Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Chilliwack Times week of June 28, 2011)


No shortage of post-riot phoniness


 By John Martin


The pathetic apologies from participants in the Stanley Cup riot continue to be published and uploaded without a hint of sincerity. It's interesting that not one rioter who was not identified on a social media site has paid a visit to the police or come forward to admit to participation. I guess you only need to be sorry if you're caught.

Commentators from near and far are demanding swift and meaningful justice. Don't hold your breath. No one is going to do time over the riot. Despite Premier Christy Clark's insistence the ringleaders be sent to jail, it isn't going to happen.

The premier might want to take a moment and look at the company she keeps for an explanation. In government, the Liberal Party of Canada; which Christy has long adored and cheered, overhauled the criminal justice system so offenders such as those involved in the riot would never see the inside of a jail.

Anyone convicted will be given a conditional sentence or some type of community service.

But don't fool yourself into thinking there's going to even be a conviction in the first place.

As a rule, we don't prosecute first time offenders thanks to Liberal justice reforms and it appears many of the rioters don't have criminal records. It is most likely they will never even go before a judge.

But even if there was a will to put these people on trial, which there isn't, it's not in the cards.

And you can pin the blame for this on Team Christy. The BC Liberals have been starving the criminal justice system and it is routine for all but the most serious charges to be stayed or dismissed. We don't have enough judges, prosecutors or sheriffs to handle the current caseload, let alone the hundred of rioters. Despite the public uproar regarding the riot, vandals and looters will not be on the priority list for prosecution.

Yes, there has been some talk of restoring a portion of the sheriff services that have been cut in this province. But this is little more than buckling under to intense criticism from across the spectrum regarding the foolishness of such cutbacks in the first place.

The premier was quite the super fan during the playoffs. She never missed an opportunity to mug for the camera in her Canuck's jersey.

Anyone have a shot of her wearing the home colours before or after this playoff run?

And now in a disgraceful display of opportunism she's trying to emulate former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, by taking a tour of the rubble and posing for the camera with a broom in her hand.

Let's not forget that the BC government paid out $6 million to ensure the public would never know what really happened in the BC Rail scandal.

Six million dollars would have gone a long way to providing desperately needed resources to the criminal justice system; resources that could have been used to prosecute the rioters.

But, priorities are priorities.

As self-serving and insincere as the multiple apologies from the thugs and creeps who wreaked havoc in Vancouver are, the premier's vow to hunt down and jail them is just as hollow.

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


Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2011