Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Similkameen Spotlight week of Apr. 18, 2005)

The Gang's All Here

  By John Martin

Many, many years ago I was spinning records (remember those things?) at a radio station in the Caribou.  And during this time there was an incident at the grocery store I hadn’t thought about in a couple decades.  It seems the manager of the store was concerned at an alarmingly high rate of shoplifting and employee theft.  With approval from head office, he hired a couple of plain clothes, loss-prevention officers.  These security fellows certainly earned their pay.

Over a three-week period, they noted the manager himself, after closing hours, returning to the store and loading up his car trunk with groceries on four occasions.  They went over his head, notified head office and the culprit was suddenly a disgraced ex-manager who quietly left town.

I recalled this incident while recently coming across an article relating to the government’s new anti-organized crime legislation.  Frustrated at their inability to successfully prosecute motorcycle gang members for a wide range of offences, the government introduced legislation to make it easier to convict organized crime members.

The legislation broadens the definition of “criminal organization.”  In effect, the new law makes it a criminal offence simply to be part of such a group and it’s not necessary to prove any specific criminal behaviour.  Membership is in of itself, evidence of guilt.  The legislation makes it an offence to participate in any activity that assists a criminal organization and states that it only takes three people working in concert with one another for illegal benefit to constitute organized criminality.

Do you see where this is going?

Paul Martin and the Liberal Party of Canada meet each and every criterion to be recognized as a bona fide criminal organization under the new legislation.  Anyone who recruited members into the Liberal Party of Canada or facilitated illegal monetary transaction is, by definition, engaging in organized crime.  And all other party members are guilty by association.  Just as the legislation states.

Yves Lavigne, author of several books on the Hell’s Angels and one of Canada’s authorities on organized crime agrees.  He says, “Adscam makes the Liberal Party of Canada the No. 1 organized crime gang in the country.”  They may not control the illegal drug business and prostitution trade (although they have been heavily involved in recruiting sex trade workers from Eastern Europe) but their organized and structured involvement in fraud, money laundering, extortion and forgery is undisputed.  They are the kingpins.

Even the Hell’s Angels themselves have picked up on the irony of this.  They took exception to Paul Martin’s defence of the Liberals when he said the party should not be tarnished by “the activities of a very small few who may have colluded.”  What a farce.  The anti-organized crime legislation was specifically written to take away the opportunity for organized crime gangs to claim they didn’t know what a few rogue members might have been doing on their own time and without the organization’s knowledge.

In response, the Angels posted a picture of Paul Martin wearing a bandana on their web site.  The caption read, “Pirate of Canada”.

So assuming there’s an election just around the corner.  You can do your part and be a good citizen by observing the following:

When a Liberal canvasser knocks on your door asking for your support, try not to be too afraid.  Remain calm and engage this person in conversation just long enough to get a good description.

Then call the police.

Remember.  Only you can help stamp out organized crime.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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