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Speedy Van Dongen lives to drive another day – 4 months from now

 

“I am very busy and sometimes in too much of a hurry and I think some of the public can identify with that.”  ~ Solicitor John Van Dongen in regards to his bad habit of speeding. http://www.vancouversun.com/Solicitor+General+John+Dongen+loses+driver+licence+over+speeding+tickets/1531850/story.html

This statement above alarms me for two reasons. One, he seems to be trying to justify his criminal behavior, and Two, he is blatantly trying to generate some public sympathy and empathy towards him, as if  this ( exhibiting such a pattern of  driving behavior that merits having our licences revoked) is something we can all relate to.

As if that someone how makes it all A-OK…

As a parent, and a member of the community, I strive to set a positive example for both my kids and others. One would hope( naively) that politicians would try to follow the same ideal.

However, it’s getting a little old for Gordon Campbell and his cronies. I am not one to take bad behavior lightly, however, criminal behavior that has the potential to harm, maim or kill innocent victims is- and always will be – completely unacceptable.

We moan and groan and make tut-tut sounds at the mountie that hit and killed a young man on his bike in Ladner, who was allegedly drunk. “Throw the book at him!” I’ve heard several times. That  darling, beautiful little girl that was killed by a drunk driver  while feeding horses will never grow to bring her parents grandchildren, and her parents have worked hard to ensure other families don’t go through the same thing. I can’t even begin to count all the innocent victims of  street racers and other speeding idiots on our highways.  And now it turns out our top cop in in among those whose history is so questionable that his licence must be revoked for 4 months. I’ve never even known this to happen to someone! 

We crucify those who break the laws , demand action from our politicians and justice from the system.

But what example does it set when  politicians exhibit  documented criminal behavior – and still are able to maintain and hold office?  What does this say about our government when this is considered to be acceptable with the office of  two such important positions?

I did not agree with the Premier staying in office after his drunk driving incident. I don’t care if it happened on vacation in another country, it speaks to his lack of judgement. But alas, we heard the apology, the statements that it was his private life and didn’t affect his ability to lead out province. Again, I don’t give a hoot. I don’t care if he sought treatment, and I don’t care if he took responsibility for his actions, the bottom line is that he is damn lucky he didn’t kill someone.

As is Solicitor General John Van Dongen.

Or SpeedyVan Dongen as I think of him now. A busy man, yep, gotta  lot on my mind, gotta get there quick……All hallmarks of driving behavior that offers the potential to kill other people. And he knows it. That picture in The Sun sums it up very well.

Speed Kills.

But, of course he isn’t stepping down, and of course the Premier will stand by him because that’s the standard we have here in BC – a double one.

There is clearly one set of rules for unacceptable behavior for you and I, and one for the Premier and his colleagues.

This is an embarrassment to our Province, to have a Premier with a very public drunk driving incident while in public office, and a Solicitor General who has had his licence revoked and can’t even drive to work. And who is going to be footing the bill for Van Dongen to get from Point A to Point B now that he can’t drive ? Are his transportation costs going to paid for as an” expense?”  Is he going to hitchhike back and forth from Abbotsford to Vancouver to Victoria? Or is the Premier going to give him a bus pass for Greyhound?

Do the right thing, Speedy, and step down.  In your  very public and respected position of authority, you must set – and live –  by example, more so than any other person.

And if you think remaining  in office is just fine, and the Premier supports you, maybe you and he can make time to come over and explain to my daughters grade 12 law class why you expect them all not to speed, but its ok for those in charge to break the law – again and again and again…

9 Comments »

  1. speeding isnt criminal. you are not probably old enough to remember flying phil. Millions of speeding tickets get given out every year. Get a grip. Is this because he is with the governemnt now? What about your beloved NDP, and the boob grabber from Richmond? Its getting like the
    states here with all this negative claptrap. Dont forget to plug the meter.

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    • Hey, I didn’t pick the boob grabber, nor did I think much of his naive stupidity at assuming those pictures would never see the light of day. However, I’ve never heard of any innocent victims being killed in the course of good boob-grabbing. Stupid yes, criminal, no.

      Excessive speed, however, does and has killed quite a few people. If its not criminal then why the hell do they give tickets and pull licences and send you off to jail when you cross the line? You and I both know things must have been pretty bad for his licence to get pulled, Sal. The fact that he’s the supposed “Top Cop” makes it all the more laughable.

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  2. .
    Well, I for one am certainly not laughing at the way these guys break the law. Looks to me as if the Campbell government has accepted law-breaking as a way of life.

    Watch for the next step, when it’s necessary to flash $100. bills to ask for and receive his driver’s licence back, or to get a permit to build a garden shed, or to buy a dog licence,

    After that comes the purchasing of key government jobs.

    Read history. It’s all there.

    .

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  3. Lack of judgment is the same whether or not you speed or fondle women inappropriately. I guess on the scale of thing degrading women is better than speeding? Maybe just a slap would be the next logical step to be fine with? You can argue the potential side effects all day. Note that the public tolerance has changed in many areas. Maybe there should be a list of things you cannot have for each and every office in govt. No tickets, no boob grabbing, no joints, no gas guzzlers, no pimples. Anything else that offends everybody.

    The next step is open bribery? Please. Exagerate much. Oh, I forgot the slippery slope argument. Must be a lawyer.

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  4. Now more than ever, I am convinced that the Lib outing, followed by the rapid-fire wurlitzering, of Mr. Lam last weekend was innoculatory deflector spin in advance of the JVD thing.

    (and Mr. B’s comment at the top of the post pretty much proves the point).

    .

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    • You’ve got it right on the money Ross. Funny how that works now, isn’t it?

      Mr. Benedetto hasn’t even begun to share his court-room like skills of debate and persuasive argument. If one can incite him, one is rewarded with very precise, knowledgeable and riveting bouts of discourse.

      By the way, some interesting discussion on that post today! I added some more that a reader sent into me about John van Dongen, so I encourage everyone to head over and read the comments section under this post:

      http://haloscan.com/tb/pacificgazette/512117565197398088

      Excerpt:

      ” Since we are on the topic of liberal viewpoints… One of my readers sent this to me, after reading your comment thread here, thinking that perhaps by evidence of this affiliation, Mr.van Dongen may not very liberal in attitude either.

      John van Dongen is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

      Nothing untoward there, they do a lot of fine work with charity, etc, but their religious overtones are very clear and evident on their site.

      Except,my reader noticed that they are not very tolerant of certain things, like abortion or the right to choose.

      From their March newsletter, page 4, header- State Community & Life issues : http://www.vcn.bc.ca/kofc/ docume…bcykmar2009.pdf
      Excerpt:

      ” Prime Minister Steven Harper does not want to re-open the
      discussion; Liberal Leader Michael
      Ignatief, like his predecessor Jean Chretien, says that the
      debate is over and we need to move on;
      Barack Obama campaigned for the US Presidency to reduce
      abortions to a minimum but once elected,
      opened the funding floodgates to a massive increase in an
      already unbelievable worldwide slaughter of
      the innocents. No, the debate cannot be and indeed, is not
      over and the March for Life 2009: Exodus
      2009: We Choose Life, will prove it!
      In 2008, 1000 marchers participated in Victoria’s first March
      for Life ….”

      Then, my reader asked me,( a little off topic but it takes us back to this item in a second)- what qualified John Van Dongen to the position of solicitor general,and to be honest, I did not know.

      So of course, I looked at his bio on the leg site, which says :

      “Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. van Dongen operated a dairy farm in Abbotsford. He studied agricultural economics at the University of British Columbia. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus …”

      Hmm.I’m not sure how cows and public safety co-relate,but the bio confirms that he is a member of the Knights.

      My assumption would then be that he shares the above views towards abortion, which for many people, would hardly be considered Liberal in any way ,shape or form. One would think he would be far more suited for the Conservatives,no? ”
      And after looking a bit more, it appears that as a staunchly catholic organization,The Knights seem to be anti-gay. There are several links to a CTV story about a lesbian couple who were denied use of a hall.

      http://sympaticomsn.ctv.ca/ servl…ancouple_051129

      So, the question is, if John Van Dongen’s leg bio says he is member of the Knights of Columbus,who do not support abortion, or homosexuality,
      ( http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/38thPar…l/ vandongen.htm )

      IS John van Dongen Anti-Gay?

      Just asking… ”

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  5. Hi Laila,

    I am a gay man living in the bible belt out here in the Valley, and I think Johnny Dongan doesn’t support Gay rights.

    I did some digging for you, ( couldn’t find the informations yet though, I’m still working on it ) and although he’s never come right out and said he is anti-gay, he voted No on a two bills ( 31 and 32 ) brought up in 1997 to give the children of gay and lesbian couples the same rights as children in traditional marriages. I mean that when gay couples seperate that they have the same responsibilities for child support and maintenance and custody, just like straight couples.

    Can you imagine any politician not wanting to put his own beliefs aside for the sake of kids?

    I’m not voting Dongan. And there are other gays out here too, who would like to hear where he stands on Gay rights.

    Can you get this for us?

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    • Hi Dani,

      I don’t have a straight forward answer for you either way, but I did receive this article by email this morning after making my own inquiries. It seems he did vote no to these bills – the column is as follows :

      ” Family-support laws extended to B.C. gays: If a same-sex couple splits up, they now face same legal responsibility toward children as heterosexuals.; [FINAL Edition]
      Jim Beatty, Sun Legislature Bureau. The Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, B.C.: Jul 23, 1997. pg. A.4

      VICTORIA — B.C. has become the first Canadian province to apply family- support laws to same-sex couples, giving them the same responsibilities for family support and child maintenance as their heterosexual counterparts.

      The passage of Bills 31 and 32 in the legislature Monday night and Tuesday means that when gay and lesbian couples separate, they will be responsible for child custody, access and maintenance in the same fashion as heterosexual couples.

      Gay MLA Tim Stevenson called the legislation a significant step toward full equality of gays and lesbians.“This will be celebrated throughout the community, not only here in British Columbia but all across the country.”

      Lesbian lawyer barbara findlay, who represents a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group known as the December 9 Coalition, called it a huge step toward full equality. (Findlay spells her name with lower-case letters.)

      “This is a first in North America. No jurisdiction has legislated recognition of same-gendered couples on the same basis as common-law couples until now,” she said in an interview.

      “We are enormously proud to be British Columbians and to have a government with the vision and integrity to ensure the rights of all of its people.”

      Many church leaders objected to the legislation. Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh admitted he received hate mail on the issue and some MLAs objected to the bills, but the legislature debate over the same-sex bills never became negative or partisan.

      In Ontario, former NDP premier Bob Rae tried to pass legislation giving more adoption rights to same-sex couples but a huge uproar forced him to hold a free vote in the legislature that defeated it.

      The reason it was easier in B.C., said Stevenson, is that the province has been incrementally making its laws more equitable for gays and lesbians rather than forcing huge changes all at once.

      In addition, “there was not the division within the (NDP) caucus that there was in Ontario,” he said.

      All members of the house voted for the legislation with the exception of: Liberals Jeremy Dalton (West Vancouver-Garibaldi), John van Dongen (Abbotsford), Rick Thorpe (Okanagan-Penticton), Barry Penner (Chilliwack), Bill Barisoff (Okanagan-Boundary), Kevin Krueger (Kamloops-North Thompson), Reni Masi (Delta North), Paul Nettleton (Prince George-Omenica) and Progressive Democratic Alliance leader Gordon Wilson.

      In an interview, Dalton said he didn’t hear from one constituent who favored the legislation. “I think the traditional family values are being compromised,” he said. “There are certain basics in our society and I would like to see them maintained.”

      Liberal MLA Ted Nebbeling, who is openly gay, objected to the language in the legislation, saying he would never refer to his partner as his spouse.

      The Liberals unsuccessfully proposed an amendment that would have referred to same-sex couples as “domestic partners.”

      “In the gay community that I frequent, there is really a sense of discomfort in being called a spouse,” Nebbeling said in an interview.

      But despite his semantic objections, Nebbeling voted in favor of the legislation because “this is a good bill for kids . . . Nobody should ever be able to walk away {from children} without having responsibility.”

      Credit: VANCOUVER SUN

      So there you have it.

      He voted no to those bills along with the following:

      Jeremy Dalton
      Rick Thorpe
      Barry Penner
      Bill Barisoff
      Kevin Krueger
      Paul Nettleton
      Gordon Wilson.

      Make what you may of it, I can’t understand not wanting to stand up for children, no matter the sexual orientation of the parents.

      One clearly has no bearing on the other.

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