Visions of the World

Written by Harold McNeill on June 22nd, 2015. Posted in Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Harold holding new Canadian Passport

Harold holding his new Canadian Passport that was issued a few days back and is now valid until 2025.  About 53% of Canadians hold a passport, whereas the US stands at 20%. Given that most new Canadians apply for a Canadian passport (reference comments in footer), there must be a high percentage of natural born Canadians that have never bothered.

As many Canadians only use their passports for travel to the United States, Mexico, Cuba and other the Caribbean states, a large percentage of our population have never visited other parts of the world.

Visions of the World, was first written and posted on Facebook in early 2014. It is now updated and includes the following introduction. What prompted this re-post was a horrendous act of domestic terrorism in South Carolina carried out by a White Supremacist.  The case might make the front page of media outlets for a couple of days and will then drift off into history. (64)

Conspiracy to Rob the BC Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay

Written by Harold McNeill on May 16th, 2015. Posted in Editorials, Police Notebook


Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal 1980

Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (Web Source) c1980′s. On the May Day long week-end, 1983, a dozen police waited patiently with weapons at ready. The gang that commanded their attention had amassed a small arsenal of handguns, shotguns, rifles and even considered mounting a machine gun in the back of a stolen van. They also collected a box of dynamite and purchased blasting caps, radio transmitters, scanners, balaclavas and sundry other equipment to pull off a major heist. The leader of the gang was a convicted bank robber from the Lower Mainland who made no bones about killing if that should become necessary.

The gang had their planning down to the minute with their goal being a small fortune in cash that flowed through the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on every long week-end. The only thing that stood between the gang and their goal was a small group of police officers and civilians who quietly, deliberately and surreptitiously inserted themselves into the gangs planning process.

Link here to Part I of this Series: Oversight of Police and Security

Link here to Part II of the series: Conspiracy to Bomb the BC Legislature

Part III Conspiracy to Rob the BC Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay

An earlier post about BC Ferries posted on McNeill Life Stories: Thank you BC Ferries

1. Introduction

In Part II, Conspiracy to Bomb the B.C. Legislature, the crime was developed over a five month period by 250 RCMP Security Service officers, a few of which had close personal ties with two two criminal suspects as they (the police) coached, cajoled, encouraged, threatened and supported the couple along the path towards committing a serious crime at the Canada Day celebrations in July 2013. It was a crime the police defined, not the suspects.

In this post, an Armed Robbery and a Conspiracy to Commit an Armed Robbery, a half dozen suspects take the lead while an equal number of police officers (Note 3) take turns following the group, listening to their conversations and collecting evidence as it was produced along the way. During the five week investigation, the suspects had no idea police were dogging their heels. It was a classic conspiracy investigation. (282)

Conspiracy to Bomb the BC Legislature: The Grand Illusion

Written by Harold McNeill on April 24th, 2015. Posted in Editorials, Police Notebook


Nuttall and Korody

June 2, 2015 UPDATE.  Nuttall and Korody found guilty on two of four counts by the jury, but defence counsel has asked for a “stay” in sentencing until a Judge can determine whether ‘entrapment’ played a role in the investigation.  This case is not over by a long shot.  Also, for reasons yet to be explained the Judge in the case peremptorily entered a stay on one of the charges.  The Judge also soundly criticized defence counsel on a number of points and at one point considered calling a mistrial.

Photo (Web Source): As you read this post consider whether you think John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were latent terrorists just biding their time or whether they were drug induced dreamers targeted to play a lead role in the Government’s War on Terror. After nearly five months of work by a squad of 250 RCMP security personal and with just three days to go before Canada Day 2013, this couple still had no idea they would be planting fake bombs in the bush around the B.C. Legislature.

Also, consider (and compare) as you read this post and the next, link below, how much could be accomplished if you assigned 250 RCMP members with a multi-million dollar budget and the latest in crime technology to take down some serious criminals who have already committed a crime or a long series of crimes, rather than chasing a couple of potentially dangerous airheads for five months.

(Link here to Part 1: Oversight of Police and Security Services)

(Link here to Part III: Conspiracy to Rob the BC Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay)

Note:  June, 2014: While Nuttall and Korody have been convicted of some charges by the jury in their case, the conviction has not been entered by the Judge pending a “Judge Only” follow-up trial to consider whether ‘entrapment’ played a role in the alleged crime.  Several Mr. Big Operations have been tossed by various Provincial Superior and Appeal Courts in recent years, and in one case that made it to the Supreme Court, the court upheld a lower court decision to toss the conviction.  (Link to Game Changer)

Part II

Conspiracy to Bomb the B.C. Legislature: Introduction

This post continues the discussion about whether oversight of police and security services is as important today as it was in the 1970’sAfter reading and watching over four-dozen media, video and web reports covering the ongoing trial of Nuttall and his partner Korody, it was astounding to learn of the extremes to which the RCMP Security Service went in order to envelop the couple in a terrorist plot. It was as if we were back in the 1970’s when security agencies could act with impunity (Oversight). (379)

Oversight of Police and Security Services

Written by Harold McNeill on March 15th, 2015. Posted in Editorials, Police Notebook


hqdefault

Web Source Photo:  A barn burning in May 1972, was just one event in a series of criminal acts committed by Canada’s Security Service in the decade following enactment of the War Measures Act after the “October Crisis” of 1970.

Concerns about Bill C51 and other terror Bills introduced since the “September Crisis” of 2001, follow a pattern similar to that of 1970 when domestic ‘terrorists’ challenged the Governments of Canada and Quebec. During that ‘crisis’ the Federal Government also turned loose Canada’s elite Security Service to act in a manner they saw fit.

So began a campaign of harassment, dirty tricks, illegal arrests, criminal acts and dozens of nefarious deeds that went far beyond the original intent of the law. Many at the highest levels of the RCMP and Government were aware of what was happening, but did nothing to reign in the Security Service. It was a decade of illegal police action that led to a break-up of the RCMP Security Service.

 If anyone thinks our National Security Agencies – CSIS, CBSA and the Federal arm of the RCMP is above such tactics today, they would be wrong. There are plenty of examples since September 2001 and it has taken place because there is a wilful lack of oversight and because laws passed since 2001 including proposed laws such as Bill C51, support what might otherwise be illegal in Criminal Law or, at the very least, violations of personal privacy.  In the United States, because of ongoing controversy, the Patriot Act (passed a week after September 1, 2001) was allowed to lapse on June 1, 2015. Whether it will be renewed or not remains an open question.

(Detective-Sergeant Harold McNeill, Retired)

Note: If you wish to skip the background discussion surrounding police, security services and terror, go straight to section #4 for the summary of events that followed invocation of the War Measures Act in 1970.

Note:  Part 11 is now complete.  Link here to: Conspiracy to Bomb the B.C. Legislature: The Grand Illusion as just one example of what happens when the security service is given free reign to act in a manner they see fit.  That manner usually acts in favour of the Government and Security Service rather than in favour of the general public.

Link here to Part III: Conspiracy to Rob the BC Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay:  Part III provides the details of a traditional conspiracy investigated by traditional police agencies without having to resort to the manufacture of evidence in order to build the case.

Part 1

(1729)

The Art of Fabric Crafting

Written by Harold McNeill on February 3rd, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Alysha and Sean

Alysha and Sean unroll the gift (more photos below)

Crafting a Gift of Love

Over the past few months, Lynn and Sheri (Mom and Mom) have been working with small squares of fur fabric that Alysha had passed along to Lynn.  It was a challenge to work with – not your usual quilting material.   Over a few weeks they came up with an idea – going all out with a new design. (281)

A Canadian Version of Planet China

Written by Harold McNeill on March 16th, 2014. Posted in Travelogue


Lorin, Jean and Cousins

It would not be many days into our visit that we understood food would become a key part of our China experience.
Here we were hosted to a sumptuous home cooked meal by the cousins (centre) of Lorin and Jin.

Full Photo Series Link Here

Link Here for Part II of this Story

Hello China, Here we Come Part 1  (see footnote 1)

This past August Lynn and I had an opportunity to take a whirlwind tour of China. As it worked out, our amazing nephew Lorin (2), his wife Jean and son Laur were living in Beijing, so it was an easy decision.  We often wondered about that mysterious country and felt a visit was a perfect way to sort fact from fiction.

Is the country completely polluted and is the traffic any worse than Vancouver? Are the people pushy or polite? Are the Chinese soNezha Conquers the Dragon King clever and determined they will one day dominate the world?  Could anyone or anything stand in the way of a technologically advanced country with a population of 1.5 billion and so much money they have no idea how to spend it?  Are they on their way owning the United States as well as all the oil in Canada? How about a simple question – can a stray dog or cat survive in China?

Insert (Web): Top 10 in China:  Nezha Conquers the Dragon King. The flower, bottom centre, was often observed floating in water filled ponds in many temples.

Fiction, fact and myths about China are so thoroughly intertwined, that no one seems to know for sure and everyone has an opinion.  While we cannot explore every facet of life in China, we will sort out what we can.

So with Passports, Visa’s and maps in hand, we donned our ‘rose coloured glasses’ and caught an Air China flight out of Tokyo.  Just to make certain we could see things clearly, we each grabbed a pair of polarizer clip-ons. Thank you for joining us in Part I of this three-part series.  PS We have taken plenty of pictures to back up our observations.

As you will find,  (3207)

Harold David McNeill

Written by Harold McNeill on September 20th, 2011. Posted in Police Notebook


harold with rcmp 1994

Above (1994): The spit and polished, uniformed, Sergeant Harold David McNeill completed the final months of his police career assigned to a Quick Response Squad working the Commonwealth Games. It seems hard to believe they actually gave me the keys to an RCMP Cruiser.

About the Author

As a thirty-year member of the Oak Bay Police Department, it was my intention for several years to write a series of short stories about policing in Oak Bay and the Greater Victoria area, however, with each passing year, other demands took precedence. First, having a six year old son in elementary school when I retired, lead to a whole new area of interest that quickly consumed my life. No complaints though, as there can’t be many things better than starting retirement when the last of your four children is just starting school.

McNeill FamilyThen, part way through the school years, after becoming heavily involved in PAC projects, I branched into soccer, first as a coach, then at the local, provincial, national and international level as board member or assisting with the organizing international soccer ’friendlies’ and other competitions on behalf of the Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA.

Photo (Janury, 2011) Son-in-law, Chris and daughter Christine LeClair, Lynn and Harold McNeill holding grandson Grayson Walker, Kari McNeill-Walker, Sean McNeill, Jay McNeill. Missing from photo, son-in-law, Edward Walker.

Following conclusion of the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup and approaching my seventies, the time had come to seriously put my fingers to the keyboard. Having made a good start on documenting several early life experiences of our family while living in wilderness areas of Saskatchewan and Alberta, my police notebooks have been dusted off and that series is now well under way.  My problem, I get caught up in issues of the day and always find some political or religious matter to write about. How did I get here?  (1106)

Oak Bay Bank Heist

Written by Harold McNeill on March 3rd, 2012. Posted in Police Notebook


Bank of Nova Scotia Oak Bay

Photo (Author Files): This bank was robbed several times over the years.  While all bank robberies has the potential for violence, this robbery had a particularly tragic outcome.

Bank robbers come in all shapes and sizes
as well as from varied backgrounds

The recent story of the young Calgary woman, a University Student Union President, made National headlines that thrust her into a certain kind of notoriety. Living a secret life, she is alleged to have committed several frauds as well as at least one bank robbery, the one for which she was recently arrested.

While the Oak Bay case is not a carbon copy it follows a similar circumstance, but is one in which the ending was far more tragic.  Again, Detective Sergeant Al Campbell, was the lead investigator, the same Detective Sergeant who arrested one of the FBI’s Most Wanted - a multi-millionaire drug trafficker from Indiana who had been tracked down in south Oak Bay. (Link Here)

At one time during the 1970s and early 1980s, Oak Bay might easily have been tagged with the dubious distinction of being the Bank Robbery capital of the British Columbia, if not all of Canada. With a population of barely 15,000, there were several banks along Oak Bay Avenue and a lone bank on Estevan Avenue, banks that acted like catnip to robbers. Each bank was hit at least once and a few, more than once. For staid old Oak Bay, it was big news as bank robberies were still considered to be the most flamboyant and, at times, the most glamorous of crimes. (4255)

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Comments

  • McNeill Life Stories Visions of the World - McNeill Life Stories

    June 22, 2015 |

    [...] Some years ago I also wrote a series on Cold Lake in which parts examined the experiences of another immigrant family to Canada.  I still follow that family on FB and they continue to take a big bite out life that many Canada born citizens have never chosen to experience. (Link and check footer of post) [...]

  • McNeill Life Stories Visions of the World - McNeill Life Stories

    June 22, 2015 |

    [...] States and the world.  Think back to what happened in the United States and Canada after the Boston Bombing.  Make no mistake, what happened in Charleston, North Carolina was a clearly defined terrorist [...]

  • Harold McNeill

    May 2, 2015 |

    Thanks for the kind comments Angie. Indeed I have several memories of Rhyersons Store and Mrs. Rhyerson as we used to pop in regularly to spend whatever change we shake loose. Don’t think I have any photos, but will post a note on my FB page as I have several school friends from back in those days. Will send you an email. Cheers, Harold

  • Angie

    May 1, 2015 |

    Hello Harold!
    I came across your website a month or two ago while doing some research on Cold Lake History, and have enjoyed travelling back in time with you! I moved here for my nursing career about 9 years ago, and since I’m now raising at least two babies down the street from your old high school, I though it would be good to be able to picture the old town how it was from its inception until now. And now that I’ve started, I can’t stop! It’s fascinating! You paint pictures with your words! Friends of mine just purchased the D&B convenient store that you knew as “Rhyason’s” in your blog, and they want to pay tribute to its history! I’d be interested in what you remember about the old store, if you have memories!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 28, 2015 |

    Hi Kimberly, So glad you found the story. I very much enjoyed working with Garth and we even socialized a lot over the years. We also had common interests in photography and dark room work as he was very good. I don’t know which story you read as there were two or three about cases that Garth and I investigated. The long story using alias names “A Matter of Principle” and a shorter ones “Gotcha A.Hole (#9 in the Police Story Index); “Abducted: the First Twelve Hours” (#18), and “Burglar with a Conscience” (#1). There were many more investigations, but they have not yet been written up as it seems every time I write a story, the list grows longer rather than shorter as each reminds me of others so I add them to the bottom of the list.

  • Kimberly Fowler

    April 28, 2015 |

    This was a wonderful thing to find. Sergeant Garth Fowler is my grandfather, and although we’ve lost touch over the years it’s amazing to get to read a story about what he’s done. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 23, 2015 |

    I was working for the US Air Force at that time, but left for Victoria in 1963 and have stayed her since. My brother-in-law ran the Marina for thirty years or so (Frank Yochim). Glad you caught the site. Several stories posted on the history of Cold Lake. Go to the Index Section for a full list. Cheers, Harold

  • Julie Wright

    April 23, 2015 |

    My family lived in Cold Lake Alberta I believe from 1962-1970. I was born in 1964 in Edmonton and adopted by my parents Wally and Audrey Hounsome who lived in Cold Lake Alberta. My dad was in the RCAF. My mother was a teacher at the elementary school. I also had an older brother, Chris. I caught your website and am interested.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 16, 2015 |

    It is a perfectly good spot for messages such as you have left. I will send you an email message with more information about Uncle Warren (by marriage to my Dad’s sister. I have several photos of the early years that are linked in various stories, so we should be able to fill in a fair amount of detail. The stories will explain the close connection our family had with Uncle Warren and Aunt Liz. It will take a bit of time to link all the stories in which they appear at various times during our lives. Cheers, Harold

  • Tracy Mcewan

    March 16, 2015 |

    Hi, I have been reading the beautiful tribute to your Aunt Pat. I am sorry if this is not the correct place for this message as I was not lucky enough to have met this obviously funny and strong woman. However, I hope to find someone who may have some information I am desperately seeking. I have been investigating any information regarding one Mr. Warren Harwood . It seems he is my grandfather. He knew my grandmother before he met and married his wife Elizabeth Dewan. They briefly had dated and my mother Twila Ferguson was made from this union. I would love to have any information of him and if there is any other family I would be related to. Once again I apologize if this is not the proper place for this . Thank you for the wonderful stories on this site. Yours, respectfully Tracy McEwan.