Prime Time Crime


(Prime Time Crime exclusive Feb 6, 2018)

The ‘Special’ People


By Bob Cooper

One of the foundations of any democracy is the concept of equality under the law meaning that everyone has the same rights and responsibilities regardless of race, religion, financial status, etc.  No society or system is perfect because it is operated by people.  Inequities will occur from time to time but equality has always been the ultimate goal we were taught to strive for.  Until recently.

Over the last few decades there has been a tendency, particularly in Canada and the United States, to designate certain groups as ‘Special’, making them subject to different rules than those which apply to the rest of us.  Some of these, like the ‘Indigenous’ sentencing discount (Justice should be colour blind) or Affirmative Action programs (Proud men), are enshrined in ‘progressive’ legislation or imposed by activist courts.  Others (Total madness,  Camp Gregor, 'We're All Idiots') become matters of policy or practice, usually the result of inappropriate political pressure on one side and lack of backbone on the other.  In Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Vancouver when the rights (self-asserted or otherwise) of ‘Special’ people collide with the actual rights of ordinary working people who pay taxes, the ‘Special’ people prevail every time.

This re-defining of ‘equality’ has led to the present quandary on Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (Skid Road) where lack of manpower and abandonment of traditional methods of enforcement (large police presence, strict enforcement, lots of tickets & arrests for ‘quality of life’ violations, etc.) have allowed throngs of ‘Special’ people to take over public spaces and convert them to their own use.  Emboldened by their SJW champions and City Hall they block sidewalks in front of long-shuttered businesses and openly traffic in stolen property and drugs without any fear of consequence. 


History teaches that left unchecked, these situations seldom improve.  This has been going on and getting steadily worse for years but earlier this week the patience of the Vancouver Police Department finally ran out like it did recently with the illegal pot market on Robson Street.  Kudos to Chief Constable Adam Palmer on both counts.  Advocates fear Downtown Eastside police crackdown pushes drug users into shadows.

The reaction from the Poverty Industry was as quick as it was shrill.  Full of entitlement and indignation and screaming like little girls with forebodings of mass death and other calamities.  Pivot Legal Society’s Doug King said people felt like ‘their home was being taken away’.   No, no, no, no, no.  It’s a sidewalk. It’s not their home, place of business, or toilet.   It’s a public thoroughfare that people have the right to walk through unobstructed by shopping carts, garbage, or bicycles, and unmolested by beggars or offers of swag, crack, or heroin.  ‘Larissa’ darkly hinted that the police would plant drugs on people to ‘make their quota’ (like there’s a need). 

The VPD’s point man on this is Deputy Chief Constable Howard Chow.  A really nice guy whose recent promotion was well-deserved and a very popular one with the rank and file.  He went out of his way to assure the likes of ‘Larissa’ that the police weren’t there to pinch junkies with small amounts nor interfere with them accessing the Safe Consumption Site.  It won’t matter.  He could send them there in Cadillac limousines and not get a word of thanks from this bunch.

I was glad to hear DCC Chow say that the increased police activity would continue.  Matter of fact they were the best words I’ve heard since Mayor Robertson announced he wasn’t running again.  When the police showing up and enforcing the law is considered a newsworthy event it shows how misguided the previous approach was.  It should not only continue, it should be routine.  Standard Operating Procedure.  All the time.


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.

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