The Winnipeg Sun is reporting that the sometimes controversial cabinet minister from Manitoba "is on the verge of retiring from politics."
Toews, 60, will be leaving public life altogether and taking a position in the private sector, sources say.
Toews has had a rocky road both politically and personally over the past couple of years and has been rumoured to be retiring for some time.
The former crown attorney, university instructor and MLA was first elected to Parliament in 2000, as a Canadian Alliance member, and has served as the government's Minister of Justice and Attorney General and President of the Treasury Board. He currently is the Minister of Public Safety — a role that has had him at the forefront of the Conservative Party's 'tough on crime' agenda.
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As Public Safety Minister, Toews — along with Jusice Minister Rob Nicholson — became the target of progressive groups who resisted legislation such as Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill which, among a lot of other things, introduced tougher penalties for drug crimes and young offenders.
Toews' biggest controversy, however, was with Bill C-30, the so-called online surveillance bill.
Bill C-30, introduced by the Harper government in February 2012, would, in some instances, have given police access to information about Canadians' online behaviour — with limited judicial oversight — via Internet service provider (ISPs) records
The legislation resulted in widespread backlash from the public. Toews even became the target of a massive online campaign which publicized details of his nasty divorce proceedings.
The senior minister has also experienced some health problems — in April 2012 Toews was admitted to hospital for an irregular heartbeat.
The full Winnipeg Sun story can be read here.
It has not been confirmed by Toews' office.
(Photo courtesy of Reuters)
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