Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Opposition demands apology from Toews

  • Print

OTTAWA -- The federal NDP is demanding Public Safety Minister Vic Toews apologize for comments he made about the government's Internet surveillance bill last year now that the bill has been scrapped.

During question period Tuesday, Quebec MP Charmaine Borg, the NDP critic for digital issues, said the decision to scrap Bill C-30 was a victory for all who opposed the government spying on their Internet use. She then wondered if Toews would apologize for suggesting MPs who criticized the bill last year were supporting pedophiles.

"The minister of public safety introduced a seriously flawed bill, launched attacks on the opposition for pointing out the bill's failings and refuses to take responsibility for his vile comments," Borg said. "Will the minister of public safety stand now and apologize for the despicable way he treated the critics of the bill and acknowledge that his bill went too far?"

On Feb. 13, 2012, Toews told Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia "He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers," after Scarpaleggia wondered how Canadians could trust the government wouldn't use the powers of C-30 improperly.

Toews' office did not respond when asked what he thought of Borg's apology request. He was in question period, but Justice Minister Rob Nicholson stood to respond to Borg's question instead.

"I appreciate that anything to do with the justice system is always upsetting to members of the Liberal party and the NDP," he said. "I cannot tell the difference between them. When it comes to fighting crime in this country, we are the only ones on the right side of this one."

On Monday, Nicholson announced he was scrapping Bill C-30, the Protecting Children From Internet Predators Act. Any future versions of the bill will not contain "warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information, or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capabilities within their systems," Nicholson said Monday.

He said the government's decision was responding to the concerns of Canadians.

Backlash to C-30 was swift after Toews introduced it last year, as Canadians of all political stripes felt it was far too invasive and gave the government the ability to spy on what individual Canadians were doing on the Internet without needing to get a warrant.

The backlash sparked one Liberal staffer to create an anonymous Twitter account, in which he unveiled details of Toews' divorce proceedings. The staffer was eventually identified and fired by the Liberals. He was subsequently rehired months later.

Borg said she didn't really expect to hear an apology from Toews, and noted he isn't even speaking at all about this now.

Although Toews introduced Bill C-30 last year, it was Nicholson who announced it was being scrapped and Nicholson who took questions about it Tuesday.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2013 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


City updates boil-water advisory - 7:30 a.m. Wednesday

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos


Will you be boiling your water until the city gives the all-clear?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google