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2 min

What’s a fudge packer to do?

Looks like it's time to engaging the crazies

Our new justice minister, Vic Toews, has his fans and they’re the kind of people who think Canada should follow Zanzibar’s lead on social policy.

Zanzibar, you may recall, is a place where unarmed demonstrators get shot by the police and army, but that’s just a detail and, for extreme rightwingers, details get in the way. What makes Zan-zibar worth emulating, according to one poster on Freedominion.ca, is that it outlawed homosexuality in 2004. On Freedominion.ca Toews is hailed as a hero: “Vic Toews for PM. We love you, Vic, keep up the good work.”

The website, which claims 6,000 members, might traumatize sensitive Xtra readers — there’s a lot of “white race” talk. But my February editorial calling for Toews’ expulsion as justice minister was posted there without permission, so I contacted them to tell them they could link to my article, but could not repost it.

What I encountered is worth sharing as an indication of how the far right in Canada has become emboldened by the election of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. I’m afraid we’re going to have to start engaging the crazies.

One Free Dominion poster responded to my editorial with this: “If this fudge-packing hack was writing for a periodical of any substance, he would be out on his corn hole in minutes.” Not really wooing words, but the site has one genuine pleasure. Its search-engine generates Google related-link ads, so a search for “gay” or “homosexual” gets you ad links like “Date 10s of thousands of sexy gay males now” and “Smooth for your partner: Genital laser hair removal.” Which goes to show there is still justice under Toews, if only cosmic.

“I did not realize that you were such a good judge as to decide who is fit to be a justice minister,” wrote Brian Rushfeldt, executive director of Canada Family Action Coalition. He lifted my Toews piece and posted it under the headline, “It appears some homosexuals have great hate for any law that restricts their desired sexual behaviors. Even the raising of age of consent.”

When contacted, Rushfeldt wrote me back: “I found most of what you said as speculative.” Rushfeldt is very familiar with speculation and has offered wisdom like, “There’s a distinct quality about male homosexuality that gay men tend to be attracted to young, good-looking guys” as if the sentence could continue, “but straight men tend to be attracted to old, ugly women.”

I have no evidence Toews is listening to these people. What I do know is that they’re talking like it’s the 1980s all over again.