OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Vic Toews
The federal Conservative party has released an “It Gets Better” video, telling GLBT teens to stick through the tough times after another bullying-related suicide made headlines last week.
Now, I believe the Tories sincerely wish to reduce teen suicides, but the fact is they’ve consistently acted to effect policies to make life worse for GLBT Canadians. Without any actions to back up this sudden (and rather late) sentiment, I can’t take it particularly seriously.
Out of the MPs to speak in the video, all but two voted against extending existing hate crime protections to trans Canadians—and that was just in May. And out of all the video’s participants that were sitting during Canada’s same-sex marriage debate, only one (John Baird) voted for equal marriage rights for GLBT Canadians, with the rest all voting to restrict or even revoke such rights. Vic Toews in particular has not demonstrated any efforts to give gay Canadians equal treatment under the law, having actually introduced a motion to revoke same-sex marriage in 2006, even encouraging use of Canada’s obscure Notwithstanding clause to ensure such a ban would survive if the courts ruled it to be unconstitutional. He even attempted to introduce a bill that would have allowed secular civil servants to deny public services to gay couples. And this was during his term as Canada’s justice minister. The party itself adopted a policy to revoke equal marriage rights by defining marriage as opposite-sex only during its convention in June—just four months ago.
Politicians are in the unique position to say things will get better, and then actually help make it happen. If they want people like me to take this video seriously, they should have done it in the opposite order.
Conservative MP Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Saftey, was awarded an honorary Law degree from the University of Winnipeg yesterday admist student protest. Standing on stage with Toews, valedictorian Erin Larson said she was not proud of the University’s decision to confer the degree, adding that the school had lost its integrity. Outside, students protested with signs.
Toews was an outspoken opponent of equal marriage rights for gay couples during his ironic term as Justice Minister. Calling the legalization of same-sex marriage “a mistake” despite nine consecutive lower court rulings declaring it a constitutional necessity, he actively fought against the courts’ unanimous consensus. He introduced a House motion in 2006 to revisit the law, opening the door to end marriage rights for gays and have existing same-sex marriages annulled. Acknowledging that the law would be unconstitutional, the Justice Minister suggested the use of Canada’s obscure Notwithstanding Clause which could legally pass laws known to be unconstitutional for five years at a time. If he had succeeded, I wouldn’t be married today.
After his motion was defeated, Toews attempted to introduce a bill ostensibly titled the Defense of Religion Act. The bill would have allowed civil servants, such as civil marriage commissioners and justices of the peace, to deny public services to gay couples.
Personally, I think universities are welcome to confer degrees to whomever they choose, though I think it shows a certain amount of laziness to select controversial figures (such as politicians still in the middle of their careers) without considering whether or not their actions have been consistent with the university’s own values and policies.
And, of course, I’m welcome to confer my own Honorary Slaps to whomever I choose. Vic Toews seems like a pretty good first candidate, don’t you think?
- Students oppose honorary degree for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews [Winnipeg Free Press]
- Protest planned for Toews [Winnipeg SUN]
Well, I’ve got good news and I’ve got eerie news!
First, the good news: Vic Toews, Justice Minister Extraordinare, has been given the ol’ steel-toewd boot from Harper’s cabinet! Toews, who stated that the 9 consecutive court rulings guaranteeing equal marriage were all mistakes, and who pledged to introduce legislation legalizing discrimination against gays, had his own wacky vision of Justice, and shall be dearly missed on this site. (Sigh. Now, unless Jack Layton suddenly turns homophobic, the only moustache I have left to draw is Bishop Fred Henry’s.)
Now, the eerie news: Some of you may have heard of the multi-million dollar Canadian Museum of Human Rights to be built in Winnipeg. The museum is supposed to feature an exhibit on gay rights, drawing the wrath of right-wing special interest groups. Lifesite, for example, called the museum a “powerful propaganda institute,” adding that its supporters have “made a monster of the word tolerance, [have] raped the word gay, and [have] beheaded the term human rights.” And the kicker: Vic Toews, as the new Treasury Board President, supports it!
Yep, you heard right. Toews will be meeting with the museum’s planners to discuss a $100 million government commitment, saying “[the museum] certainly is a priority that Manitobans want resolved and I want to see how I can meet our commitments.”
So, there you have it! Now, as long as the museum isn’t renamed to the Vic Toews Museum of Human Rights, it looks like I may actually have a reason to visit Manitoba!
- Cabinet shuffle taps Baird for contentious environment file [CBC News]
- Toews committed to human-rights museum [Winnipeg SUN]
- Canada’s $300 Million Temple of Ideology [Lifesite]
Justice Minister Vic Toews has confirmed that Stephen Harper will keep his promise and vote on whether or not to revisit same-sex marriage before parliament ends this Winter. The vote is expected to fail spectacularly, so right-wing special interest groups have been pressuring the government to delay the vote as long as possible.
As for me—it’ll sure be nice to finally get this nonsense over with. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s a little like getting through poplar fluff season… Not terrifically threatening, but not too pleasant either.
- MPs to revisit gay marriage [Toronto Star]
- Pro gay marriage group demands PM hold vote on issue [CBC News]
The Anglican Church has suspended a retired Archibishop for blessing a same-sex couple at their wedding. Although the wedding took place in a non-Anglican church and the marriage certificate was signed by a different, non-Anglican minister, Archibishop Terrence Finlay was suspended for officiating over Mary Rowe and Sandra Morris, his longtime friends.
Gee, from what all the anti-gay groups were saying earlier, I thought same-sex marriage was supposed to be a terrifying slippery slope—forcing priests to marry gay couples left-and-right. Who’d have thunk that it’s the priests who’d be forced to refuse their blessings?
And just think! If we get that new Defence of Religions act that Justice Minister Vic Toews promised (because religions are having such a hard time), then a Justice of the Peace or civil marriage commissioner can refuse their officiation, too!
Whoops! Watch your step here, folks; it’s icy!
Justice Minister Vic Toews confirmed in an interview this week that the government is planning to introduce the “Defence of Religions Act.” The new act would permit a civil marriage commissioner or a justice of the peace to refuse their public services to gays without consequence.
Oddly, as soon as the popular media picked up on the story, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pooh-poohed the notion, saying that the government is “determined to protect the rights of gay and lesbian citizens.”
Uh… Determined, eh? That, coming from a government that is committed to re-voting on same-sex marriage. A government that happily kneeled to pressure from the anti-gay lobby to delay the vote past its promised timeline. A government that recently appointed a new ontario judge who represented anti-gay groups in a bid to declare same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A government that completely axed its most important (and gay-friendly) equality program despite a massive budget surplus. A government that just appointed the president of Canada’s most hysterical anti-gay lobby group as their newest Chief of Staff. Gee, that sounds pretty determined there, Stevey.
But, don’t worry, folks! Harper says he’s not scary! Although, come to think of it, I don’t recall him saying the same about the rest of his party…
- Tories plan to protect same-sex marriage opponents [Globe and Mail]
- PM denies plan to bolster rights of gay marriage opponents [Canada.com]
Ah, mid-September. That time of year when all of our gleeful politicians return to that magical parliament building in Ottawa and discuss matters at the forefront of the Canadian consciousness. Now, what issue do you suppose will be one of the earliest priorities this autumn?
(OK, I’ll admit it; that’s totally a rhetorical lead-in.)
That’s right kids, our brand new prime minister, Stephen Bus—err, Stephen Harper, resumed work this week and promised to act swiftly on his campaign promise to revoke same-sex marriage!
Now, naturally, the vote to re-open the “big debate” is expected to fail spectacularly, but don’t let that thought make you too comfortable with your full equality! Justice Minister Vic Toews has announced that, failing a ban on gay nuptials, the government will also introduce some shiny new legislation to “enhance protections for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds!”
Hmm… You know, that sounds a little familiar… Almost like a defeated Alberta bill that would have removed all punishment for those who wished to refuse public services to gays on grounds of “moral objections.” You know, the one that also almost forced teachers to send out parental warnings before even acknowledge the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada. Yes, yes, I’m quite certain that was the same language used to describe it.
Anyway, whatever becomes of this idea, it looks like it’s going to be a fun-filled autumn of family-protecting (i.e. alarmingly hateful) goodness ahead!
Well, back to work! I haven’t quite yet filled my quota of destroyed families today. The gay agenda requires at least 15.
- Same-sex motion eyed [Calgary SUN]
- Commons resumes to fall agenda littered with pitfalls [Canadian Press]
Goodness knows why, but anti-gay lobbyists and the new conservative government are now trying their hardest to scrap The Court Challenge program. The program, run by the oft-attacked Heritage department, was set up to help fund groups that wish to challenge potentially unconstitutional laws. It has been awarded in the past to several minority representation groups, such as EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere), aboriginal groups, groups for persons with disabilities, and LEAF (The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund).
Gwen Landolt, representative for the anti-gay group REAL Women of Canada was practically foaming at the mouth that anyone would dare challenge the fairness of a law:
[The Court Challenge program] is a boondoggle for special-interest groups with a certain ideological perspective. Only one side of the argument gets the money.
Uh, no, Gwen. Any group can get the money, but it has to be used to challenge unconstitutional laws. You know, the kind that you’re always pushing for? Why, even you’d be able to use it, if there were a law against hysterical right-wing social conservative groups using the word “boondoggle.” Which there isn’t.
Gwen, along with (anti) Justice Minister Extraordinare, Vic Toews, also said the program should be reviewed because it’s shrouded in secrecy (ooooo). In reality, the details of how much funding is allocated to which group is not disclosed because of a law protecting solicitor-client confidentiality.
Thankfully, the Canadian Bar Association (who actually studies law for a living) defended the program, saying it plays “a vital role in increasing access to justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups.” Good stuff.
Gee whiz, give a guy a microphone and you think you’d expect something different from time to time, no?
Justice minister Vic Toews (who doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of justice) has once again re-stated his previous re-iteration that he will still not be supporting equal marriage when it comes before parliament in the fall… again.
After the vote to revoke same-sex marriage inevitably fails, I’m told he will simply re-run his hysterical world-has-been-thrust-into-chaos sound bytes to save energy. Can’t be too conscientious, after all—what with global warming and such.
- Toews firm on same-sex marriage [Canada.com]
Conservative Justice Minister Vic Toews has blamed “the controversy” over same-sex marriage directly on the Liberals, saying that the equal marriage law “was politically motivated.” This, instead of, say, the natural progression of equality confirmed by multiple previous court rulings… But, regardless, you know what this means!
That’s right, folks! Vicky, who has been oddly silent about his normally hysterical opposition to equal marriage, is finally speaking out! I missed his antics so.
So what’s Vic’s latest Crazy Message of Yesteryear™? Basically, same-sex marriage is “a mistake” that the new conservative government needs to fix.
Oh, but, of course, simply revoking the equal marriage law wouldn’t be enough for Vicky, as the Supreme Court would ultimately rule in favour of equality. So, he has also called for parliament to use the obscure notwithstanding clause to override the 9 consecutive lower court decisions and any future ruling that would inevitably find opposite-sex-marriage-only laws to be unconstitutional.
Yep, that’s our new justice minister!
Hey… If Vic can become justice minister with that sort of ideology… Maybe I, Mark, über gay news reporter, can become Super Pope! I’ll scribble it onto my “give it a shot” list.