Vic Toews says threats against him referred to police
Published Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:35PM EST
The RCMP is investigating "serious threats" allegedly made against Public Safety Minister Vic Toews as opposition to a contentious Internet surveillance law grows.
In an open letter to his Manitoba constituents distributed over the weekend, Toews said the threats have been "referred to the police for investigation."
The "personal attacks, criminal acts and threats of future criminal acts against me" won't prevent him from carrying out his parliamentary duties, he wrote.
"Any further criminal activity or threats of criminal activity against me or my family will also be referred to the police," Toews concluded.
Toews spokesman Mike Patton confirmed in an email to the media that police are looking into the threats without elaborating on what they entail.
"Threatening communications have been directed at the minister," he wrote. "These incidents have been reported to the proper authorities."
Toews was under fire this week in the House of Commons over Bill C-30 - the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.
Bill C-30 would force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allow access to private data without a warrant, install expensive surveillance equipment and empower the minister to appoint anyone to search the data, not just police.
It also permits that person to duplicate the data without oversight or appeal.
Toews said during debate in the House that anyone who opposed the law was supporting child pornographers. He has since backed away from that comment.
But the contentious statement did prompt an anonymous Twitter account to appear this week titled "@Vikileaks30" that published details of his divorce, family and his spending as an MP. The Conservatives accused the NDP of operating the Twitter feed, something the party has denied.
In his letter Toews went on to call the personal attacks against him futile, because they are based on records from his divorce proceedings, which are open to the public.
He went on to say that the breakdown of his previous marriage is something he is personally accountable for, "but that accountability is not something I owe to the public generally or to my political opponents in particular."