Remember Canada's Bill C-30, the sweeping surveillance bill proposed by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who declared that if you opposed unlimited, unaccountable, secret warrantless snooping on networked communications by the police and by appointed civilians, you "stand with the child pornographers?" The bill that was a sure thing to pass, given the Conservative majority in Parliament and its total commitment to the bill?
The Globe and Mail's John Ibbitson describes how a combination of social media campaigns (the #TellVicEverything hashtag, which saw Canadians revealing the trivial facts of their life to the snoopy minister; and the @Vikileaks30 account, which tweeted the humiliating details of Toews' ugly divorce and estrangement from his family) and Toews's own idiocy killed the seemingly unkillable plan:
That new bill, if there is one, will probably be shepherded by a different minister. That's how much damage this botched legislation inflicted on the government and on Mr. Toews…
Normally, after a bill receives first reading, debate begins on second reading, which is approval in principle. Once the bill passes second reading, it goes to a committee, where only minor amendments are permitted before the bill returns for third and final reading.
Instead of this usual route, House Leader Peter Van Loan decided to send C-30 to the public safety committee first, where it is supposed to be extensively revised, before returning to the House for second and third reading.
But before any of that can happen, the rules state that the House must debate the motion to send the bill to committee. That debate must last at least five hours – in effect, one sitting day.
But that debate hasn't happened. And sources report that it won't happen before the House rises for summer recess. That makes C-30 dead in the water.