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MPs take Wikipedia very seriouslyStar Trek

MPs take Wikipedia very seriously
Star Trek


The bells of Parliament Hill have been ringing with catastrophe. “This matter is being taken very seriously,” says a spokesperson for Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer, “an investigation is ongoing. Out of respect to those involved, information will only be made public once internal briefings have taken place.” These words of alarm are in respect to MP Dean Del Mastro, who since July 15, has been suffering a fate worse than death, edits to his Wikipedia page.

The edit was made July 15, the week after Del Mastro was tried for alleged overspending for his campaign in the 2008 election in his Peterborough riding. Before he was first elected in 2006, Del Mastro worked for a family-owned car dealership. Del Mastro complained to Scheer about an edit made to his Wikipedia page that changed his listed profession from “Auto dealer” to “Dealer of Used Cars with Bent Frames, Perjurer.” Oh, the humanity! The embarrassment experienced by Del Mastro must be more painful than the burns of a thousand suns! I can only assume Palestinians and Israelis alike have put down arms to gawk at the horror enflaming the Canadian Parliament!

However, this sickening act only grew more infamous as the investigation unfolded. The IP address recorded by Wikipedia revealed that that the modification was made by someone using a computer on the House of Commons network. So, it was an inside job! But who could the perpetrator of this most heinous of crimes be? The IP address could correspond to any one of hundreds of computers on the parliamentary network. Though most correspond with a specific office and individual, some of the computers on the network are communal and could be accessed by any of the MPs, their staff members, House administrators or journalists.

This issue has proven to be an imperative use of government resources; however, in its midst has arisen a masked vigilante on a quest for justice; a brazen hero of sorts. I am speaking, of course, of Altamel, the screen name for the Wikipedia user who reversed the Del Mastro edits and posted a message on Wikipedia challenging the person using the House of Commons IP address to provide a reliable source for the revision. Soon after, the insurgent, using the House of Common network, responded (quite bad-assly, to their credit): “We are the government. We are the only source.


The hero the Parliament deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

The hero the Parliament deserves, but not the one it needs right now.


Del Mastro has addressed the issue, saying in an email, “It would make sense for the guilty party to step forward and take responsibility for their actions as it reflects far worse on them if they wait to be identified by the Speaker.”

This isn’t the first time the House of Commons has seen the likes of such abhorrent mischief. In 2012, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae told the House of Commons that a party researcher had come forward to admit posting details of then-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews divorce on Twitter from a House of Commons computer. The Speaker’s Office was investigating the source of the tweets when Adam Carroll confessed he was the author. Carroll resigned his position.

Who ever the culprit may be, I hope they find discord in the fact that they have let down all of Canada. We live in a beautiful democracy where we elect our representatives to deal amicably and with a level head the issues that affect us. This impiety will not be tolerated. That’s is why I urge you, my fellow Canadians, to stand with me in asking our government to suspend all other actions until peace is brought back to the Wikipedia pages of Parliament Hill.