Gang violence, government corruption and the BC legislature. Sounds like an old-school mob movie? No – just business as usual in provincial politics

This is war: Gang Warfare on the streets of Vancouver, Surrey, Montreal and Ottawa

( Thanks to for this insightful piece.)

Nearly 700 police officers were involved in today’s major raids on gangs who allegedly traffic cocaine in Montreal and Ottawa. 47 people have been arrested so far on various charges, including gangsterism, weapons possession as well as drug-trafficking. It begins to look as if that’s the way to do the job. But the lesson passes unremarked by the leadership of British Columbia.

In Vancouver, where 6 people have been shot in the past 7 days, the premier says he will shift police around, ask Ottawa for better wire-tap laws, and (in his opinion) provide families with a sense of safety. The man is a fool.
Julian Sher, author of two books on Organized Crime in Canada, said in a CBC interview that it’s impossible to have any effect on organized crime without having a serious plan of infiltration. He agrees with Jerry Paradis, a BC provincial court judge for 28 years, who says that putting more police officers on the ground won’t lessen the danger to ordinary citizens, who are at risk of getting caught in the crossfire. “The police will be unaware of when the next explosion will happen. They don’t know about [the shootings] until they happen.” The only method that works is when a brave cop puts his life on the line by taking up with the gangs, running with them, learning their secrets, and never forgetting that he’s a cop there to arrest the gangsters.
So Campbell and his Attorney-General are talking nonsense about putting more cops on the street and about how this can be done by shuffling cops from one unit to another without hiring new ones.
Campbell and Oppal can’t help but know that a drug war has broken out on the streets of Surrey and Vancouver. They can’t be so stupid as to not know what’s really going on. Although that’s exactly what the premier told us when he returned from his Hawaii holiday after the police raid: “I know nothing,” he said. Prime Minister Martin stood up to say the same thing. Fools. They were briefed, as much as 3 weeks before the raid was launched. Do we think they never asked “Why?”

How can they forget that it was a drug trafficking investigation which led police to make that unprecedented raid on the B.C. Legislature? Such a thing had never before happened in Canada. It was about drugs … drugs which, in B.C., add up to to $6Billion a year for marijuana alone … and traded in the U.S. for cocaine which came back into Canada. Traded for guns, too. They knew that. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman told us about the guns himself, saying that some of them ended up in the hands of the insurgents fighting Canadian troops in Afghanistan. How could they fail to see their duty, when the opportunity presented itself to put these issues on trial?

Caught on wire-taps and available as evidence were the cell-phone conversations between Ministry of Finance aide, Dave Basi, and his cousin, Jasmohan Singh Bains who in 2003 was thought to be the new Mr Big on the West Coast. The Bains trial was held in Victoria in June 2008, the guilty verdict was given in August 2008, the 9-year sentence was pronounced in September 2008, but nothing was known of this until December 2008 … why? We’d be fools ourselves to think that the Attorney-General, and therefore the premier, had paid no attention to the Bains trial. So … was Dave Basi a witness at that trial? Probably. But we the people don’t know.

Drug charges were actually laid against Dave Basi as well as Jas Bains after the Legislature Raids. We know this from a little exchange in Supreme Court:

Ms. Winteringham [Crown Prosecutor] said the defence was simply wrong when it stated that the investigation, code named Project Everywhichway, suddenly veered off course to target Mr. Basi … In fact, she said, Mr. Basi emerged as an early person of interest in a drug investigation that was triggered when informants told the RCMP that the arrest, in May, 2002, of U.S. drug dealer Cirilo Lopez had created an opening for a new drug boss on Vancouver Island. “The word on the street was that Jas Bains was going to be the person taking over,” Ms. Winteringham said.

There were 26 calls recorded between the cousins in the summer of 2003.Then, all of a sudden and without explanation, the drug charges against Basi were stayed. Why? Does this make sense? I don’t think so. But it’s a great pity that the police didn’t seize the opportunity to learn more. Instead, over 5 years have passed with an official silence offering, in effect, a protective cover.

Retired judge Paradis put it this way, with regard to the drug wars underway on the streets of Vancouver:

“I’m satisfied in my own mind that although organized crime is involved in other things at the moment, while this particular or several gang wars may be due to other things that I’m not aware of, I have no doubt in my mind that it’s [an] attempt to either get status or maintain status in the drug market and protect turf,” he said.
In my view, the leadership in British Columbia has failed to take action when it could have and should have. The people of this province — even their children — are in danger. Therefore, the BC government is in serious default in its duty to protect the people of this province.
– BC Mary.   


But, that’s not all.

 A new development in the trial stemming from the BC Legislature raids leads me to this piece by Bill Tieleman …….. a MUST read, if you ask me, because it would make any sane person question the BC Liberals and their style of  rule. 

Now why would the BC Liberal MLA caucus want to block a freedom of information request on their communications? WHAT could they possibly have to hide?

But, theres hope……. again, thanks to Bill Tieleman, who posted this yesterday on his site :

 ” BC Liberals internal polling shows them 9% behind New Democrats – Dave Hayer, Pat Bell, Shirley Bond headed for defeat, even Kevin Falcon in trouble

Internal BC Liberal Party polling results obtained just days ago have created a panic amongst cabinet ministers and MLAs – because the poll shows that the BC Liberals are 9% points behind the New Democratic Party, according to a very reliable source.

My source also told me today that this polling shows that both Prince George cabinet ministers, Forestry Minister Pat Bell in Prince George Northand Education Minister Shirley Bond in Prince George-Mount Robson, would lose their seats if the numbers held up.

Also headed for defeat – Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave Hayer, who allegedly trails the NDP in his riding by 18%.

Perhaps most shocking is a riding result showing Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon in a neck and neck race with the NDP in Surrey-Cloverdale.

The BC Liberal polling also indicates its MLAs in the Burnaby-North and Burnaby-Willingdon, John Nuraney and Richard Lee are in serious trouble, along with Kamloops-North Thompson cabinet minister Kevin Krueger and in the riding of Kamloops, where Claude Richmond is retiring.

My source indicates that gang shootings, Olympic costs and the troubled economy outside Metro Vancouver and Victoria are all taking their toll on BC Liberal fortunes. ”  

…… read the rest of this post at


Teresen Gas and BC Hydro will be charging YOU for their 2010 security costs.

How would you feel about having to pay the  2010 security costs for Teresen and BC Hydro? 

If you aren’t sure, you better start thinking about it now, because you are going to be on the hook for at least $11 million between the two companies.

CTV  BC ran the story last night on their 6pm newscast, highlighting yet another Olympic cost that should be included in the Premiers Olympic Budget, but  isn’t.  Check out the full written story and video clip at this CTV link :

Teresen Gas will be spending at least $4 million dollars to protect the gas lines going up to Whistler during the games. That’s right- $4 million dollars – out of your pocket. 

 Already approved, this will result in a surcharge on your gas bill for at least two years, to make sure those gas lines are safe for two  short weeks. We all know how  these Teresen surcharges work. I blogged about the current number of ridiculous surcharges we already pay back in November, after dissecting my rather laughable bill where the actual cost of gas was less than all the extra charges and taxes.  

I predict they will apply for an extension on that, and we will all be paying up the ying-yang far longer than two years.

But, let us not forget BC Hydro! They are saying the costs to ensure security for the Hydro lines is running at $7 million dollars. Again, out of your pocket.

Also not included as an Olympic cost by the Premier. This charge was approved back in December, however we are  suddenly only hearing about it now. And of course,  it did not  come from either Gordon Campbell or the finance minister.

Neither Teresen or BC Hydro has announced how much extra we will be paying on our bills in the years to come, but I’m certainly looking forward to hearing about it when their PR reps have finished working out what particular spin they figure will ease the pain for taxpayers.

I saw the premier in an interview recently, where he denied all the projects currently going on where Olympic projects. Let anyone add what they want to the bill, because they will anyways, he declared. The Sea to Sky highway is not an Olympic project. The convention centre is not an Olympic project. The Canada line is not an Olympic project. ( no, they just have Olympic deadlines…)

Well Premier, these would seem to be direct Olympic costs, and they are not in your Olympic budget.

Explain that.

When 2010 was announced,we were wooed with promises of Olympic glory and long standing legacies for all British Columbians.

What they failed to mention is that the  most significant legacies will come in the form of longstanding debt for taxpayers in all corners of BC, whether you can afford to join in on the celebration or not. And many British Columbians will not be able to afford anything more than a bag of nachos and a beer while they watch in front of their tv.

 I think I speak for many, when I say that Olympic debt is one legacy we can do without – at least this is how I see it.

A reminder to stop by and sign this petition I first talked about last year – this proactive group of citizens is taking matters into their own hands to push for harsher sentences and revised bail terms.

You can share your story and experiences :  or

Get connected to other residents and organizations: and

Submit ideas and read what others are thinkging:

Everybody’s talking – but is anyone really listening ?

(   Everyone is talking about the fantastic Jon McComb interview with Wally Oppal that took place Friday afternoon, in which he basically gave the Attorney General a verbal beating while taking him to task over the current state of affairs in Metro Vancouver. David in North Burnaby posted this fantastically blunt piece over the weekend, targeting both the inefficiencies of the judicial system and it’s woeful keeper in BC, Wally Oppal ) Check him out over at…..

For Gordie Campbell – Some Free Advice

” Now, its become clear recently that, despite Himself’s clear belief, the Gordie Campbell Crew may just have their work cut out for them to beat Carole the Nice and Co. in the next election.
And so, since nothing says “uppity peasant” like presuming to advise King Gordie, allow me:
Step one must be replacing his current miserable excuse for an Attorney General with someone who is, unlike Wally Awful, not so far out to lunch he’s picnicking on Pluto.

Anyone who heard Wally’s sputtering attempt at defending his pals on the bench Friday on CKNW’s The World Today with Jon McComb must by now understand what some of us have maintained since his appointment:

As a judge, Wally was part of the problem for so long there’s not a chance in hell he could be part of the solution.

Clearly, Wally is of the school that holds the answer to crime is warm and fuzzy hugs and umpteenth chances, you know, all that good stuff that got us into the mess we’re in now. Reminds one of Einstein’s Scientific Definition of Insanity: to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

Now, that’s not to say I find Wally a complete waste of air, he’s really quite amusing in his woolly-headed way. To hear Wally charge his critics with being “irresponsible” is, after all, the height of unintended comedy. Boffo laffs, in his way, is Ol’ Wall.

Hey, Wally, twiddling your thumbs while gangsters spray bullets in shopping mall parking lots is irresponsible. Presiding over a system in which judges grant anyone and everyone bail while handing down ridiculously light sentences and doing bugger all about it is irresponsible. A system that allows the Bacon brothers and their ilk to roam free is irresponsible. Sitting on a report on sentencing we all know is going to reflect badly (to put it mildly) on your buddies in the judiciary is irresponsible.

You may have noticed that Wally’s standard line of bovine excrement inevitably kicks off with a nice, pompous “the public needs to understand…” – why Wally and his high-minded friends are so much more enlightened than us rabble about crime and punishment, how its all Ottawa’s fault, how, really, in the end, really nothing can or should be done. And as long as Wally’s in charge, nothing will be done.

Well, what Wally needs to understand is that even with that ol’ ethnic block vote thang, he can get his sorry ass blasted out the door if the voters decide they’ve had enuff. We can only hope.

In the meantime, he should be gone from cabinet.”


Jon McComb has been highlighting the concerns over the judicial system and how criminals are sentenced in  BC for the past several weeks. Here is an excerpt from his CKNW web page:

Over the past few weeks, Jon McComb has voiced concerned over how violent offenders are sentenced in BC, which has prompted The World Today to take a closer look at sentencing in this province. If you have been personally touched by the justice system in BC please email us your story to
If you are fed up with how the Provincial and Federal governments are dealing with the gang and gun violence on the Lower Mainland send them an email:
Federal Public Safety Minister Peter van and
Federal Justice Minister Rob and and
Provincial Attorney-General Wally Oppal
Provincial Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety John Van  
Listen every weekday from 3pm-7pm to hear the latest local, national and international news stories of the day.  
Give us a call at 604-280-9898 or 1-877-399-9898. E-mail:
If you have any questions or concerns contact Jon’s producer Jenn Pelat  at:

An open letter to Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon

Dear Mr. Falcon,

I  am still feeling rather confused this morning after watching your interview with CTV’s St. John Alexander on the 6 o’clock newscast last night.

In speaking with St.John about why tolls are absolutely necessary for the construction of the suddenly very expensive Port Mann Bridge construction, you told him it was because you didn’t want people in Fort St. John, or people in Chetwynd, or some people over on the island – who are never going to use that bridge – to have to pay for it.

Do you recall saying that? The link to that video is here at roughly the 5:25 min. mark :

While  it sounds incredibly generous on the part of the government  to consider( for once), the taxpayers  in the rest of BC who are unlikely to be driving that bridge anytime soon, it behooves me to reflect on why you would not also deem this to be the appropriate manner of handling the ongoing taxpayer cost in paying for the Provinces financial commitment on the Sea to Sly  Sky Highway ? ( )

What about those people in Fort. St. John, Mr.Falcon ? What about them?

Or the people you mentioned in Chetwynd and Vancouver island who are just as likely to NOT be using the Sea to Sky anytime soon? 

You may as well add in the people in Prince George, or Vanderhoof, and God forbid, those poor souls in Mackenzie where the the mill is closed for business- they aren’t likely to be going up to whistler to ski anytime soon with their lives in ruin. I’m sure they would appreciate not having to contribute their hard-earned tax dollars to that highway project either. They need every penny they have to start fresh somewhere else.

By your own rationale for tolling the Port Mann, it seems highly unjust that the remainder of the province should have to pay for the Sea to Sky improvements either. Simple as that.

Maybe it’s just me, but try as I might, I  just cannot see the sense in this statement.  How do you pick and choose what projects we all pay for through taxes and others pay for through tolls? Rock, paper, Scissors? 

By using this same rationale, I’m extremely surprised that the Sea to Sky was not selected for tolls –  it would seem to be a cash cow for the province that you could realistically milk for years, what with the ongoing resort and residential development in that corridor. This was a very expensive  project – some say much more expensive than it could have been :  

What tourist doesn’t want to drive out that way, winter or summer? And let’s be frank here – if you can afford to go skiing in Whistler,( parking, lift pass, meals, etc)  you can afford a $3 toll each way… why over look the opportunity to have revenue come in from a source that doesn’t include provincial taxpayers? I just can’t understand this.

My understanding from reading past information about the Sea to Sky highway project is that the commitment for paying the provinces portion is based over 25 years.  Please correct me if this is incorrect, after all, I am by no means a transportation minister.

Can you imagine the revenue from tolls on that stretch of highway?  Imagine that.  At least then,  (much like the Port Mann project) it would be the residents , employees and tourists who live/work/play in  the Squamish-Whistler area who bear the brunt of the improvement costs, rather than people like me who never go there – or the rest of the people in BC who can’t afford that trip either. When those considerations are taken into account, it would almost seem negligent on the governments part to NOT have a toll on the highway. Unless, of course , there are considerations the public does not know about that would affect such a decision. ( )

Makes perfect sense to me, but then again, I’m just an average woman who is still having issues with why these P3 options are always more expensive than the public sector counterpart – you know the old “cost for value line”  and ” risk adjustments”?   Can’t understand the math you used on CTV last night, no matter how hard I try. Can’t understand why your ministry keeps trying to make us believe that P3’s are the best option for us. We all pay in the end, no matter who shares in the project financing.

Anyways, I digress.

I would appreciate any assistance and explanation you can offer me, because with 4 kids to put through college, I also need every penny I can save.  You would seem to be the right person to talk to in this regards – after all, aren’t you the minister who was responsible for the 990 year contract in the sale of BC Rail?

Oops, sorry. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that…

Best regards,

Laila Yuile

 Ps. I really like this picture of you and Gordon. Can you  both autograph one and send it to me for posterity? One for the memory book…


Just for fun, let’s throw a couple polls in here, to see how you feel about tolls on the Port Mann and the Sea to Sky Highway


You know you are in trouble when…

An RCMP cruiser pulls up and parks in front of your house, and an officer knocks on your door…

It never fails.

Whenever I have one of those days where the shower never happened, the hairs in a ratty ponytail and dark circles clearly show under my eyes, someone shows up unexpectedly at the door.  And after spending a full  sleepless week caring for two kids with the flu, writing , taking care of the house and all the other things moms have to take care of, a police officer was the last person I expected to see standing on my doorstep.

Truly almost welcoming the chance to escape my kids for a moment, I grabbed a jacket and joined her outside. I looked at her, and she looked at me and said: ” About a month ago you wrote a blog post about…”  Ahhh. ” The incident at the Sally Ann, right? I’ve been dealing with Brian Venables on that.”

First, a little history. It was January 4th when I posted the story about a young prostitute who had been beaten outside of the Salvation Army store in Newton, and how the staff had refused to allow anyone to call 911 to help her.

More than anything, this post was written as a commentary on the way our neighbourhood has fallen into such a state of social degradation that no one pays much attention to this kind of thing anymore. That corner where the store is located, in particular, is a freaking nightmare. Drug dealing, prostitution, pimps, addicts. You name it, that area has it all. After writing that post, a reader of mine who also happens to live in an area close by, took it up with the local Newton RCMP detachment during a meeting with the staff sergeant about crime issues in Newton.

This launched an investigation into what in fact happened the day of that assault. I was contacted earlier this week by Brian Venables, Major and
Divisional Secretary for Public Relations & Development with the Salvation Army, who assured me they were looking into the incident with the RCMP and would let me know as soon as he could what had happened, and why. He left a comment under that post in addition to contacting me personally, and sure enough, within 24 hours I received some answers. I asked Brian what I could print from that email for a public response, and this is how he answered:

“Feel free to include anything I have shared with you.
Some of the best advice I have ever received is to “tell the truth, tell it all and tell it quick”. Which I have done. ”

And so here is the response  of the Salvation Army, in its entirety because I feel it tells the entire story best. :

Thank you, for Giving Hope Today

Boy, what a day! Let me share a bit of it with you.

First of all, it is reassuring to hear about every day citizens being willing to do what they could when facing an abusive, violent attack on someone else from the community. There was no indication of reserve just because of the young girl’s situation. You wrote about her as a “hooker” but as she was being victimized she became, in everyone’s eyes, precisely what she is, a young girl who needs help.

Early this afternoon we had a meeting in our Surrey office with the RCMP to determine what could be done if this sort of incident is ever repeated in or near our thrift store. While we did talk about the RCMP response to this situation that cannot be our concern as they are our police force, in whom we trust. I have every confidence that there is a very detailed record of this incident which includes the statements and descriptions of the witnesses which will be retained for any future investigations. It is also documented to allow analysis of crime and criminals in the city.

The bulk of the discussion was around how we, as an organization, including our thrift stores and staff can make certain that the kind of inaction described does not occur in the future. While you detail how the staff were following policy, it is tough to access how someone is going to react in a crisis, particularly in their first exposure to something as tragic as what was witnessed. Obviously a policy needs to be flexible when facing a crisis, especially when the situation is so violent in nature.

A review of the policy has already taken place and all managers will be instructed to inform all of our staff that in emergencies, sound judgment needs to be exercised and emergency phone calls are to be permitted. In reality this is nothing different than if someone was in a car accident on the road out front of any Salvation Army facility and a witness comes into the unit and asks for an ambulance to be called. Of course, it would be permitted. I am also confident that no employee of The Salvation Army would be reprimanded for extending a courtesy or compassion in an emergency (or any) situation.

We do not discuss employee situations in any public forum as that is between the employee and our organization, however I can tell you that changes have been made. I know your experience with the staff in the store has generally been positive and that is what we strive for and hopefully we can regain the confidence of all those who have been concerned through this incident.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the young victim and I pray that she can escape. You need to know that just as the “tough guy” heard the pounding of the glass and stopped, she must have heard it too. What I hope she heard is “Someone Cares”.

Some ladies, who she has never met, cared enough about her to do something about her terror and make it stop!. She has likely been repeatedly told that no one cares about her, but you and the others have shown her the truth. There are many organizations and individuals in Surrey who can help her escape and get a fresh start but perhaps you have given her hope in tomorrow, by the pounding on a store window. Wouldn’t that be a great way to end this thread on your blog?

I’d be pleased to hear further from you and if there is some further action you feel would be appropriate, I am always available to chat.


Brian Venables
Divisional Secretary for Public Relations and Development
British Columbia Division

The Salvation Army
3833 Henning Drive,
Burnaby BC V5C 6N5
Phone: (604)296-3821
Fax: (604)291-0345


Which leads me back to the conversation with Cst. Morgan on my step last night.

Clearly, the RCMP take reports of assault seriously, and Cst. Morgan wanted me to know that despite the lady who called 911 being told no one would respond, she did come by and locate the prostitute who had been beaten in the neighbourhood close by.

Occasionally a ‘miscommunication or judgement call’  is made by the dispatch/call-taker and perhaps it might have been what happened here, but the Cst. could not speak to that.

However,  despite being located,  the young sex worker didn’t want to talk about the incident and refused to give any details- not uncommon in her line of work.

She refused any assistance and so nothing more could be done. I asked her if there was any follow-up to the infant in the back of the perp’s car, but she had no information on that aspect either.

So, unfortunately this story won’t end like Brian had hoped. I still believe you can only save those that want to be saved. Give help to those who seek it out, and concentrate on them, and the rest ? Well as they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink…

We stood and talked for a while about the neighbourhood, and it’s problems, and what it is like to be an RCMP officer in this day and age. It was an insightful  conversation, and I can understand how hard it must be for those officers who work hard to keep the peace ,to deal with the effects of the rest of the criminal system. Clearly the system is badly broken. Clearly, it is going to take a concentrated effort  by our leaders to press for changes to the sentencing and bail system. And clearly, it is not going to happen overnight. So something obviously needs to happen in the interim, and try as they might to avoid this fact, this is where our municipal leaders come in.

Seems to me that it is time to stop passing the buck, time to stop the public relation spins crafted by city hall, and pull out all the stops. If there was money to be had to give $2million to become an Olympic City, then clearly there was $2 million to be had to put towards solving the problems I’ve detailed.


At least this is how I see it.


Bits and Bites – Wednesday February 4th, 2009

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that the man who was killed in the most recent Surrey targeted hit was 21 year old Ralph Baldini – the same person who rented the north Surrey Penthouse where 6 people were brutally murdered in October 2007.

Shot while sitting in his vehicle outside of the London Drugs store at Guildford mall – a very busy entrance to the mall – he is the most recent killing in a series of shootings that have occurred in Surrey over the last couple of weeks.  And, interesting enough, I found a small article in the Surrey Now last night  detailing  4 more reports of shots fired over the weekend, that didn’t end tragically.

-1:35 pm Friday- shots fired from a vehicle at heading east on 100th ave near 138 st, target/targets unknown

– 4 am Friday, shots fired at a house at 121st and 94th ave – resident called cops after finding bullets stuck in the walls of his home

-1:44 am Saturday, multiple shots fired  near a  Fleetwood pub, with multiple casings located and target unclear.

-ten minutes later , 1:55 am on Saturday,more shots rang out from a different vehicle near 81st ave and 150th st.- again, target unknown

Add these to the already long list of shootings detailed in this recent blog post: , and you have quite the scene in Surrey. Frankly, it’s a joke. Once again I’m embarrassed to tell people where I live, because the impression is ….( as one reader pointed out) Slurry. Scurvey. No wonder the mayor and  most of the council live out of the main parts of the city. . With everything that’s going on lately, the mayor better be praying that nothing goes down at the upcoming Winterfest,most of the activities are located in lovable, shootable Whalley.  Let me end this with an excerpt from an email that was sent to me last night about how one resident feels about Surrey.

” Well, yet another murder in Surrey… ummm two blocks from my children’s school…

Living in Surrey is so wonderful – the peaceful sounds of sirens and gun shots,(the sound of retaliation) the smell of pot coming from the neighbors house and the domestic dispute on the street….the soothing sounds and smells to help me rest at night…Well, the homicide investigation team will be working hard on this case just like all the other unsolved shootings in Surrey…”

I hear you, anonymous, I hear you.

To my American readers: there is a company in Florida using a link to a past blog post of mine on their business website, under the title ” Love Thy Teenager” , clearly trying to evoke an emotional reaction from potential customers that might engage them to purchase their services for parties and functions.  – I would like to say that while I do not condone drinking and driving, I also do not endorse this business or its services, or the fact that they are using one my blog posts for a commercial purpose . I have asked them to remove this link  immediately, however they have not acknowledged my contact in any manner.I generally don’t have an issue with other bloggers linking up to past blog posts, but this is clearly a profit driven venture.

The sadness that overwhelms me every time I see the Robert Dzeikanski  tasering video will never subside,and with every bit of testimony it gets worse. Clearly, this is a case where everything that could go wrong – did. And Robert was a victim of a system that broke down at every possible juncture. Although I am disheartened that nothing will likely happen to the RCMP officers who, in my opinion, carry some culpability in his death – one can hope that everyone involved will take away stern lessons from this, and allow changes to the system that can prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. CBC has carried ongoing coverage of the testimony occurring at the Braidwood  inquiry, and the following links will give you access to some of that information :


Breaking news in Surrey – and take a wild guess what it is…

Yes, I’m afraid so. Yet another brazen daytime shooting / murder in Surrey, this one outside of the London Drugs located at Guildford mall during the early dinner hour. One man was shot several times while sitting in his Land Rover –  and he did die as a result of the injuries he sustained. Police are on the scene and the investigation continues.  A suspect vehicle was seen leaving at high speed, even driving over the lawn of a nearby home. I will update tomorrow am , with my usual Bits and Bites feature.

This link from CTV has all the  initial breaking details.

 CTV photo: man was shot in his car at a Surrey shopping mall. Feb. 3, 2009.

Another link:

Yet another Surrey murder, the Premiers deficit threat and why I support FSA tests.

Yet another shooting death in Surrey hit the news this morning.

At least it was in Whalley and not down the street from me, but I’m sure that is of no comfort to the neighbours who lived in the area of the crime.  Watt’s up these days  in Surrey ? Seems to be no end in sight for my fellow Surrey residents, and I think it’s safe to say there is likely a fairly large percentage of  people who are carrying weapons of one kind of another in my fair city. God forbid you flip the wrong person the bird around here. You might end up dead.

What will it take for the mayor to take this seriously?  I don’t want to hear about any more questionable statistics, and I don’t want to hear about how she thinks it is the media’s fault for perpetuating this horrible feeling of fear, that she maintains residents don’t have. It simply is not true. Very few incidents happen in her Cloverdale neighbourhood, or in the South Surrey area where almost all councillors reside.

Gunfights in the middle of the day, a targeted hit in a residential neighbourhood, another shooting in an apartment block where families live and work and children play. We do not have the number of RCMP needed to take care of business here, that is  shamefully clear, and the reputation that Surrey has been working hard to shed has quickly gone down the tubes.  I can’t even fault people for thinking this way, because  honestly- lately I feel like I should be carrying “protection” when I go out.

Talk to some of the residents who have bought into those highrises in Whalley and you will hear how they feel duped because they thought the area was going to get better. And I laugh because a damn good portion of their evils were just pushed down the King George corridor to Newton and area.  This requires something  more concrete than flowers on the boulevards, and more than school children’s pride -inspiring projects. This requires strict attention to every aspect of criminal behavior in our city, starting at graffiti and petty theft/vandalism, to the more serious drug trafficking, production and murder.

Abbotsford Police chief  Bob Rich is trying a rather unique approach to handle his cities problems, by telling local businesses to refuse service to local gangsters and their families…..

Hmm….. you go, Bob. And while this type of action might work if EVERYONE stands up at once and does it, more than likely it is going to lead to retaliatory violence and destruction taken against those very same business owners. And then what comes  of it? The police are supposed to be the ones to protect us, not ask us for help in handling their issues. The better move might have been to urge everyone to get their provincial and federal politicians asses moving and rehab our sentencing and penalties within the criminal justice system.

Watching Premier Gordon Campbell  last night, talk about how he is now forced to run a deficit after denouncing them for so long, I think no one could fail to notice how he succinctly pointed out that education and health care would be the areas of target should he try and run a balanced budget.  Nice one premier – get the people back in line with the fear of more cuts to two areas of our provincial system that have already been stressed under your leadership.

Funny how there was no talk about cutting back on all these 2010 expenditures, or tolling the Sea to Sky to reduce expenditures and increase revenue( can you say cash cow ? ), or handing in his own expense account. I mean, of course we all have to do our part here, but I don’t think we can count on the Premier taking transit anytime soon… Perhaps the premier might want to look at it from the average taxpayers viewpoint. We are getting screwed over no matter how you look at it, or how you add the figures up. BC assessments might have been frozen, but property taxes are going up in almost every city. These Olympic projects still all have to be paid for, don’t they, so whose pocket does it all come out of in the end?

Yours  and mine, my friends – yours and mine.

After tons of time and money spent- I’m sure – BC  teachers have been told that they must administer the Foundation Skills Assessment tests they have been fighting to scrap.

I have no doubt Irene Lanzinger will be beaking off about this for some time to come, but I think this is good news and let me tell you why I support the administration of the tests.

I have 4 kids, aged 17,15,4 and 7 months. One is graduating highschool this year, and one is entering kindergarten. In my many years dealing with teachers in the education system, things have changed drastically- and in my opinion- not for the better. While there are many wonderful educators still around, there are also some teachers out there who aren’t teaching because they love educating  and inspiring young minds, but because they like having so much time off. Hence, there is a lot of resentment for extra -curricular “duties”, as well as accountability.

Teachers never used to have computerized report cards, they were all handwritten with exceptional comments and insight offered to parents. We knew what our kids learned and didn’t learn because the teachers kept us in the loop, and alternatively, it was exceptionally easy to spot the teacher that wasn’t up to par. Teachers helped kids after school to get ahead and didn’t mind putting in what was required to get the job done.

All that has changed, and I see it all the time. Teachers out that door at 3pm like someone lit a fire under their ass. Teachers who don’t even comment on report cards. Teachers that resent any queries from parents and avoid answering questions if at all possible.

These tests not only tell us how our kids measure up, they tell us how our teachers measure up too. That’s not a bad thing in my eyes. Is there any job accountability currently? Not really. Am I worried about kids allegedly stressing out about these tests in particular? Nope ,no at all. Kids need a bit of competition skills and they need to learn how to deal with it. Too often we stress the ” everybody wins” theme in schools and its not producing a generation of kids who have no idea of what it means to strive for the best.  It is all in how this test – as with anything else- presented, and this excuse bites on the part of the teachers. Present it to the kids as if its a problem for you, and you are going to have a problem. Present it as if its no big deal, and you’ll get the usual whiners but no real objections.

If it were true they hate seeing kids stress out, then they would be objecting to all tests – not just this one.

Its time we stood up for more accountability on the part of the adults we entrust our children to for a good portion of their young lives. As parents its our both our responsibility and our duty to ensure our children have the best possible education, and I for one, welcome the opportunity to see how my children, their educators and their schools measure up.

Oh great…. sounds like the Police chopper  hovering around over head again…. time to install some bomb deploying capability on that thing so they can handle these idiots once and for all.

Delta father pleads guilty to second degree murder after stabbing two year old daughter

Lakhvinder Kahlon, the Delta man who was charged in the stabbing death of his two year old daughter, has  suddenly entered a guilty plea to second degree murder.

The plea automatically carries a sentence of life in prison. Parole determinations will be given Thursday.

The horrendous act that occurred a year ago, touched off a whirlwind of heated discussion here on the website, leading to  some shocking and insightful revelations about female inequality within the Sikh community , in the comments sections below each of the following posts:

The thought that anyone would, or could, murder a young child simply because she was not the preferred gender still disgusts me- regardless of the reasonings behind it and regardless of cultural influences. Although it was denied at times by family members, the court heard that Kahlon was distraught over not having any sons.

May justice be served.