Meet Vic Toews, M.P. (Provencher), President of the Treasury Board and all-round boor. His spiteful attack on former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, due to retire shortly as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, shames us all.
Her offence, it appears, was to have warned both sides during the Israel-Lebanon War in 2006 that attacks on civilians could be considered war crimes. This offended the Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd, including Toews, despite the lop-sided comparative civilian death toll--or perhaps because of it.
Toews is an ideologically conservative straight arrow: a law-'n'-order type, with impeccable anti-union credentials, a homophobe who opposed protecting gays and lesbians from hate crimes, and who vociferously opposed same-sex marriage. Toews is yet another one of those "family values" social conservative moralizers who is somehow incapable of applying the same moral standards to himself.
As federal Minister of Justice, Toews wanted to stack judicial appointments committees with cops. He abolished the Law Commission of Canada, a widely-respected independent legal research agency, in 2006. (Why do you suppose he did that?) One gets the sense that these and other initiatives as justice minister were too much even for Stephen Harper, busy trying to sell his party as moderate. In any case, he was rusticated to the presidency of the Treasury Board in 2007.
But even by his own dismal standards, this latest display of gross discourtesy stands out. What business has this vulgar hypocrite calling Louise Arbour, a person whose accomplishments make his own paltry resume look like that of a dead centipede in comparison, a "disgrace?" He should take a good, hard look in the mirror to see one of those, if he can stand the view. So should his constituents.
And so should the Prime Minister, if he cared one whit about House of Commons decorum, let alone the Canadian values of common courtesy and decency--values obviously not shared by his government, and least of all by the uncivil bumpkin parading his bad manners on the floor of the Commons for all of Canada to see.