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
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 each step of the way. It was a classic conspiracy investigation. (107)
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.
(Link here to Part 1: Oversight of Police and Security Services)
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’s. After 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). (272)
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 new laws such as Bill C51, support what might otherwise be illegal in Criminal Law or, at the very least, violations of personal privacy.
(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.
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. (238)
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.
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 so 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, (3129)
Burning the Bridges of Canadian Justice
Homes were damaged or destroyed, public and private property destroyed, businesses bankrupted, ordinary citizens intimidated, threatened, attacked and one man left for dead with permanent brain damage, families torn apart, careers ended and, as a final insult, those same citizens, while trying to defend themselves, became the subjects of police “enforcement”. (the Image Gallery at the end of this post provides a solid visual of these events)
The Rape of Caledonia
Those who have read my posts, particularly in the Editorial Section, will know I am passionate about many subjects. Although I was a policeman for 30 years, you will also know I have never backed away from critizing the police when I believed the criticism was warranted.
A few months back, I made the mistake of reading a book titled: Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of fear and anarchy, and how the law failed all of us” by Christi Blatchford. Blatchford, a respected journalist for both the National Post and Globe and Mail, spent many months researching, documenting and writing on the reign of terror that engulfed the good citizens of Caledonia. You might think these things only happen in some war torn country fighting a vicious dictator, but you would be wrong and in Canada, Caledonia was that place.
Photo (From Web) Pibroch, AB, main street as it looked in 1951 when we arrived. During a trip to that area in 2010,
the main street had not changed all that much.
Chapter 2 The Gypsy Years in Pibroch
January 9, 2015: This post is brought forward for the accountant we met in San Francisco who looked after the accounts of several Hutterite Colonies in Alberta. He is retired but at one time worked with the Colony in Pibroch that is featured in this post. If that accountant happen to pick up on this post please leave a message. Regards, Harold
After bidding a final farewell his youth, the years used up toiling away on a rock farm near Birch Lake, Saskatchewan, Dad was being drawn back to farming. In the spring he had taken over as foreman on the Murfitt spread in Pibroch, Alberta, a mixed farm with 200 head of cattle and about half the 640 acres under cultivation. It provided an opportunity to reconnect to animals and the land.
While horses had given way to tractors during the intervening years, Dad still had plenty of farming skills that made his services eagerly sought after and, as well, Mom would again be working in unison Dad. Taking over the farm kitchen she would work her magic as she cooked for a half dozen full time farmhands in the off-season and twice that many during the harvest.
For Louise and me, it would be a new school and new friends, something we were becoming accustomed to as we shifted from pillar to post over the past two years. The great news about this move – Louise and I would be reunited with Mom and Dad in a country setting that was reminiscent of our early years. Our time at HA Gray and the big city was rapidly coming to an end as we would be heading North as soon as the school year was complete. (10302)
Photo Collage: There was never enough time to do it all. Cars, girls, rock and roll were all part of the freedoms that came in the 1950′s. If was a unique time in the Canada and we made the best of it. The majority even managed to graduate with distinction. I was one of the non-distincts, however my sister, Louise McNeill, graduated with a distinct distinction, that being the 1961 Honour Role. This post makes it clear why I failed to do so.
(Photo selection: Jimmy Martineau, Gordie Wusyk, Billy Martineau and drummer in the background, Gary McGlaughlin, playing at the Tropicana Night Club. Below, the Pinsky Cadillac. Harold McNeill and Aaron Pinsky in a “cool” shot at the Roundel Hotel. Sitting across from us is Dorothy Hartman, an awesome dance partner. We worked out the fine points of the back over flip as shown in the photo top right (Dance photos from the web).
Chapter 3: The High School Years
Perhaps the best way to pick my way through the final two segments of the Cold Lake High School Years is by selecting random memories. Not to worry, I will be discrete, well as discrete as I can and still keep the history and stories interesting. This is not meant as a titillating account of a small town as in Peyton Place, but seeks instead to give one side of the story about High School kids in a small town at the edge of the wilderness on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. Besides, we generally agreed that most of what happened in Cold Lake would stay in Cold Lake, so I will just pick at the edges.
Peyton Place: The sizzling movie version of the best selling book was released in 1957, just in time for our coming of age. While the movie was toned down, it still raised eyebrows and was soundly condemned in many quarters. By todays standards it would be fairly tame.
Another thing that will become evident, this story was written from the male perspective. To make any statements about what girls focussed on in the day will be up to them. Any girls who wish to add to my descriptions, please write a few chapters of your own, they will be added to the post so we can compare and contrast our views of life in the 50′s.
Two things defined High School boys back then as today – cars and girls. In my day the two consumed an enormous portion of our limited and highly specialized brain space – girls occupied the left hemisphere, cars the right. As we boys couldn’t use both halves at the same time, the balance wavered from day to day. For that matter, our brains stopped working altogether when other parts of our anatomy kicked in. (1385)