Liberal MP Wayne Easter surprised some this week with his comments on Public Safety Minister Vic Toews after supposed details of the minister’s marriage break-up and affair were spilled online via the Vikileaks30 Twitter account. (See the full story here.) Easter suggested Toews had it coming, referring obliquely to the minister saying of another Liberal MP this week “he can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” While rhetoric on all sides was hot, Easter managed to throw oil on the fire. Here are Easter’s relevant comments in their full context as he delivered them in the foyer of the House of Commons today. Draw your own conclusions about how fair Easter is being:
Question: Are you equating what’s happening to Vic Toews as a hate campaign, is that what you’re saying?
Hon. Wayne Easter: No, I’m not saying. No, but what I’m saying is the way that in the communications age that we have today, say there’s an article – well, in all your media outlets, there’s an article written and then in the comments section, some of those comments are pretty close to hate. This is not hate in terms of Vic – Vic Toews. This is clearly Vic Toews getting some of his own back in terms of the proposals that he has in Bill C-30. But the question, the dispute here related to the House of Commons is it – is it proper that if that came out of an IP address that’s in the House of Commons, is that proper and is that allowed under the House of Commons rules? I quite honestly don’t know. And I guess we’ll find that out eventually.
Question: You say that Vic Toews is getting some back. Are you saying that to some extent this is deserved?
Hon. Wayne Easter: I think – I think the – look, the way that Vic Toews went on in responsing to the questions that you’re either on his side or you’re on the side of the pedophiles is – was very inappropriate. And so there was an immediate reaction and it came out on the internet. And so, yes, in a way it is deserved. If you’re going to – if you’re going to attack people the way that Vic Toews attacked people, then some of that’s going to come back at you, there’s no question about that.