Tuesday, February 24, 2009


When all else fails -- and the court system has failed -- the government is empowered to intervene.

Talk on gangs, but little action

Times Colonist - Feb. 22, 2009

Is Premier Gordon Campbell serious about fighting gang violence and reforming the justice system? He certainly says he is. But in Tuesday's provincial budget, court and prosecution services were cut by $10 million over the next three years. There will also be staff reductions amounting to 100 positions in these areas. That appears to contradict Campbell's promise that more prosecutors would be hired.

{Snip} ...

... why hasn't Oppal established a war-room in Vancouver and taken control? Is there something more important on his agenda?

Then there is the disarray of our court system. Two years ago the chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court co-authored a scathing report. He noted the volume of civil cases in Vancouver's Supreme Court has declined by half, while the length of trials doubled. He pointed to the huge costs associated with even minor suits and worried that litigation has become a practical option only for the rich. And he laid out a massive program of reform.

Instead of enacting that program, the government allowed it to fall by the wayside.

In fairness, many of these problems predate the current administration. And there is no group more capable of resisting change -- or apparently more willing to prove it -- than the courts.

If judges and lawyers are set on maintaining the status quo, they have formidable weapons at their disposal. They enjoy great latitude in their conduct of affairs.

But that freedom is not unlimited. When all else fails -- and the court system has failed -- the government is empowered to intervene.

{Snip} ...

We need an attorney general who understands we're in a war and means to win it. We need a minister of finance who will support that campaign, not short-change it.

And we need leadership from the premier. This is Campbell's government. Vancouver is his home.

There is no time left for half measures. This scandalous outbreak of lawlessness and bloodshed must be halted in its tracks.

Read the full Times Colonist editorial here.


This is typical Campbell style. Roll out the cameras, put on a simpering smile, promise to do great things about it. Then when the next crisis arises forget about this one and start all over. Some polls say that he is best to manage our economy. I submit that he couldn't manage anything but to hide cost overruns or the desecration of our forest industry, or the giveaway of our railway. It's time for change.
Gary E,

Have a look at Les Leyne's column in today's Times Colonist (Feb. 24).

He calls the re-worked responsibilities of the Olympics security bill a polite word -- "pure magic" -- but you'll recognize the fingerprints.

Amazing that Canwest newspapers are beginning to tell the story straight up, undiluted.

My concern is that this situation will be used as cover to bring in a pre-Olympic crackdown on dissent.

The government lets the violence escalate to a point where people demand action. Then, under cover of that action, government opponents and troublemakers are silenced.

Be careful what you wish for.
Anonymous 2:01:

You make an excellent point, with regard to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

My focus is so specific to the BC Rail case, I was pleased to see the declaration that government does have the power to override bottlenecks. I was thinking only of the Basi Virk Basi / BC Rail trial.

Premier Gamble has falsely portrayed himself as the prisoner of circumstance, helpless to do or say anything about this trial. I'd go farther and say that he probably inspires the general resistance against co-operation.

So that's what I was wishing for: some constructive government engagement which would release the bottlenecks, provide the documents needed for a fair trial, and let the people hear the explanations for why BC Rail was lost.

I won't stop wishing for that.

Wally was told in question Period today by Krog that the NDP request for documents will be ruled on by the judge this Wednesday. If the governemnt wants to spead things up make the documents available( Not a direct quote) Wall the chastized Krog, talked about some lecture about new lawyers trying to tell judges what to do and besides, wait for it, it's before the courts. So tomorrow might sort something out. For anyone interested Hasard is available on line
Anon 2:01,

Still paying attention to what you said -- and thanks again for that -- I am left wondering where to post this item which seems to have a lot to say about how these unwelcome dots get connected (or ignored).

Have a look:

"Megamillion$ pot bust traced back to potent BC bud" - The Province, Feb. 25/09.


Well, if the judge is going to rule on the Dipper request today (Wednesday) sure is a good thing the good Mr. Copely didn't get the documents to the defense on time before Monday's hearing.

Otherwise there might have been a session yesterday (Tuesday).

And if that had happened, well....

Then there might actually be something happening (five years and two months after the fact).

And we can't have that happening.



I think you've got it: the words and the music!

I can't wait for Robin's report from Supreme Court today.

Will Madam Justice Bennett reject the efforts of the Official Opposition to see the 17 folders obtained under Freedom of Information? Like, F.o.I. meaning that anybody can see those pages? If yes, and Judge B rejects, doesn't that mean ... oh, never mind. Just Never mind, I tell ya!

So it's ... tap, tap, tap (twitch), best to wait and see. You know how to do that, dontcha folks? You just put that big paper bag over your head, sit quietly, and (twitch) wait.

We may not get a sense of that today (http://www.vancouversun.com/news/unveil+plans+crack+down+gang+crime/1326613/story.html) because brass knuckles will be hidden in a velvet glove. As we've seen, Harper likes to hide very partisan, controversial changes in non-related legislation. The devil will be in the details.

I'm also wondering about the Liberals engaging in Republican-style vote suppression. Maybe I'm getting overly cynical to the point of paranoia, but given what we've already seen...
Good article about surveillance in The Sun today: http://www.vancouversun.com/Technology/Surveillance+society/1340066/story.html.
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