Vic Toews targeted in second Anonymous smear campaign
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“Anonymous has been informed that not only did Vic Toews appoint Catherine Everett to the court of Queen's Bench while sleeping with her,” Anonymous alleged, “but that Stephen Harper discovered this at some point in time during the month or so between November 26, 2006 and January 4 2007, and quietly removed Vic Toews from the position of Justice Minister – in a carefully orchestrated balancing act between protecting himself and the party by not having his sitting Justice Minister embroiled in a political and legal scandal in the event this information were to be made public, and continuing to conceal his information in order to protect the Conservative Party's political prospects.
“... This would represent an enormous conflict of interest, especially since this information was not disclosed at the time of the appointment. It also opens the door to the possibility this appointment was made in exchange for sexual favours, either direct or indirect, which would not only be unethical but very likely criminal behaviour.”
Toews has not responded to the latest allegations, but after the hacker group's previous attacks as well as alleged threats against him and his family, Toews said he had asked police to investigate.
“I would like you to know that the personal attacks, criminal acts and threats of future criminal acts against me will not dissuade me from carrying out my responsibilities as an elected Member of the House of Commons and as the Minister of Public Safety for Canada,” Toews wrote in a letter published in the Winnipeg Free Press.
The battle began after Toews' tabled Bill 30 last month, and then told Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia he could “either stand with us or with the child pornographers,” after Scarpaleggia criticized the bill for impinging on Canadians' civil liberties.
Faced with a war of words on Twitter over his “child pornographers” remarks – including a @vikileaks30 account revealed to have been set up by a Liberal staffer – Toews backed down from his remarks, telling CBC television host Evan Solomon that, “If fair minded Canadians have come to the conclusion that my comments in that respect that I made in the heat of Parliamentary debate were not appropriate, I'm prepared to accept their judgment.”
The latest allegations, however, go far beyond revelations of an extra-marital affair. In its new video, Anonymous demanded a criminal investigation into Everett's appointment as a Manitoba judge, and suggested the prime minister was aware of the situation and covered it up by demoting Toews to a Treasury Board position.
“If there was any justice in the country, an investigation would be launched into these allegations,” Anonymous said. “However, as our government seems hell-bent on calling those who engage in legal protests using social media before ethics committees, and holding Anonymous in contempt of Parliament instead, this seems unlikely.
“We will not be holding our breath.”
None of the allegations have been proven, nor has Toews' office responded to the latest video. Anonymous acknowledged there is no definitive proof of the affair, nor allegations of political corruption in Toews' appointment of Everett.
“Of course, short of images or video of Vic Toews or Catherine Everett in romantic or sexual situations, we cannot prove conclusively that this allegation is true,” Anonymous admitted. “However, we can make an educated guess.
“... There are several other statements in (Toews' divorce) affidavits from Mr. Toews' first wife confirming he was engaged in multiple and ongoing affairs... If he was engaged in an affair with Catherine Everett in 2006, he would not only be cheating on his first wife, but his mistress Stacey Meek as well... It is safe to assume that a man willing to cheat on his wife of 30 years would also cheat on his mistress of two or three years.”
Many commentators were, in fact, puzzled when prime minister Harper unexpectedly removed Toews from his high-profile position as Justice Minister on January 4, 2007 – making him president of the Treasury Board instead, a move widely considered a demotion.
Anonymous defended its breach of Toews' private life, arguing that Bill C-30 would similarly invade the privacy of millions of Canadians. The group also pointed to Toews' reputation for “traditional family values” in his conservative, religious Manitoba riding, and statements condemning gay marriage, homosexuality and polygamy.
“Vic Toews campaigned and was elected in one of the most conservative and religious ridings in Canada,” Anonymous' video said. “(He) was once dubbed the 'minister of family values.'
“... Mr. Toews condemned gay marriage on the basis that it could lead to polygamy. Apparently, Mr. Toews only objects to ongoing sexual relations in the fathering of children with more than one woman when it is formalized and out in the open – as opposed to behind your wife's back.”