Victor "Vic" Toews, PC QC MP (born September 10, 1952) is a Canadian politician. He has represented Provencher in the Canadian House of Commons since 2000, and currently serves in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Minister of Public Safety. He previously served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1995 to 1999, and was a senior cabinet minister in the government of Gary Filmon. Toews is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Toews was born September 10, 1952, in Filadelfia, Boquerón Department, Paraguay, son of Reverend Victor David Toews (1918-1993) and Anna Peters. Vic Toews has five siblings: Bernhard, Clara, Marlene, Edward, and Esther. He speaks Mennonite Low German (his mother tongue), Spanish and English.He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Winnipeg (1973), and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba (1976).Toews was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1977.He joined the provincial Ministry of Justice in 1976 and became a Crown attorney the following year.
Vic Toews great grand parents were killed in a bomb blast in Molotschna, South Russia (now Molochansk, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine) during the Russian Civil War that followed the Russian Revolution.
Toews divorced from his wife of 30 years, Lorraine Kathleen Fehr, after it was discovered that he had fathered a child with a much younger woman.This incident later became publicized in February 2012, when an anonymous Twitter account (later discovered to be a Liberal Party staffer) began posting information from Toews' divorce affidavit (that were on the public record, filed with the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba) as reaction to the introduction of Bill-30.
Toews joined the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in 1989, winning a seat in the 1995 election, by narrowly defeating NDP incumbent Harry Schellenberg in nearby division of Rossmere. In 1999, the Progressive Conservatives were defeated in the 1999 provincial election and Toews was personally defeated in Rossmere, losing to Harry Schellenberg.
Minister of Labour
Toews was appointed to the cabinet of Premier Gary Filmon after the election, becoming Minister of Labour on May 9, 1995. In his debut speech to the legislature, he said that his political philosophy was partly influenced by leaders of Canada's social democratic movement, as well as his own Mennonite upbringing.
Minister of Justice
On January 6, 1997, Toews was promoted to Minister of Justice, Attorney General and Keeper of the Great Seal, with further responsibility for Constitutional Affairs.
After leaving provincial politics, Toews turned his attention to the federal scene and Canada's "unite-the-right" movement. He had previously called for cooperation between the right-wing Reform Party of Canada and the centre-right Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, although he did not endorse the United Alternative initiative when it was first announced in 1999.
The Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties merged to form the Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. Toews joined the new party, and was a Manitoba organizer in Stephen Harper's successful bid to become its first elected leader. 2004 general election as the Liberals were reduced to a minority government, and was retained as Justice Critic in the parliament that followed. A Winnipeg Free Press poll taken in late December 2005 showed Toews as the most popular choice to replace Stuart Murray as leader of the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives. He declined to contest the position, and was returned without difficulty in the 2006 Canadian federal election.
He was easily returned in the
Federal Minister of Justice
The Conservatives won a minority government in the 2006 election. On February 6, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Toews to cabinet as Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney-General.
President of the Treasury Board
Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffled his cabinet on January 4, 2007, and appointed Toews as President of the Treasury Board. Some commentators argued that Toews's hardline approach to law-and-order issues was damaging the Conservative Party's image among centrist voters, and described his replacement Rob Nicholson as presenting a more moderate image.
Minister responsible for Manitoba
In late 2007, Toews indicated that the Harper government would not prioritize funding for a new football stadium proposed by Winnipeg media mogul David Asper.He later modified his position, and announced in June 2008 that he was interested in moving forward with a revised stadium plan.
Federal Minister of Public Safety
On January 19, 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Toews would replace Peter Van Loan as the new Public Safety Minister.In February 2012, as Minister, Toews introduced the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act (also known as Bill C-30).
April 1, 2012