Sunday, February 22, 2009

From the Where's Wally File: Why Has the BC Government Let Gangs Proliferate?

Anti-gang rally’s message: enough is enough!
Family Calls Government Cuts Appalling

The family of a man killed by gang gunfire in a case of mistaken identity is holding no punches when it comes to the provincial budget.

Kirk Holifield's father Bert says cuts to the offices of criminal prosecutors are appalling, "The Solicitor General hasn't talked to us. The police haven't talked to us. Nobody talks to us. We're having some - the media has been helping us alot but as far as the police and the Solicitor General, no we haven't. Sure I'd be more than happy to listen to them but first of all they've got to call us."

Last week the Holifields were informed by the media police had counted Kirk among Metro-Vancouver's innocent victims of gang violence.

While they had long been told Kirk was innocent in private, it was the first time police acknowleged it publicly.
Where's Wally? BC Attorney-General Oppal has 30 days to end gang violence

People need to know our streets are safe.
- B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal, Feb. 4, 2009

Wally Oppal and BC government - stop the killing!
Bill Tieleman. February 17, 2009.

Police at scene of latest shooting death Monday morning - young woman gunned down with 4-year-old child in back seat at 10 a.m. in Surrey

UPDATE TUESDAY - Another young man shot to death in a hit on Fraser Street in Vancouver!

This violence is unanswerable. The fact these people are out on bail, it's unanswerable. It's an outrage. - Steve Brown, anti-gang violence advocate
Campbell Defends Court Cuts

Premier Gordon Campbell is dismissing criticism from the NDP over budget cuts to court services.

This as Metro Vancouver deals with a wave of gang violence.

The government says the cuts are to administrative staff, not front-line services, and Campbell says NDP Leader Carole James is late to the game, "We have actually said that we are adding additional prosecutors to prosecute gangs. That's what we're going to do. We also have an obligation to make sure that we're delivering our court services as cost-effectively as possible. That's also what we're going to do. But no one should be under any illusions - we have a 16 person prosecution staff that is focused solely on gangs; we've added 10 additional prosecutors to that."

Carole James says the cuts will harm efforts to crack down on gang crime.
Conditional Sentence in Death of Pop Star
Crown to Consider Appeal
CKNW. 2/20/2009

The crown says it will take a serious look at the possibility of an appeal after a man found guilty in the death of an Afghan pop star was given a conditional sentence in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster.

The crown had been seeking a five to seven year prison sentence for Ahmad Seiar Froogh.
He was instead given a conditional sentence of two years less a day, to be spent in the community.

Froogh was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Afghan pop star Nasrat Parsa.
He punched Parsa in the face at a hotel on Kingsway in May of 2005.
Parsa fell down some stairs, hit his head, and later died in hospital.

B.C. man convicted in death of Afghan singer will not go to jail

CBC News.

Where's Wally? Attorney-General Wally Oppal given 30 days to take action on gang violence in Metro Vancouver or face call to resign
Bill Tieleman, February 10, 2009.

Inquiring minds want to know.... just where will the Honorable Minister Wally Oppal, Mr. Attorney General Himself run on
May 12th. ? Vancouver-Fairview, Delta, no-where? A lot of chickens are going to come home to roost this next go around, I'd be thinking about that pretty carefully.

And, my final word, instead of pointing so many fingers at the police, government, society -blah, blah, blah, how about parents take some personal and parental responsibility for raising kids that are growing up to shoot people in broad daylight. People who shoot mothers in broad daylight with babies in the back. People whose daughters show up with gansta boyfriends who drive $80,000 cars, and have two.
People who show up with lots of money, bling and fancy cars and get VIP-ed. Money for vacations, for houses and big screen TV's. How do you tell a new school drug dealer? He's got the biggest big screen and the best entertainment system dirty money can buy.

Until families and communities start to address the fact that saying nothing is as good as giving tacit approval for your kids to be involved in gangs and crime. For your girls to become the tricked out bitches of the little bad boyz with guns, nothing is going to change. Because they will know, the benefits will outweigh the costs and risks. Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse. And crime does pay, it pays very, very well (just ask the the Man). Until you're dead and your parents are standing over your grave, scattering your ashes, wondering why they didn't tell you "no, don't do this, I won't let you." If they had, you might still be here. And the trail of bodies would stop, or at least yours wouldn't be one of them.

The House that the BC Liberals Built:

Statement from lawyer Peter Ritchie

January 30, 2009.

Trial Lawyers Association of BC

TLABC Backs Ritchie's Criticism of BC's High Court costs and
Warns Proposed Changes Will Make Things Even Worse

Holmes said Ritchie correctly points out that most of the court costs for the jury trial are unique to BC and are not charged in other provinces, such as the anticipated $15,000 fee for renting a courtroom, a jury trial fee of $25,000 – in essence total trial fees of $40,000 – plus the travel expenses of witnesses.

“Nowhere else in Canada is like this,” Ritchie said yesterday in a lengthy statement released to the media, pointing out that by comparison to BC’s $40,000 trial fee, in Ontario trial fees would have been $645 and in Alberta $800.

Message in the Mail: Court Cases Will Take Longer & Cost More

Ridings of the Premier and Attorney General are the First Hit

January 30, 2009

(Vancouver) – Ongoing criticism over proposed changes to the rules of civil court has moved into households throughout the constituencies of Premier Gordon Campbell and Attorney General Wally Oppal. The Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC) and its supporters continue to warn that pending rule changes will make court cases cost even more and take even longer in what is already Canada’s most expensive jurisdiction in which to seek justice.

CONTACT: Bentley Doyle

604-682-5343 or 1 888-558-5222

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Listen to Your Grannies

Raging Grannies shake their fist
Letter to the Editor. Vancouver Courier. February 04, 2009

To the editor:

Re: "Rental activists feel threatened by Elections B.C.," Jan. 23.

Matching the concern of the Renters-at-Risk group, the Vancouver Raging Grannies have prepared a letter to the government requesting clarification of the Electoral Act. While waiting to determine the correct ministry and addressee, we submit it as an open letter to the government.

The Vancouver Raging Grannies are somewhat perplexed by new legislation that seems hell bent to silence differences of opinion during the upcoming provincial election. At least it wants those with different opinions to register and pay for the right to promote or protest political issues within 90 days leading up to the May election day.

We have noticed that advocacy groups are rushing to get their message out in advance of legislation that restricts or redefines the previous right to freedom of speech.

Where are we to register and with whom? Is there a form to fill out testifying to our political beliefs? Do we register as a group or as individuals? As for payment, do we pay up front at the protest registry desk or after we have sung our songs on the street? Do we have to get arrested before we are fined or will we be fined while singing?

We, as Grannies with a reputation to uphold, do have expenses. Should they be declared before we start our campaign? New feathers for our hats, new strings for our aprons, darning wool for our knee socks, steel toes for our marching boots.

We do have difficulty with too much legal terminology, clauses and sub-clauses, therefore we are requesting clarification in laywoman's terms, of just how this act will affect us. We are concerned about--and have protested strongly--the give away of our natural resources and the environmental impact of the Run-of-the-River projects, especially after Bill 30 disallowed local citizen input.

These issues have kept the Raging Grannies on the street, and we need to know where the line in the sand is drawn, because we want to be there crossing it every chance we get!

And we do protest this heavy-handed legislation.

Barbara Seifred,


Since when did our taxpayer dollars go toward electoral organizations becoming deputized to harass and intimidate citizens in the exercise of free speech rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? When did BC cease to be a democracy? I missed that memo, perhaps someone can forward it to me.


Rental activists feel threatened by Elections B.C.

An ad hoc group of volunteers defending renters in the West End says Elections B.C. has threatened its members with a one-year jail sentence or a $10,000 fine if they don't register as an "elections advertising sponsor" by Jan. 27.