Speaking Of Judgment

left photo by Blair Gable w Reuters / right photo by Sean Kilpatrick w Canadian Press

left photo by Blair Gable w Reuters / right photo by Sean Kilpatrick w Canadian Press

Judge Vic Toews | rabble.ca.

An excerpt from the above linked-to, very short article by J. Baglow follows:

Victor Toews lives in a charmed world, it seems. He may have fallen afoul of the law once upon a time, but that’s hardly uncommon in Stephen Harper’s circle, and it didn’t stop him from becoming this country’s Minister of Justice…

In that office Toews distinguished himself with petty acts of cruelty and an ill-concealed liking for torture and mass surveillance, which may have endeared him even more to the PMO.

Toews railed against same-sex marriage, honking on about the “sanctity” of traditional boy-girl wedlock, then seduced his babysitter, whose age the mainstream media have seemed strangely reluctant to search out. (He was her employer: under the Criminal Code, the age of consent in such circumstances is 18.) He proceeded to have another affair, and father a child with this mistress, which, oddly enough, led to his wife pulling the plug. Toews also objected strenuously to adding sexual orientation to the Criminal Code, claiming this would put “the jackboot of fascism on the necks of our people.” Really, one would expect Toews, of all people, to know what fascism is…

A seasoned bigot and devotee of sado-politics at its least refined, Toews has now gone to his Conservative reward—a coveted seat on the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench. The fix was in.

My online response to the above linked-to article follows:

The taunting continues: “Bring it!” The lawless ones need to know that the God who they are replacing, along with standards of right and wrong, isn’t there. They get this strange, but temporary, satisfaction when they don’t see him reacting to their immorality and violence. Temporary. For now.

J. Baglow’s article links to the following articles:

“Prison Pizza Party Ban Hurts Charities, Local Restaurants” – CBC via Huffington Post

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is being painted as a grinch after he put an end to inmates occasionally spending their own money to order food from outside prisons.

With a warden’s approval, inmate groups over the years have received permission to use their own money to order outside food such as pizza and fried chicken. These food drive nights also doubled as fundraisers for local charities and relief efforts such as Doctors Without Borders and victims of hurricanes and earthquakes.

“Vic Toews and the slippery torture downslope” – from J. Baglow’s blog (Dawg’s Blog)

Our Minister of Torture and Surveillance, Vic Toews, has been a busy bee.

Readers will recall the brief controversy a few months ago, in which it was revealed that a new directive issued by Toews would permit the use of information extracted by torture if that amorphous substance known as “national security” were threatened.

The issue flared and died, as these things do, and the media moved on to the latest on the Kardashians. But now it has been discovered that Toews has authorized extensions of his pro-torture policy.

Briefly, the RCMP and Canadian Border Security will be given the same latitude as has already been extended to CSIS, namely, to use information that may have been extracted by torture:

The Conservative government has quietly given Canada’s national police force and the federal border agency the authority to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture.

…The government directives state that protection of life and property are the chief considerations when deciding on the use of information that may have been derived from torture.

It is but a small ethical leap at this point from being an accomplice to torture to actively carrying it out. I’ll leave it to the international law experts to determine whether we are already in breach of the UN Convention Against Torture…

“Transparency, surveillance, and the vile Vic Toews” – from J. Baglow’s blog (Dawg’s Blog)

A filibuster is presently under way in the Official Languages Committee to prevent the Cons from closing the door in perpetuity.

But, just as the government is moving to hide parliamentary work from its citizens, it is pressing ahead with a bill to give police unlimited, warrantless authority to spy on every Canadian with a computer or a cell phone…

Here are some of the powers the police are about to acquire:

Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and an outspoken critic of the law, said he’s worried about all the information police will be able to obtain without a warrant. “The ability to use that kind of information in a highly sensitive way without any real oversight is very real,” Geist said.

As an example of the new powers, Geist said authorities would be able to use equipment to find the cellphone numbers of people attending a protest, and then be able to ask a cellphone company to disclose personal information on the people linked to those phones. Police could then track their web behaviours and monitor their movements by tracking their cellphones.

Geist said Canadians should also be concerned that the information obtained by police here could be shared with their counterparts around the world.

Yet this same government claims that the long form census is too intrusive.

And here is what our wretched Minister of Public Safety has to say in response to Geist and the rest of us:

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the law will give the tools to police to adequately deal with 21st-century technology, and said anyone opposing the laws favours “the rights of child pornographers and organized crime ahead of the rights of lawabiding citizens.” [emphasis added]

In the House of Commons, he was even less subtle:

“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers,” Vic Toews said of Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia during question period on Monday, after Scarpaleggia asked about a bill expected to be tabled Tuesday. [emphasis added]

“A jackboot for Vic Toews” – by Paul Gallant

Toews’ political life has been so focussed on sex, you have to wonder what private wound he’s trying to balm with his public pronouncements…

It was no surprise that one of Toews’ first statements as federal justice minister was his intention to raise the age of consent to 16 from 14. It’s long been a fantasy of his to criminalize sexually active youth. “We’re becoming a sex tourism destination for Americans because of our low age-of-consent laws,” Toews said in 2005. Uh, what about our new exploitation law that’s worded with such vagueness that any relationship with a minor could be considered by a judge to be exploitative?

Toews has also been a big advocate of sex offender registries, some of which are open-ended enough to include gay men who are charged for committing indecent acts while having consensual adult sex.

When Parliament passed Bill C-250 in 2004, adding sexual orientation to the list of characteristics protected from hate speech, Toews was the most vocal opponent, the one who railed about how religious speech would be targeted.

“Non-Christian prison chaplains chopped by Ottawa” – by CBC

The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.

Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.

Toews made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C.

Toews said he wasn’t convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy.

In an email to CBC News, Toews’ office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates.

“The minister strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners,” the email states.

“A patronage critic on Queen’s Bench” – by Mary Agnes Welch

He was once a relentless critic of patronage appointments to the bench, pummelling the Liberals for choosing Grit-friendly judges.

Now, after nearly six years of speculation, former Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews has been named to Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench, thanks to a vetting system he helped create and a committee stacked with his supporters…

Many at Winnipeg’s Law Courts reacted to the appointment with raised eyebrows Friday, with some questioning the optics of it, given Toews’ well-established views. None would go on record, most loath to criticize a judge they will likely appear before.

“”Look! I am coming quickly and the reward I give is with me, to render to each one according to his work… Happy are those who wash their robes, that the authority to go to the trees of life may be theirs and that they may gain entrance into the city by it’s gates. Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolators and everyone liking and carrying on a lie.”” -Revelation 22:12-15

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