Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Chilliwack Times Dec  6, 2011)


A new chapter


 By John Martin


Roughly a dozen years ago I stumbled onto a parttime, secondary career as a freelance newspaper opinion columnist.

I certainly wouldn't advise this to anyone hoping to pay the rent, but few undertakings can be as gratifying.

Over the years I've literally received thousands of e-mails from readers sharing their perspectives with me on the issues of the day. Some would clearly be unprintable in a family-oriented community newspaper.

But for the most part this feedback has been highly constructive and more than anything else, has given me a sense of what matters. Sure, the media, politicians and others attempt to set the agenda and identify the most pressing priorities.

But I firmly believe these institutions need to listen to the people more, as opposed to telling them what their needs are.

It is with this thought in mind that I am seeking the B.C. Conservative nomination in the Chilliwack-Hope by-election.

Like many, I've always been somewhat cynical of politics and assumed I'd forever be on the sidelines. A member maybe. A volunteer or donor perhaps. But I could never see myself jumping on board with a political party and considering a run at public office.

Until now. I am convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that the B.C. Conservatives offer precisely what the province needs.

I am also convinced that the leader, John Cummins, exemplifies the integrity and down to earth honesty that is so lacking in the political realm.

The Liberals are in free fall and haven't, by any stretch of imagination, earned a fourth term. The BC Rail scandal alone merits a trip to the penalty box. The deceit with which the HST was introduced was a disgrace and indicative of the contempt the Liberals have for hardworking, tax-paying British Columbians who play by the rules.

Having said that, a return to the NDP is not an option. Anyone who lived through the '90s - the lost decade in which the NDP drove jobs, investment and lifelong citizens from the province - will surely agree.

For me, the B.C. Conservatives are the only mainstream, common-sense option and I want to do all I can to help them form government.

This is the last Crime Matters I will be writing before taking an indefinite hiatus.

I am looking forward to meeting people and making new friends throughout the riding of Chilliwack-Hope as I seek support to become the nominee.

I can't thank the Chilliwack Times enough for providing me the opportunity to share my views with the community and let off a little steam from time to time. OK, maybe a bit more often than that.

I also am indebted to those who took the time to read Crime Matters and especially those who contacted me with their comments and response.

This feedback has very much been an inspiration in my arriving at this decision.

Clearly, much of the public has soured on politics. There is a significant lack of confidence in the political process and that is a problem - a serious problem.

I very much want to be one small part of the solution to that problem.

Please accept my kindest regards.

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


Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2011