Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Mar.  1, 2013)

Hello Sailor

By Bob Cooper


When things weren’t going well a good friend of mine used to joke about stepping up to the VPD Buffet for a big helping of disappointment.  He was great at accents and would imitate a customer saying he’d had quite enough disappointment for one day and couldn’t possibly take another bite, and then the Monty Pythonesque Maitre-d saying “Oh, but I insist sir!  Here, tuck right in”.

Sadly, that’s the way most of law enforcement feels these days about the Stephen Harper Conservative ‘law and order’ government.  Since forming a majority in 2011 based upon promises of badly needed reforms to the justice system and all areas of public safety, they’ve been serving up one disappointment after another and not skimping on the portions.  From shelving legislation to bring the Privacy Act into the 21st century (Too much at stake) to No more excuses and Animal farm, and the need for speedier wiretaps and search warrants, or streamlining the Proceeds of Crime act, they’ve been one big failure.  Any legislation they’ve passed has been largely window-dressing that won’t make people one bit safer.  Frankly, the only difference between this bunch and the Liberals is that you expect this from Liberals.

Since the Shark Fin soup gaffe by my local MP, Alice Wong, (speaking of disappointment) one might think they’d be a little more careful when it comes to maritime issues, but just when you think their arrogance or lack of concern for public safety couldn’t get any worse, comes the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.  I won’t belabor the details but suffice to say that no one with a cortex could possibly think that moving the Coast Guard station from one of the busiest harbors in the world and putting it a minimum of 35 minutes away is a good idea.  Added to it is the fact that the closure will save a grand total of $700,000.00 per year.  They probably spend more than that in a week handing out grants to special interest groups, supplying ice cream and Muslim cuisine to convicts, and feeding Chief Spence after her ‘hunger strike’.  Good God, they blew 30 million dollars last year celebrating the War of 1812 (pretty much all in Ontario of course) while slashing the RCMP and the military.

Then, just to put the icing on the cake, (“Take all you want sir, and be sure to try the prawns”) after telling the public the closure wouldn’t come until Spring, they closed the station without notice on the afternoon of February 19th hoping to scurry away unnoticed, the date no doubt selected because it coincided with the release of the BC Provincial Budget.  Even Gary Sidock, the coast guard’s acting assistant commissioner for the Western region, couldn’t deny the cheap attempt at deflection but the irony of trying to hide this cowardly move behind one of the phoniest budgets in history appears totally lost on them.  Not only did they not inform either the Chief Constable or the Fire Chief who share responsibility for keeping the Port safe, some of their own employees found out about the closure through the news media.

Once again, Ottawa has clearly shown their contempt for the West Coast in a fashion that would have made Pierre Trudeau or Jean Chretien proud.  I predict the memories will be pretty long on this one. 



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



Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2013