had no option.

Mulroney: That is an avowal of failure. That is a confession of non-leadership. And this country needs leadership. You had an option, sir. You could have done better.


  1. Ted B says:

    The problem for those opposing Harper on this blatant patronage of the worst partisan kind, is that appointing Toews as a judge is actually very good for Canada. It may be awful for Manitoba, and therefore not a positive good for Canada, but the government would very definitely be greater by subtraction in this case. Having Toews not in charge of anything (and with a safety valve of a higher appeals court) will benefit Canadians.

    Still, once again, we find ourselves wanting a time machine to go back and interview Stephen Harper pre-2006 about Stephen Harper post-2006.

  2. james curran says:

    Make qualified
    government appointments

    The Liberals have repeatedly appointed insiders, in some cases completely unqualified,
    to important public offices. Liberal candidates and MPs have received appointments as heads
    of Crown corporations, board members, and ambassadors. Liberal staffers, including some of
    those responsible for the sponsorship program, have worked their way into key positions in the
    public service.

    -Stephen J. Harper in Stand Up for Canada, The 2006 Conservative Platform

  3. sj says:

    Love that there is a cooling off period for ministers if they want to lobby, but one can go directly to the bench.

  4. KP says:

    Hopefully he’ll recuse himself if the case involves someone nailing their teenaged babysitter and knocking them up. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course he wouldn’t. If true, at least we’ll get to see the full Dunning-Kruger effect at work in the Manitoba Court of Appeal.. although I’m unsure if that’s a good thing. Probably not for people who live in Manitoba.

  5. JamesHalifax says:

    Well, Toews may be qualified for the job, however, what about appearences?

    I suspect any judgement against someone who isn’t a Conservative…may raise an eyebrow or two.

    Besides….he’s got the money, the pension….why not just retire and enjoy life.

    • Kelly says:

      Vic Toews does not have the ability to enjoy life. It just isn’t in his DNA. He’s angry all the time.

  6. Nurie Jahangeer says:

    Yes, it is quite disappointing. I had actually been quite impressed with Harper’s judicial appointments so far, as contrary
    to what many of us feared, he has actually appointed mostly moderates, many of whom were originally appointed by
    Chrietien and Martin to lower courts. Justices Cromwell, Rothstein, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Winkler come to mind
    as such examples. However, as much as I believe Harper would actually like to move the Conservatives even more
    to the center, he knows what happens in Western Canada when that occurs, you get right-wing American Republican-style
    entities such as the Wildrose Alliance Party which seek to replace the existing Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.
    The same thing happened federally between the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Reform/Alliance,
    and it could happen again at the federal level.

    Harper has no choice but to placate the grassroots voting base of the CPC in Western Canada who are dominated by racists, sexists, misogynists, homophobes, Anglo-Saxon chauvinists, Protestant supremacist, tax haters, gun lovers, Ameri-KKK-a lovers, Republi-KLAN Party lovers, pick truck drivers, rednecks, MMA fans, WWE fans, NASCAR fans and other uneducated, common, low class, uncouth, unrefined, tactless, blue collar, knuckle dragging WHITE TRASH who loath bilingualism, multiculturalism, bilingualism, Quebec, abortion, gay rights, women’s rights and progressive taxation. Oh I forgot to add, that a disproportionate number of these Reform/Alliance types also tend to be obese and slovenly dressed Alpha White Males who sport buzz cuts and little tough guy goatee. Most of them would fit in very well on the sets of “Trailer Park Boys” and “Hoarders”.

    So as you can see, a “real man” like Vic Towes helps to really the base!. I mean c’mon Warren, did you really think Harper
    would appoint a well refined, couth, tactful, posh, upper crust, urbane, Red Tory gentleman like John Tory to fill a vacant seat in redneck Western Canada?. I mean what would all those big bellied pickup truck driving WASP’s good ‘ole boys with the big Nordic heads and spirit of rugged manly individualism who spit chewing tobacco and whine and bitch about “the homosexual agenda, feminazis, Islamo-fascists, commie unions, soviet CBC, and them darn lazy immigrunts on welfare”
    at CPC Manitoba events think of that?!.

    • Michael Sage says:

      Bravo! I couldn’t agree more.

    • Philip says:

      I am a mangicake.

    • KP says:

      As a white male (y’know, a mangiacake) with a buzzcut and goatee who holds a professional job and is a net contributor to society, I say the following: get help. You are a raving lunatic and add nothing to any civilized discussion.

      • Bill MacLeod says:

        KP, actually, if you stop and think about it, he adds quite a lot to the discussion. Unfortunately, none of it is positive, at least if Liberals hope to make inroads into Western Canada. Having that view expressed, and having others immediately agree, cannot be productive to the cause, can it?

    • smelter rat says:

      Quite a rant. It’s a mistake to confuse Manitobans with your vision of redneck westerners, whatever that is. With a couple of short term exceptions, we’ve been electing Dippers here provincially since 1969.

      • Greg from Calgary says:

        Yes, I don’t think that Rant is fair. Stereotypes are an indication of a lazy mind.

        • Greg from Calgary says:

          I’m down on all the stereotypes. I’m a racial mutt so everyone with a beef can take a shot at me for something. But when I hear sterotype stuff condeming an entire group whatever they are it upsets me. And then, we lose focus on what the issue was and it just becomes name calling. Sorry just ranted Les, this isn’t directed at you. I’m sure we could find something to disagree on and yet leave without calling each other names.

    • The Doctor says:

      I think Nurie is my favourite troll on WK’s website these days. The best political internet trolls IMO are those whose posts are so over-the-top, they’re right on that sweet spot dividing line: is this person really serious, or a purely satiric invention?

      Besides, without Nurie, I would have never had to look up the word “mangiacake”, thus expanding my vocabulary.

      You rock, Nurie!

      • Warren says:

        Yeah, what does that word mean, by the way?

        • Lance says:

          It is an Italian thing; a not very polite term for WASPs, lol.

        • GPAlta says:

          I’m sure you must know the answer already, but just in case I can be of service, mangicake is what Italian Canadians and others call white anglo Canadians. It means “cake eater” because the practice of eating cake for dessert as part of a meal seems so foreign and silly to the non cake eater. Also because wonder bread looks more like cake than bread.

          • Gary says:

            Italians eat their salad as the last part of a meal. Which seems weird to this mangiacake. Lol.

        • Jon Powers says:

          You live in Toronto and you don’t know what mangiacake means? For shame. I’m an I.B.M. (Italian By Marriage), so I’m quite familiar with the term. Hilarious. I believe it’s used mainly by Italian immigrants living in Southern Ontario, specifically Toronto. Italians I know who live in the States, for example, have never heard of the term. It’s a piece of Canadiana. The funny thing is, my father-in-law insists of having cake with his coffee after each meal. He didn’t appreciate the irony when I pointed it out to him.

  7. smelter rat says:

    Speaking as a Manitoban, I find this distressing. Anyone else with Mr. Toews’ personal track record would never be considered for such a position.

  8. Greg from Calgary says:

    Beyond the patronage reward which, I am against, I also worry about his ability. With the online “snoop” bill didn’t he admit he didn’t know all of the content of the bill and that he was surprised by it? As the minister responsible for the bill shouldn’t he have had the best understanding of the bill? I’m not comfortable with a judge who doesn’t completly go through the facts and arguments of a case before rendering judgement and based on past performance this is a very real threat.

    I’m against this because it is a patronage appointment and because of a lack of ability.

    • Philip says:

      This is also my biggest objection. If you are a Minister of the Crown introducing important and sweeping legislation you had better know exactly what you are talking about. Skimming the one page summary and relying on PMO talking points doesn’t cut it. Canadians and potentially Manitobians deserve much better from Toews. It’s too bad we just are not going to see it.

    • Attack! says:

      He’s also pretty clueless on his other big baby, the long gun registry & gun control legislation & procedures in general:

      he didn’t know about the detailed sales ledgers of who was buying what guns stores used to be mandated to keep, pre-Bill C-68 — whether they were still in place everywhere before his new Bill, and why — and whether they would continue after his Bill.

      And that if they (the two-faced Sports Shooters Association driving the latest bill & the pivot on this issue of whether to ban the ledgers too) didn’t want them to be required to be continued, they’d have to make that an explicit part of Bill C19, to remove the provincial firearm’s local discretion & authority to make that a condition of maintaining the gun stores’ retail licenses — something he had to scramble to do to tack on new regulations in the months after C19 passed.

      In fact, Toews is so clueless he doesn’t even know how the actual registry – the Canadian Firearms Registry On-Line (CFRO) – actually works in practice:

      he didn’t know police would still be able to look up whether someone whose plate they’re running (or are about to question, etc.) has a firearms licence.

      (See his Senate Committee testimony at

      at “I am not sure what all is on CPIC” [which refers to the broader Canadian Police Information Centre computer system, which includes the CFRO].

  9. Merrill Smith says:

    Would you like to give us a hint? Or is this just a general critique of Harperism?

  10. Kelly says:

    Wow…I wonder what his prospective colleagues on the bench would think. He might have it rough.

  11. Kelly says:

    Harper appears to be shuffling off his problem children. Maybe next he’ll appoint Tony Gazebo to CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

  12. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Judges are like party leaders. You absolutely want the most qualified along with strong analytical and reasoning capabilities.

  13. Tim says:

    Oh, man: politics – and Toews`staggering, odious, astronomical incompetence – aside, can you f$?&ing imagine being charged with a crime in Manitoba? Your case winds its way through the courts, appealed several times on technicalities or constitutional issues and then: BOOM!: you arrive at the (second) highest court in the land and Victor Toews is the damn Judge presiding over your case!!!!!!!!!!

    Would you feel a fair trial or hearing of your issue was imminent?

    If so, I’ve got some magic beans I’d love to sell ya! This is bad. Like, BAD, though. Like: “this is how dictatorships start” bad.

  14. dillon says:

    Can someone clarify what this post is about? Has Toews been appointed to the bench What is the babysitter story? Is that what was in his court documents?

    His views may not be accepted by all but they do represent the opinions od a large segment of society. However allegations of unlawful behaviour should be backed up.

  15. que sera sera says:

    Vic “Free-Moustache-Rides” Toews – the much ballyhooed serial adulterer and free range fornicator, who banged the teenage babysitter and knocked up his girlfriend before getting the boot by his long suffering wife – is not exactly a prime example of good old Manitoba probity, personally or professionally.

    If Harper is parachuting the old reprobate into a cushy MB Court of Appeals judgeship, why aren’t the allegations being investigated about Vic (as Federal Justice Minister) allegedly appointing one of his prior adulterous boinks to the Manitoba bench?

    And what about Vic’s involvement with the electoral fraud scandal in Manitoba when he was a provincial Conservative politician?

    This really really really stinks. Quite frankly the citizens of Manitoba deserve better than having Harper’s leftovers thrust upon them, using the Manitoba judiciary as a convenient dumping ground for Harper’s rejects. And those sitting on the Manitoba bench do not deserve to have their profession dragged into the gutter to accommodate Vic Toews “retirement” aspirations, especially when he is already pulling Federal & Provincial political pensions.

  16. JamesHalifax says:

    And apparently, he makes a great chicken pesto sandwhich…something or other.

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