Monday, September 16, 2019

A press release worth reading

Daily I see press releases from various RCMP and municipal agencies. Most are routine and frankly, dull. But every now and then one comes across something, a story of the human condition that is wonderful. Such is the case with this little missive from of all things a traffic cop, an occupation not ususally blessed with a sense of humour. I was once asked by a Sgt. if I would take a transfer into traffic. I politely declined telling him I simply couldn't because my parents were married. But, Cst. Chris Noble of Ponoka traffic Section in middle Alberta seems to be a rarity. Allow me to share with you, intact, his press release of earlier this week. No further comment required. Leo [email protected] ***********************On November 24 , 2006 at 1715 hrs Ponoka traffic Services received a complaint of an erratic driver South bound on the QE II near Ponoka. The complainant stated the brown Oldsmobile cutlass he was following was weaving all over the road, tailgating, and cutting other motorists off. The complainant supplied a license plate number and a subsequent police records check revealed that the registered owner of the vehicle was wanted by Sylvan Lake RCMP for failing to pay a $2875 fine for not having insurance on his vehicle.Since the vehicle was not speeding the police asked the complainant if he could remain in visual contact of the vehicle and provide police with a play by play of its location. The complainant was happy to...

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...

Parents’ comments minimize Mayerthorpe reality

Three years ago I was sitting in a lounge in the Calgary airport when my Blackberry first started buzzing with information about a multiple shooting of RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.  The original information was sketchy but all too soon the horrors perpetrated by James Roszko were all too clear. Four young police officers, good Canadian boys, were dead.  Ambushed and cut down in the prime of their young lives by a man not fit to shine their boots.Roszko, in true cowardly fashion, took his own life when another member attending from Edmonton returned Roszko's fire and wounded him.  Roszko crawled back into that Quonset hut which housed his marijuana grow op and chop shop and took his pathetic life.The nation was shocked at the news and watched with heavy hearts as the Mounties gathered in record numbers in Edmonton to pay tribute to their fallen comrades. But once the tears were shed and four young men laid to rest, investigators had to piece together what happened.  How was Roszko able to get back onto his property and ambush the police officers?  Their investigation led to the arrest of two other young men who ultimately were the answer to that question.  They not only provided Roszko with a weapon, but they drove him to his property knowing full well he was going to do what he did.  And they did nothing to stop him.  Dennis Cheeseman and Shawn Hennessey were charged with being parties to the offence of first...

IIO investigative delay “unacceptable”

Yesterday the IIO's Chief Civilian Director (CCD) Ron MacDonald released his conclusions into the circumstance of a police involved fatal shooting near Slocan, BC on October 13, 2014. Yes you read that right, 2014. The Commanding Officer of the RCMP in BC, Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr promptly released a statement decrying the long delay. “The protracted nature of this review is unacceptable,” she said. The incident involved a manhunt in the mountains of the back country near Slocan, the town itself in lockdown for nearly five days. Think of it as a mini-Boston in the hours after the marathon bombings. Where this started was the police attending a rural location to investigate a dispute/possible assault call. They were met with an armed man who exchanged shots with police and fled into the back country. She continued, “This was a dynamic and dramatic series of events that has forever changed the police officers involved, a community and a family which lost a loved one. The techniques used and the resulting time delays in determining the circumstances compounded the trauma and severely limited the ability of many to move forward. The police officers were consistent in their participation in the IIO BC investigation and remained professional throughout the lengthy process. However, the delays have contributed unnecessarily to a state of extended uncertainty and stress that could have been avoided.” In his final report on the case, MacDonald, the newly appointed CCD  said this: “This investigation has taken an unfortunate length of time. This resulted from operational pressures within...

The Lesser of Two Weasels

I have had about all the stomach-churning rhetoric and blatent nonsense I can handle in this election campaign.  The economy in the USA, Iceland, Japan and many other parts of the world is in the toilet and circling the drain.  NDP leader Jack Layton and Liberal Stephane Dion can only scream "Why isn't the Prime Minister doing something?"  Well, what exactly isn't made clear.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not panicked and knee-jerked his way into doing something for the sake of appearing to be doing something.  That's what a leader does.  A leader does not panic.  While I abhor some of the things the Harper government has done, or not done as the case may be, one cannot say he has been reckless, which seems to be what the lefty weasels are demanding.Now, I know for certain that Dion's Green Shift is a pack of stuff and nonsense.  But clearly, if it was stuff and nonsense a month ago, with the market meltdown, it  is unadulterated stupidity now.  But, Dion continues to say a Liberal government will adopt this in its first budget.  This is beyond reckless given the market situation, this is economic suicide.  Follow me here.  The so-called Green Shift, the term in itself was stolen without the permission of the owner of the name, is touted to be revenue neutral because carbon taxes placed upon carbon emitters would be offset by income tax reductions.  Okay. But if the carbon tax is designed to incent the...

And justice for all . . . to not see

No one will ever accuse me of being a defender of the Hells Angels. In point of fact, I am on record on many occasions saying that police must be given more tools and more resources to fight not only the bikers, but all aspects of organized crime. Which, I might add, notwithstanding the abdication of responsibility by Madame Justice Anne MacKenzie in the trial of full-patch member David Francis Giles, the Hells Angels are clearly a criminal organization as has been stated by courts in BC and Ontario in previous decisions. Having said all that, there is something decidedly wrong with what has occurred in the sentencing of three unnamed members of the biker gang for contempt of court. I don't know what has gone on in camera in this case in which Madame Justice MacKenzie agreed to a ban on publication of the names. And that is essentially the problem. The old adage is that Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.How can we determine if justice was in fact done in this case if we cannot know the names and the details of the offense? Justice carried out behind a curtain is not justice in a democracy. It may pass for justice in a tin-pot dictatorship like Cuba, but it is not justice in my eyes. Madame Justice MacKenzie demonstrated a profound lack of understanding of the Hells Angels and how their business operates in her judgement in Giles...

A day late and a dollar short

I was sent a web link today to a recently launched website disturbingly critical of the Calgary Police Service.  I looked at the website and am very troubled not only by the content, but by the fact they have linked primetimecrime.com as though we are somehow a part of this vitriolic diatribe.  For the record, primetimecrime.com has absolutely nothing to do with www.calgarypoliceinfo.com and I fervently decry any connection to anyone who would dare to publish such a site unsupported by evidence.  In looking at the information published, little seems new.  Rather, it all appears to be a regurgitation of things that happened on former chief Jack Beaton's watch.  Beaton deserved to be criticized and I wasn't shy doing just that.  But he has retired and there is a new Chief Constable.  And the new Chief Constable seems, to this observer at least, to be making a lot of right moves.  No police department is perfect and no one should expect perfection of the Calgary Police Service. But, since the departure of Jack Beaton and the installation of Rick Hanson as Chief, the CPS is in the best shape it has been in since the early 90's. I don't know who or what is behind the publication of the website but I can suggest that whoever it is is still fighting a battle that is long since over.  He or she just doesn't seem to realize that simple truth.There were a great many reasons to criticize the CPS under Jack...

The madness in Montreal brings out the liberals

The madness in Montreal yesterday was tragic. On this morning after the shootings, the final tally of dead and wounded has yet to be made. The crime scene is still taped off and investigators are still interviewing witnesses and trying to make sense out of the mayhem.It didn’t take long for the hand-wringers to come out drawing parallels to the 1989 misogynistic killings at L’Ecole Polytechnique also in Montreal. Some media outlets, were somewhat veiled in their headlines such as: Woman killed by gunman at Montreal College. The implication being obvious.Hard on the heels of that, the liberal media tried to raise the issue of the Tories killing the bloated, expensive and totally ineffective long gun registry. Notice the quote in the piece by Lucienne Robillard, a senior member of the Liberal Party, which starts off, “As a woman in Montreal . . ..” One wonders if the writer of the report is being paid for his party political piece?Fortunately for the beleagured taxpayers of Canada, the guns used by Kimveer Gill yesterday were legally obtained and registered just like the pandering Liberals envisioned. And once again, the gun registry has proven it is totally useless. When will the liberals finally get it and finally shut up? Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has tabled legislation to kill the ineffective, bureaucratic registry. One hopes, even with the minority government and the tenuous hold on power Stephen Harper’s government has, that the...

The bath is getting crowded

Well, as witch hunts go, Calgary Chief Jack Beaton certainly doesn't hold back. The story headlined on Prime Time Crime's front page today, Chief won't give up the hunt demonstrates just how out of control he is.Is it possible he does not realize that by his actions he is proving the Standfirm group were accurate in their assessment? They talked about bullying and retribution and failing to adhere to the Core Principles espoused, but apparently not practiced by this chief. I was in Calgary yesterday and had to covertly meet with a couple of Calgary cops. They described a climate of fear pervading the department. Members are trying to burn off lieu time hours, taking days off, calling in sick, leaving early and generally doing anything to avoid the Beaton freight train. Said one officer, "Paranoia is running rampant in HQ with many trying to avoid the Chief and his deputies at all costs. " And it didn't stop there. "The climate of fear and terror in CPS is enormous. I've never seen anything like it in my life!" And why? Because Beaton can't take criticism that certainly appears to have been well-founded. And, he is proving every day just how accurate that criticism was.And what's with the President of the Calgary Police Association? Let's take a look at the quote attributed to him in the Global stoy. Here's the quote:"There appeared to be about 15 people that were regular contributors," says Koenig. "Now, 15 people out of 2,200...

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...

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