Inside Politics

UPDATED - Vikileaks30 Watch: (Now former) Liberal staffer revealed as creator of formerly anonymous twitter account

Apparently, the Speaker's office was able to follow the virtual ball of twine back to the Liberals -- specifically, a staffer with the Liberal Research Bureau, who he subsequently identified as Adam Carroll. According to Interim Party Leader Bob Rae, over the weekend, Carroll offered his resignation, which was, not surprisingly, accepted:

Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on the Speaker of the House of Commons' Investigation into the Online Activities of Parliamentary Staff

OTTAWA- Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement on the Speaker of the House of Commons' investigation into the online activities of Parliamentary staff:

"I learned yesterday that an investigation into the online activities of Parliamentary staff conducted by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons has found a link between the @Vikileaks30 social media account and an employee of the Liberal Research Bureau.
On behalf of the Liberal Caucus, I wish to apologize to Minister Toews and Speaker Scheer for the improper use of a parliamentary account and for sharing personal information intended to embarrass Minister Toews.
The employee involved has advised me that he took this initiative on his own, has apologised for his action, regrets the embarrassment he has caused and has offered his resignation.  In the circumstances I have accepted it. 
I shall be making clear that political controversy is one thing, personal attacks are another."

Judging from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' response to Rae's apology -- which he delivered on behalf of both the staffer and himself and his party -- it would seem that he now considers the matter closed, at least as far as the Vikileaks30 Affair. 

According to the question of privilege on which he rose earlier today, however, the minister still believes that his parliamentary privileges were breached in two separate, yet related ways: by Anonymous, the ostensible entity behind videos posted to the internet over the last week, which, he asserted, contained both allegations about his private life and constituted an attempt to intimidate him, and also by the thousands of disgruntled Canadians who jammed his email accounts and phone lines with complaints about the online surveillance bill. (You can read an earlier version of Toews' complaints -- minus the bit about finding Anonymous itself in contempt of parliament -- here.) 

As is his practice, the speaker did not issue a ruling on the spot, but invited other members to submit any additional arguments or evidence in support of -- or, presumably, against -- the claim so that he consider all aspects of the case. 

UPDATE: The Conservative InfoAlerteBot weighs in on the @VIkileaks Affair -- with gusto:

From: Alerte-Info-Alert
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 02:54 PM
To: Alerte-Info-Alert
Subject: Liberal staffer takes the fall for Liberal dirty tricks
Liberal staffer takes the fall for Liberal dirty tricks

Today, Canadians discovered that Bob Rae's Liberals were responsible for reprehensible personal attacks against the Minister of Public Safety.

Bob is pinning the blame for this smear campaign on a single staffer, but this is just the latest in a long history of Liberal dirty tricks:

      • During the 2011 election, Liberals were caught stealing opponents signs and charged.
      • During the 2011 election, Joe Volpe and a campaign worker were caught taking Green Party literature. Carroll is Volpe's former staffer.
      • In 2004, the Liberal Party had callers running a push-poll, asking about how people felt about the Conservatives being taken over by right wing Christians. Even Liberals like John McKay condemned the Liberal Party's activities.
      • And let us not forget the sponsorship scandal, where Liberals admitted taking envelopes filled with cash to hand out to so called "orphan ridings" during the 1997 election - money that was never reported - to fund their campaigns.

So with these dirty tricks as a backdrop, Bob Rae owes Canadians some answers:

Did Adam Carroll use taxpayer resources for this dirty tricks campaign?

Is the Liberal Party of Canada going to reimburse the House of Commons (and Canadian taxpayers)?

Are the Liberals behind all these dirty tricks behind misleading and harassing phone calls to Conservative supporters during the last election?
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