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Senior Tory opened box containing human foot

Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
Vic Toews, Canada's Public Safety Minister. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)

Vic Toews, Canada's Public Safety Minister. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)

OTTAWA - The horror that gripped Conservative Party of Canada headquarters in downtown Ottawa following the delivery of a rotting human foot Tuesday left staffers there shaken.

Tory spokesman Fred DeLorey confirms Jenni Byrne, the party's director of political operations, partially opened a suspicious package brought to her.

"Ms. Byrne examined it, saw the blood and smelled the odour, and made the decision to call police," DeLorey said. "It was such a horrible odour I'm sure many of us will never forget it."

The mood among staffers remained sombre Wednesday in office now laced with a heavy dose of air freshener.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews calls the incident disturbing.

"Even insofar as a homicides go, it's quite an unusual circumstance," Toews said.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen says he's often "surprised by certain people's depravity."

Fellow NDPer Randall Garrison read a party statement in the Commons.

"Our sympathies go out to the staff at the Conservative offices who opened the package," Garrison said.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae focused on the criminal nature of what happened.

"Apart from the bizarre nature of this event, behind it, obviously, is a human tragedy," he said.

When a reporter asked NDP MP Yvon Godin whether the mailed foot was politically motivated, he speculated it might be a response to how the Tories govern.

"It could be just one crazy person that did it but at the same time we have lots of people unhappy in our country, the way the country is going," Godin said. "I hope it's not that."

Andrew MacDougall, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications, slammed Godin, saying, "One would like to think the gruesome dismembering of a human being would be beyond partisanship."

Police are investigating the foot, as well as a hand in a package intercepted at Ottawa's postal sorting station meant for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Grit spokeswoman Sarah Bain responded to the news saying it was a matter for police to handle.

Police are investigating the mailed body parts in relation to a decomposing torso found in Montreal.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, is wanted in the case.