Monday, August 3, 2020

Halfway houses across Canada refused to take this high risk offender – except one

When Chris Watts, a convicted sex offender and assessed psychopath, was released from a British Columbia prison in 2017, not a single halfway house in the province would take him. They deemed him too great a risk. Some feared for staff safety. (CBC)

The real price to be paid for a travesty of justice

Earlier this week the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeals of RCMP members Benjamin "Monty" Robinson and Kwesi Millington and both began serving their sentences, two years less a day and 30 months respectively after totally undeserved perjury convictions. As I have said previously, this is a travesty of justice. The four RCMP officers who attended a disturbance call at YVR in October, 2007 which resulted in the death of Polish traveller Robert Dziekanski, were just doing their jobs and now are both in prison. I'm disgusted. There's a lot of blame to be thrown around here, but none of it is on these members. They were failed by the seniour leadership of the RCMP and failed badly when they would not say publicly that these four officers acted according to their training and RCMP policy. They were failed by the Braidwood Commission of Inquiry into the death of Dziekanski when Mr. Justice Thomas Braidwood failed to take into account the forensic video analysis of Grant Fredericks which showed demonstrably that the four members were telling the truth and the baying media hounds hadn't a clue. Yet he sided with the hounds. They were failed by the gutless politicians who had their own agenda that had nothing to do with justice and the truth. Of the four, two were acquitted at bar and two were convicted. The two white officers were acquitted. The First Nations member and the black member were both convicted and now jailed. I am not making a specific accusation...

Cardboard cut-ups

The new Vancouver Police initiative to use cardboard life-size cut outs (Police unveil cardboard cops) of a traffic officer in full regalia replete with a handheld radar gun along the Knight St. corridor is creative, I will say that.One wonders how long it will be before the first ones go missing, the target of a college prank or to decorate a dope dealer's smoking room?  Or indeed, how long until the gang bangers start tossing rounds from a nine as they scoot by in their high-powered cars?Knowing how well these tattooed half-wits shoot, I wouldn't want to live in a home behind one of the cardboard cops.There's no question that the Knight Street corridor is the most dangerous in Vancouver for the number of motor vehicle accidents that occur along it.  And, there's also no question that more traffic enforcement initiatives need to be deployed to combat the carnage.  But cardboard cops?  This is a joke, right?Leo [email protected]

Move on please

Is it just me, or is the media making a mountain out of a molehill on the David Emerson defection to the Tories?And then there was the comments by the gone but not missed, former Prime Minister Paul Martin yesterday. He's astonished apparently, that someone he plucked out of the private sector with promises of a cabinet post would have been plucked from the Liberal backbences by the promise of a cabinet post. Why he would wait more than ten days to tell a disinterested country that he's "astonished" is anyone's guess. But frankly, Martin is yesterday's man and few, if any, are interested in his opinion on anything. And today NDP leader Jack Layton is swanning into Vancovuer to "make sure the matter doesn't die." Give us a break Jack. Everyone in the country, with the exception of the liberal media and the looney left has come to grips with why it was done and, agree or not, has moved on. There's nothing left to be gained in trying to engage the nation this extended period of political flagellation. Move on. For God's sake, move on.Leo [email protected]

Companion lost

I cried a lot today.I know, I know, I’m a big tough guy. But today I had to put down my beautiful German Shepherd, Holmes, after 12 and a half years of being my unconditional friend and companion.We are masochists us dog owners I think. We know we will outlive our pets and we get the gut-wrenching inevitable end such as I experienced today. Yet we will do it again and again.Holmes was a terrific dog. I got her when she was just six weeks old. And walking her in those days down around Second Beach in Vancouver illustrated what a chick magnet she was. Or I suppose any puppy really. But damn, she was cute.My friend John Daly, the BCTV, now Global, reporter was responsible for her improbable name. She was little ball of fluff when he first met her. The first words out of his mouth were “Yo Holmes” and thus she was named.I spent a lot of time with her in the early days. She learned all the usual commands plus a few more. When she was told to “get busy,’ she went off the beaten path and did her business in an area where no living creature would likely tread. I remember a day when she was ill and had diarrhea. I had to go out for the evening and was concerned about the state of the house upon my...

It’s the little things that matter most

For those folks who have wondered where I have been in the past couple of weeks, I took a break and went down to the desert in Arizona to do a little golfing. Well, more accurately, a lot of golfing.And one of the things that really struck me in the Phoenix area this trip was the cleanliness and the efficiency of their road system and their traffic enforcement. The first day I arrived, I was driving from the airport on one of the freeways when I noticed a flash of light in the opposite direction. At the merge point of an entrance to the freeway was a bank of cameras looking at oncoming traffic with strategically placed strobes and cameras to capture the rear license plate of vehicles caught doing something outside the parameters of what is allowable.Interesting, I thought. In various jurisdictions in Canada we have tried photo radar and it always required a manned vehicle to set up, program, monitor and take down the system. Yet, here was a completely unmanned system, permanently installed causing people to follow the rule of law. In Canada, it wouldn’t last a week before someone would shoot it up or otherwise render it inoperable.A couple of days later, while walking to a restaurant in Scottsdale, I noticed a red light camera set up at the intersection of Shea Blvd and Scottsdale Road, both major arterials. But unlike the red light cameras we use in British...

Justice System is a charade

For years I have been saying the justice system as it is administered in BC is fundamentally broken. Last week Attorney General Wally Oppal appeared to agree when he said we have to get tougher on habitual car thieves. And who could argue with him? It remains to be seen whether Oppal will back up his words with action that is desperately needed in that one area.But, Oppal would be well-advised to broaden his point of perspective and look at the system as a whole. Yes, car thieves are a huge problem in BC. With a thousand cars a week being stolen by a small group of habitual thieves it’s a no-brainer for Oppal to finally say something needs to be done.But this is British Columbia, a place that is a haven for those who engage in criminal activity.Yes, a haven for the criminal class. A strong statement perhaps, but a very accurate one much to the chagrin of those of us who pay the freight for the system and the price for its failings.The problem is acted out daily in our courts. Some thug is arrested for yet another slap in the face of society and appears in front of a Provincial Court Judge. The judge tsks-tsks for a while then metes out superficial bail conditions to an habitual offender already serving a term of probation, which he ignored, in the naive belief that some new conditions and some finger-wagging will have an effect.It’s a charade and every...

Wrong target in Media sights

So yet another firestorm has developed with the ravenous media knee-jerking their way into condeming the Vancouver Police Department based on nothing more than an anonymous email tipster to BCTV on Global. (Click on Internal Investigation to see the video story)Is there a photograph of five members of VPD posing with a suspect in the jail. Apparently, according to Insp. Rollie Woods in a press conference called late Tuesday afternoon. And?The officers involved were members of a downtown patrol squad and at least one a Sgt. in the Firearms Interdiction Team. By definition they have a difficult and dangerous job. In practice they go after guns and the bad guys who carry them. When they make a good arrest, they celebrate their efforts. And?So they took a souvenir photo. And?The suspect in the photo, as with anyone ever seen with a coat or newspaper they try and hide behind doing the perp walk, isn't too pleased with his situation. Gee, I wonder why? In this case, a 40 year old man and a career criminal with 69 criminal convictions was caught by the police and now stands charged with multiple offences including carrying a concealed weapon.By the way, that is 69 convictions, not 69 arrests. The number of arrests is much higher.Despite the 69 convictions and the many more arrests and spending a life that takes from society not contributes to it, the suspect is afforded something the police are not - the presumption of innocence.Was the suspect...

Business as usual for the Godfather of the House

What really amazes me is that even in disgrace, former Liberal cabinet minister, Quebec party bagman and quite possibly the most corrupt politician this country has ever seen, Alfonso Gagliano, was able to extract a $500,000 loan from an obscure arm of the federal government called Farm Credit Canada to buy a vineyard, apparently.Gagliano was the central figure in the Adscam debacle which ultimately undid two Liberal Prime Ministers, though both deny that essential and plainly obviously fact. He was also named by FBI snitch and career mobster Frank Lino, as a "made" guy and member of the Bonnano crime family.  Is it true? I don't know. But I do know that he had much to cozy a relationship with Augustino Cuntrera when he was the accountant for some companies of the family dubbed the "Rothchilds of the Mafia."  He was also a founding member, along with Cuntrera, and on the executive of a "club" called the Siculiana / Cattolica Eraclea Society in the 90's.  I also know that Lino had no reason to lie at that point.Gagliano came out denying it all in the media claiming Italian discrimination.  Really, it's all a plot against the Italians.  He threatened a lawsuit, but none was forthcoming.  One suspects that was because he could never allow himself to be cross-examined on the question.  Unlike our Human Rights kangaroo courts - oops sorry - tribunals, in civil court the truth is an absolute defence.Well, the "Godfather" of Parliament no longer has his...

Fighting back against the Hells Angels

Friday's raids on properties belonging to the Hells Angels East End chapter were a welcome shot across the bow of the outlaw biker gang.Well, welcome for most honest law-abiding citizens I should say.I listened this morning to Vancouver Chapter member Rick Ciarnello flapping his gums on CKNW on the Peter Warren show. For the most part he got a shellacking from callers only to have the blustery biker call them "stupid" for calling it as they saw it.But Ciarnello, for all his propaganda, did make a good point when he refused to equate his club members with members of the federal Liberal party. The Libs are currently embroiled in the Sponsorship scandal that clearly defines the systemic corruption that has come to epitomize the Liberal Party of Canada.Smart on his part I suppose. Despite the hundreds of murders attributed to the Hells Angels in this country, not to mention the arrests in chapters across the country, any suggestion that the Hells Angels were somehow comparable to the federal Liberals was somehow beneath him.The day after the search warrants were executed we were treated to the vision of long-time East End member John Peter Bryce wailing and whining about the fact the police hit the clubhouse hard, using big tools to open the metal reinforced doors. Bryce whined that there were people there who would have opened the door if asked.Well, whatever. The Hells Angels use hang-arounds, puppet gangs and prospects to provide security for the clubhouses. The chances...

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