Thursday, August 17, 2006
Scared out of his wits, Premier Campbell announces a "reasonable deal" in BC's best interests
Why am I telling you this, on the blogspot of The Legislature Raids? Well, it's because, in the final analysis, whatever the issue, we want justice to prevail. The kind of justice I hope for in the Basi & Virk affair must be seen to be guaranteed by the government structure we have in place right now. And this softwood lumber news item floors me, it's so contrary to justice, and to BC's best interests.
It doesn't help that today's Times Colonist story carries a photo of Premier Campbell with Rich Coleman standing by his side, both of them looking scared out of their wits, as they make the announcement.
I'm scared too. Because why? Because of the comparison with yesterday's Globe and Mail, published in another province by a different corporation, which carries a story boosting legal opposition to the softwood lumber deal.
The story, by Simon Tuck in Ottawa, begins: "The World Trade Organization handed Canada a legal victory on softwood lumber yesterday that could help bolster the forestry industry's opposition to a proposed deal with the U.S. [So why didn't the B.C. premier wait, to give added strength to Canada's position?]
"...The Ontario Forest Industries Association said the WTO ruling, the latest in a series of legal wins that have mostly gone Canada's way, is a big one. "This decision is right up there among the most important for Canada," said the assoc. president ...
"But the ruling will mean little if the proposed Canada-U.S. softwood deal is approved next week. The ruling's key significance, he said, may be that it could boost the confidence of those Canadian producers thinking about voting against the bilateral deal. " In other words, it was the spine-stiffener which our Canadian leaders seemed to need. Why in the world did the BC premier jump the gun on this?
Why did the B.C. premier go rushing in breathlessly, eyes sticking out of his head, scrambling to give the U.S. what it wants, before next Monday's deadline. Does this make sense? Does this make us feel confident that when a crisis occurs -- as in The Legislature Raids -- that justice will prevail? That B.C.'s best interests will be served?
And while I'm at it, there was another news item last evening which hits an 8 or a 9 on the social richter scale: That police have investigated 2,500 suspected criminal incidents at lower mainland casinos this past year. Little bitty things, like loan sharking, human trafficking, and suspected murder. Like, is organized crime sitting quietly, knitting, while British Columbia waits and waits for the trials to begin for the Legislature Raids? Maybe there's no connection whatever, but we don't know that either.
Well, I should've said "Don't get me started", because now I remember promising recently to talk about some of the organized crime indicators I had seen lately. Here goes.
* there's an old hotel on Vancouver Island which served a bang-up logger's breakfast. Ketchup bottles on formica tables. Guys in their work clothes. Very down-to-earth. And a great breakfast. Last summer, I was there when 2 big guys calmly sauntered in wearing Hells Angels full-patch jackets. The clientele seemed to freeze. But the cook came rushing out, and threw her arms around the biggest, ugliest H.A., and sat for many unpleasant minutes on his knee. Sheesh. Last time I looked, the historic old cafe is gone.
* the citizen who had a Harley-Davidson motorbike rode onto a BC ferry, parking where the ferry crew told him where to park, i.e., beside all the other motorbikes. But all the other motorbikes happened to belong to Hells Angels who told the citizen to f-off. He didn't. In fact, he said he f-ing wouldn't. And so the H.A. bravely joined forces and dropped the citizen's bike overboard.
* two homeowners have recently opened their doors to strangers wishing to buy their nice but not spectacular oceanfront homes. Immediately. For cash, as in: $4 million cash, which was being carried in briefcases. These two real estate stories are disturbing because (a) although seemingly verifiable but not reported, and (b) that the cash-carriers (obviously illicit) felt so comfortable about the British Columbia environment that they didn't mind the risk of being apprehended with $4 million in cash which, I bet, they could not explain as legal.
* there was a guy with the porche sportscar which he decided to sell. He privately decided on a price of $16,000. Somebody answered his advertisement, liked the Porche, and asked the price. The guy cagily said nothing as the buyer started laying down $1,000. bills ... 16 of them ... still the guy said nothing ... until the buyer had piled up 32 of the $1,000. bills ... then the guy magnanimously said, "Enough! That'll do."
* a city building contract given to a leading member of the Hells Angels.
I did a little experiment with Story #1 above, and told quite a few people about "having breakfast with the Hells Angels". I was stunned by the responses. I'll talk about that, if you like, another time. For now, all I'd ask is for you to think about this as a new level of crime which, as the U.N. warned, threatens a nation's sovereignty.
And like RCMP Sgt John Ward said right after the Legislature Raids, organized crime in B.C. seems to have reached critical mass since 2001. Sgt Ward chose that moment to say these dark and dangerous things. And that's what I often do, too: I link the changes in our social expectations to the ominous significance of the Legislature Raids.
So, why not have Stanley Ho money laundering outfits in BC as well? I mean, one of Li Kai Hsing's son's lives right here in Vancouver across from city hall even.
Jeez, you make organized crime and money laundering sound like a bad thing. It's what makes capitalism go around.
There was a good article in the Globe and Mail last fall on the BC marajuana trade: how the Vietnamese grow it, East Indians transport it, and Canadian Hell's Angels launder the money.
You asked 'why' did Mr. Campbell do it.
I suspect there is a one word answer that has a lot to do with it.
And that word is Canfor.
Do you mean, is there some Indo-Canadian link to the transporatation of drugs in the Legislature Raids?
Well, there was the news of two smugglers using kayaks to take marajuana suspected of being grown in Saanich across the border to the San Juan islands. One of the kayakers landed at the Ministry of Children and Family Development Ministerial Assistant Manu Sandhu's (relation to Mandeep Sandhu??) home in Saanich, but he was whisked away before the police could get there.
The other kayaker who landed at another beach was detained by neighbors, charged and found guilty of trafficking.
The botched smuggling incident occured just a month before the raid on the Legislature.
You can find the newspaper articles on the story by doing a google search for
Unfortunately Anon #1 above nails it with:
"Jeez, you make organized crime and money laundering sound like a bad thing. It's what makes capitalism go around."
With nothing happening here (you now, nothing to see here, move along now) I can't help but be distracted by the Guns of August. I've been posting about Isr/Lebanon, Bu$hCo and the Poodle of the North over at the mag (RagsMag), as currently they are the one's who hold the fate of civilization as we know(knew) it in their hands. But I find it sickening that Harpo can pretend the Softwood Sellout is anything other than theft with the permission of the victim. Aren't we all happy we have adults in charge who understand business. I can almost hear the great Northern Poodle from here calling out to his master, asking if he is bent over far enough yet!
love and kisses,