A Liberal staffer has resigned over Twitter attacks aimed at Public Safety Minister Vic Toews under the username Vikileaks30.
Liberal leader Bob Rae apologized to the House of Commons for the actions of the then-unnamed male staffer, whom Rae described as a member of the Liberal research team.
“I want to apologize unreservedly to the minister for that particular incident and for that particular issue,” said Rae.
Toews accepted the apology as “heartfelt” but asked Speaker Andrew Scheer to look into what direction the staffer may have had to create and post comments to the Twitter account.
“There were members of the Liberal Party who actively encouraged the use of Vikileaks30 website and continuously promoted the use of that website and I think, Mr. Speaker, you have to look into that aspect.”
Rae later identified the staffer as Adam Carroll, who has been with various Liberal MPs on the Hill for “quite some time.”
Rae said Carroll was upset by comments made by some Conservative MPs, particularly Vic Toews, in defence of Bill C-30, which will grant police increased powers for online surveillance and the authority to compel Internet service providers to provide personally identifiable user information without a warrant.
Rae said Carroll was sorry for what he had done.
“He was extremely apologetic. He’s a perfectly nice, hardworking individual who showed a real error in judgment.”
NDP House Leader Joe Comartin condemned the attacks but directed more pointed criticism toward John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for denouncing the NDP after the Ottawa Citizen connected a partial IP address associated with the Twitter account to another address that made pro-NDP edits to Wikipedia articles.
The partial IP address was to a Parliament Hill router which connects to possibly hundreds of other computers.
At the time, Baird had said the NDP was caught “in a nasty, dirty Internet trick.”
“Not only has it stooped to the lowest of the lows, but it has been running this nasty Internet dirty trick campaign with taxpayers’ money,” said Baird during question period on Feb. 17.
On Monday, Baird said emotions were strained when Toews, a friend, was under attack. He retracted his comments following Rae’s disclosure.
The tweets disclosed information about Toews’s divorce from his previous wife and allegations of infidelity.