Public Safety Minister Vic Toews speaks to reporters at Parliament Hill in Ottawa Jan 30, 2012.
Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
Justice Richard Saull granted the Conservative MP a court order this morning to let him know the names of people who have viewed his publicly available court file at
Winnipeg's Law Courts complex after embarrassing details in it were published on the Internet and through Twitter.
To access files in Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench, members of the public must fill out a requisition slip.
The registrar of the court recently denied Toews' lawyers access to the names out of concern the file requisition slips weren't public documents.
Saull disagreed, saying the slips are a public part of the public file and form part of the complete court record.
Toews wants access to the names after being smeared by tweets sent out by a longtime Liberal staffer. The tweets revealed sordid details of his bitter divorce.
The @vikileaks30 account emerged shortly after Toews suggested opponents of an Internet surveillance bill -Bill C-30 - were siding with child pornographers.
An ethics committee wants to grill ex-Liberal staffer Adam Carroll over the @vikileaks30 account he set up. He was forced to resign from the Liberal research bureau after a Commons investigation traced the tweets to his House of Commons computer.
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae had apologized in the Commons to Toews, and both he and the NDP say the matter is closed.
Saull said there's no question somebody accessed the court file, copied its contents and reproduced them on the Internet.
It would be "unfair" to not let Toews know who's been looking, Saull said. Allowing access to the names enforces accountability to those who would "tamper" or "make mischief" with the information in the files, Saull said.
"There can be no privacy interests in ... a requisition to view a public document," Saull said.