Follow-up on Winnipeg Free Press vs. Vic Toews

A few days ago, I wrote an article outlining a smear by the Winnipeg Free Press against Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. The WFP went after Toews for “not disclos[ing] $18,000 in annual pension payments as required by law in a conflict-of-interest declaration for the public registry he personally signed.”

A letter from the Ethics Commissioner states, “In the spring of 2006, Minister Toews disclosed to our Office his pension rights under the Government of Manitoba Civil Service Superannuation plan.”

So why has the Winnipeg Free Press not retracted their article? The disclosure was made and the rules were followed as they existed as are being followed as they read this current day according to Toews’ staff.

Toews’ office has asked the WFP to correct and retract the article which they have not done.

Here is a letter from that office to the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press that was forwarded to me.

Hi [Editor of WFP — name withheld] –

The fact of this matter remains that the Winnipeg Free Press decided to run a misleading and false article this past Friday. This is unacceptable. The WFP’s refusal to acknowledge this troubling reality is an affront to the ethical standard of journalism deserved by its readership.

Alleging the Minister failed to disclose is in direct conflict with the lead statement by the Ethics Commissioner stating otherwise (“In the spring of 2006, Minister Toews disclosed to our Office his pension rights under the Government of Manitoba Civil Service Superannuation plan”). It is also clear from the Ethics Commissioner’s statement that the administrative oversight was that of the Ethics Commissioner – not Minister Toews (“Due to an administrative oversight on the part of our Office, the documents sent to Minister Toews for his review did not reflect the information he had provided to our Office with respect to the receipt of pension income from September 2007 onward, although they did make reference to pension rights from the Government of Manitoba”).

I’ll note that these are both facts communicated by our Office (“As confirmed by the Office of the Ethics Commissioner, Minister Toews disclosed the existence of Government of Manitoba pension income in 2006”) and the Ethics Commissioner (“Margot Booth, manager of communications for the ethics commissioner’s office, said she could not comment specifically on Toews’ situation other than to say a misunderstanding or administrative error could explain why information was missing on the public registry”) by deadline on Thursday.

Despite this, the WFP decided to allege: “Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has not disclosed $18,000 in annual pension payments as required by law in a conflict-of-interest declaration for the public registry he personally signed”). http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/mps-pension-not-listed-on-registry-98586379.html?viewAllComments=y

I will not be amending my comments. They are accurate. We have always been clear that Minister Toews has disclosed all property to the Ethics Commissioner, including a pension related to prior employment outside of politics, as required. These disclosures were first made in 2006 and this disclosure has been acknowledged by the Ethics Commissioner.

Best,
Chris [McCluskey]
[Communications, Public Safety]

Comments

comments

  • Powell Lucas

    If anyone thinks that the WFP will retract their lies they must be dreaming in Technicolor. The left-wing media is on a witch hunt against all Conservatives and they will lie, obfuscate and misrepresent any activities by any politician who does not hew to their “progressive” viewpoint. The lovers of big government will stoop to any level to smear people with whom they disagree. That's what lefties do.

  • kenn2

    Like just about everything, the truth is more complicated than most people are willing or able to absorb. Nonetheless, the WFP statement you highlight:

    “not disclos[ing] $18,000 in annual pension payments as required by law in a conflict-of-interest declaration for the public registry he personally signed.”

    is still essentially fact. Toews was presented with a summary FOR HIS REVIEW, it didn't mention the pension, yet he signed off on it.

    As I said before, this is a minor technical oversight. Nothing to resign over. Assuming that Toews has since corrected the record, then we're done. It's OK now. Nothing to see here; move along.

    I'm getting a kick out of seeing people blaming the Ethics committee who prepared the document FOR HIS REVIEW, therefore it's their fault. What, is the Ethics committee now responsible for recording and managing the financial affairs of all cabinet ministers? Would they please, please manage mine? Currently I hafta pay an accountant.

    Say no to nanny states, except that CPC MPs aren't responsible for their own financial records. Nice.