Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive June 14, 2010)

“We’re All Idiots”

By Bob Cooper




The mural on the inside wall of Fire Hall #2 at Powell & Main really said it all.   It was beautifully hand painted with the Grim Reaper holding a scythe and a syringe on the end above the words:  “The Skids.  It’s not the end of the world but we can see it from here”.  It’s something that every fireman, policeman, or paramedic that’s worked down there can understand and appreciate.   It was ordered removed after activists complained that it conveyed a negative stereotype of junkies and VFD management couldn’t cave in fast enough.  A Deputy Chief said “If it offends even one person that’s too many” prompting one talk show host to wonder if they’d re-paint the fire trucks if someone complained about the color.  I’m sure the VFD Storekeeper would be glad to issue him a spine.

Now think about this for a second.  These guys work down there 365 days a year, day and night, good weather & bad.  In addition to fires they respond to medical emergencies which are often self-inflicted like suicide attempts and drug overdoses.  They do more for the people down there than all the ‘community activists’ combined.  This is their house, their refuge from the mean streets where they live and socialize between calls but they’re being dictated to by those who do nothing but suck at the public tit.

Well, if you thought that was bad you’re going to love this.   While still basking in the triumph of passing the Great Chicken Act of 2010, the City has commissioned a study into the high number of pedestrians struck in the Downtown Eastside and who better to conduct the study?  Why the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users of course, and the City paid them between $65,000 and $100,000 depending on your source.  Seems to me that the same information could be obtained from the Vancouver Police Department for free but you can’t buy votes that way.

The City quickly realized that not only can they cater to their lefty voter-base but they also get to once again demonize the evil capitalists in their cars.  Now, everyone, apart from those at 12th & Cambie, knows that most of these accidents are caused by pedestrians j-walking or crossing on green lights.  Full of a huge sense of entitlement bestowed on them by Pivot & the like, they saunter through 6 lanes of rush-hour traffic giving the finger to decent, law-abiding working people who just want to get home.  Years ago if we had a spike of accidents in a certain area they’d send in a bunch of Traffic guys to paper the place with tickets and the numbers dropped in no time but we all saw what happened after the last ticketing blitz in the Downtown Eastside and it was nothing short of disgraceful (Hello, Stores?  More spines needed here please).

So what did we get for our money?  A report entitled “We’re All Pedestrians” (now I’ve got that tune ‘We are the World’ playing in my head) that recommends dropping the speed limit on Hastings Street between Cambie Street and Jackson Avenue to 30 km/h.  Councillor Kerry Jang, one of the critics of the J-walking tickets, says “If (the reduced speed limit) saves a life, then that’s the bottom line for me.  I know that it’s something our engineering department supports, and it could be implemented very quickly with minimal costs to the city.”

Of course the engineering department supports it.  Like the Bicycle Lanes on the Burrard Street Bridge and the Dunsmuir Viaduct, it will inconvenience motorists, not to mention Hornby Street businesses, trying to get to work in order to benefit a handful of cyclists.  The City would have you believe that the Burrard Bridge Bicycle Lane can barely handle the daily throngs.  Go down there and see for yourself.  Most of the time you could shoot a cannon down that lane and the only thing you’d come close to hitting would be the ‘first nations’ billboard (speaking of groups who get to choose which laws to obey).

My predictions are these:

Rather than drop the speed limit the City will seize the moment and turn the whole 7 blocks into a big pedestrian mall.  After all, people like this tend to see the Granville Mall as a roaring success. 

At the same time they’ll start a study on where to place crossings for wayward chickens on major streets in South Vancouver.  Don’t laugh, they’ve set aside $20,000.00 to build a shelter for chickens that are abandoned when their ‘new age’ owners get tired of the smell or decide that it’s too much work.  I’m sure that Dollar Meats on Pender St. would be glad to ‘foster’ these chickens at no cost to the taxpayer.

One Province reader wrote, “Why do we always seem to be adjusting our laws to accommodate those who choose to disobey them?”

Bingo.  Take any prize from the top shelf, sir.     


Bob Cooper is a retired Vancouver police officer. He walked a beat in Chinatown and later worked in the Asian Organized Crime Section and the Homicide Squad.


Vancouver to take down drug danger mural



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