Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Feb. 28, 2005)

Shut Up and Just Teach!

John Pifer

March came in like the proverbial lion this week, as far as life in BC is concerned, with some even-wackier-than-usual examples of how screwed up our systems and our priorities are here on the Left Coast of Canada.

First case, your honour, concerns the BC Teachers’ Federation, a group with a long history of being run by its radical militants at the top, who lead the membership around by the nose as they get as nastily anti-government as they can, unless the government is the “friendly” New Democratic Party.

Now, you will find no sympathy in this corner for the rank-and-file members who allow this to happen, nor is there any support for the bash-the-Liberals any way we can philosophy that surfaces with every election campaign. The BCTF has just spent hundreds of thousands on advertisements that ran on and around the Academy Awards telecast, giving Premier Gordon Campbell some dubious ‘Oscars’ for closing schools, hiking university fees, and devastating students.

Some saw the ads as clever, and upholding the right of any group to spend whatever they want to express their views … freedom of speech and all that.

Fine, we have no problem with that principle; but surely there are questions worth raising as it relates to the BCTF. Its members’ dues fund it; and its executive decides on the disbursement of those funds – including using them to praise the NDP and to bash the Liberals at will. But hang on a minute – who pays the salaries and perks of teachers? Yup, the BC taxpayers, the Liberal government. Isn’t it passably curious that the BCTF and the major public sector unions – health and government workers – all of whom are paid from the taxpayers’ pockets, are always at the forefront of biting the hands, and feet and backsides of those that feed them?

Add to that the fact that the teachers’ union bosses bring their left-wing politics into the schools, generating hate-Liberals propaganda that tells selected ‘truths’ designed to influence students; and the tail is fully in charge of wagging the dog.

The fact that the NDP recruits many of its election workers from the public sector unions means the party does not have to declare them as election expenditures, either – sweet set-up, no?

Other cases before the court of pubic opinion that deserve noting include:

One Larry Takahashi, who was convicted in 1984 of raping dozens of women between 1979 and ’83 (and appears to have committed more than 100 sexual attacks overall) was given parole in December 2003, despite three life sentences. (Only in Canada, eh!). He has already violated his parole conditions on at least three occasions, yet he remains at large in a halfway house with no supervision. Why is this vile inhuman outlaw not in prison … for life?

One John Robson, who savagely killed a Duncan realtor in 1991, has been granted a two-month unescorted pass to Vancouver Island, where he beat and strangled the innocent mother of three. This latest release came despite the fact that a March 2004 parole board hearing was told that this sexual deviant was still unstable, and despite a December 2002 report that had this lowlife pegged as likely to re-offend. And that’s not all, folks – Robson is eligible for full parole come November.

The inmates truly are in charge of the asylum.

Veteran B.C. journalist/broadcaster John Pifer may be reached at


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