Author Archive

Mission Accomplished?

Written by Harold McNeill on February 28th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


operation_impact1

Photo (Web Source): With great fanfare we sent C-18’s from Cold Lake winging their way to fight scattered bands of terrorists in Syria and Iraq.  Many believed it was a worthy cause, but what did we really accomplish?

(Note: For the three people we met by the breakwater at lunch, I thought this article
might be of interest (February 29, 2016)  Go to the Tim Horton’s Post for more Editorials.

Canada’s War Effort: By the Numbers

There is little firm data about the damage and death inflicted upon our enemies, but various press articles provide some front end details:

Estimated expenditure: Conservative Government estimates rounded to $600,000,000

Missions Flown: 250  (5 into Syria and 245 into Iraq)

Bombs Dropped: 600

Let’s do the math if the costs were applied equally in relation to each item:

Cost per Bomb dropped: $1,000,000 

Cost per Mission: $2,500,000

Costs per each of the six CF-18’s: $100,000,000

Discussion: Why do we fight?

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Sean McNeill Birthday 2015

Written by Harold McNeill on November 8th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts, Biographies


A lot of fun last night with a few of the gang for a birthday dinner at the old homestead.  To put a little perspective around the extended family and gang, I grabbed these photos for a slideshow, then dialled in some of the favourite music a lot of young people in our lives have been playing for several years. It’s funny how Frank and many others from back in the day, continue to speak a language that resonates through the decades.   I suppose the music speaks to their love of life and the people who surround them.

For our extended family, take a little trip into times past as many of you have been included.  For those I missed, and there were many, you will most certainly appear in future slideshows, as I continue to draw out more of those old photos from a variety of sources.

Cheers,
Harold and Lynn

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Tories in a Tizzy on $5M Cap

Written by Harold McNeill on March 10th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


conservatives

March, 2016.  A few of the CPC potential leadership candidates.
Canadian Press Background

It’s refreshing to see that even when out of office the Tories continue their efforts to cap spending as demonstrated in the current leadership race. Some party members argued the $5,000,000 cap might prevent erstwhile contenders from challenging for the leadership.

While that cap is five times higher than $1M limit set by the Liberals for their 2011 race and ten times what the NDP allowed in 2012, it is double that which the Conservatives set when Harper took over in 2004. Party insiders don’t think five million is enough money to stage a leadership race.

Well, they are the ‘free enterprise’ party, so why do they even want a limit? Let the potential leaders spend away and if the contender can buy the leadership through attacks such as Harper staged on his way to control of the party, why not let others? (Michael Harris, Party of One)

attack ads4Party insiders pushing for higher limits argue that creating the dozens of attack ads and media buys needed to sideline competitors has ballooned in recent years so they are just keeping up with inflation. The higher figures are based on what the party spent on similar strategies in the past few elections.

Poster (Web Source)These ads are small sample of the successful ‘attack ads’ created by Arthur Finkelstien.  Just think of the material he could develop when the targets were other Conservatives. It would be better than waiting for the Super Bowl commercials.

Also, any potential leader wanting to hire an effective strategist such as Finkelstien, the Merchant of Venom, who so effectively managed the Conservative comeback ten years ago, does not come cheap.

Tory leadership potentials must learn to effectively use these tactics and what better place to practice than within their own leadership race. Digging up dirt and presenting it in an effective manner is expensive and if no dirt can found, it is even more expensive to build that dirt from scratch.

In order to achieve an open and fair free-market system in selecting their leader, some
Conservatives think the US Super Pac (independent expenditure-only committees) is ideal. This provides wealthy independent Conservative backers and big business, a reasonable opportunity to get their man (perhaps a woman – this is 2016) in place. As these PAC’s operate money-bagsoutside party control, they can be extremely effective in targeting political opponents both inside and outside the party.

Web (Photo) What earthly use is it to have earned all this money and then not able to spend it in helping to get people you like elected?

While a few suggested Robo-Calls is much less expensive and can be used to good effective, the party Executive thinks the tactic should be reserved for general elections.

From an outsiders viewpoint, it would be a lot easier and less expensive to just let the public and press jog the memberships memory of how some of those men and woman handled their jobs over the past 12 years.

In any case, many of the leadership hopefuls will find it different walking into a public meeting or standing in front a camera where they have to think for themselves rather than being fed every word by their party leader.

Harold

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Oversight of Police and Security Services

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


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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.

March 1, 2016 (8200)
October 1, 2017  (8400)

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 often acts more in favour of the Government and Security Service interests rather than in favour of the general good.  As an example, after the judge overturned the jury conviction one of her final statements regarding the RCMP action in the case read: “They were clearly overzealous and acted on the assumption that there were no limits to what was acceptable when investigating terrorism,” the judge stated. “Within their ranks there were warnings given and ignored.”

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

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Family Resemblances

Written by Harold McNeill on January 19th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Louise and Karina Final

Louise and Karena?

Over the past while I have been working on several older photo files (both prints and electronic) and in the history of our families have noticed many astonishing similarities.  For example this one of my sister Louise at about fifteen, and comparing it with her daughter Karena, who I suspect was in her early thirties. the resemblance (to me at least) is extremely close.  If they were the same age I think it would be even closer.

When I first posted the two photos on Facebook, Louise’s hairstyle was not all that flattering and tended to distract from the similarity, so I simply updated her style to match that of Karena.  After doing this, one could be led to believe they were twins.  While photoshop works well at changing various features such as hair, glasses, etc., I still have much to learn about smoothing the edges (for example when eliminating the background on Karena’s photo).

As time goes by I will add other photos to this post.  If you have any suggestions (or photos) of look-a-likes in any part of our extended family (at any age – grandparents, etc.), please pass them along and I will work to bring them together as with Louise and Karina in this photo.

As I match more photos, I will move the current lead photo down and and replace it with another.

Cheers,

Harold

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Wow! Another Birthday Slideshow

Written by Harold McNeill on January 14th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Harold 75 Birthday Group

Meet the Whole Gang
Victoria B.C. January 13, 2016.
(Double Click for Full Photo)

(Top Row) Lucas, Drew, Andrew, Harold, Gery, Linda, Garth, Cory, Patty
(Second) Shary, Lynn, Esther, Shea, Alysha, Madeline, Norma,
Bjorn, Ingar, Svend
(Front) Gery, Graham, Sean (and Lexi), Erika.
(Missing) Kia, Mike and Kyle (and Toby)

Thank you everyone for the wonderful evening of family, friends, food, wine and
good times at the Dunn’s home.

Here is a short slideshow of the evening events.  I will post the photos in Facebook.

Link here to the full set of photo’s posted on McNeill Life Stories FB Page

Cheers,

Harold

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Guns on the Street

Written by Harold McNeill on January 15th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts, Editorials


Kids and Guns USA

January 9, 2016 (Web Source).  Over the past several week’s various media groups have posted video’s or photos of kids in the USA practicing with handguns and various high power weapons. Parents being interviewed made it clear that learning to protect one’s self is important.  Clearly, no bully will chance an encounter with this little girl in the playground.

President Obama’s Executive Order on Guns

This post flows from a FB post made by my nephew, Greg Yochim, showing a video of President Obama at a townhouse meeting on Anderson Cooper’s 360.  Greg also made the following comment “It’s no secret that I like Obama, and as I watched the town hall meeting on AC 360 I tried to imagine Trump in this forum and it just seemed so inconceivable. (Yes, I know what that word means.).”

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Six Little Dolls

Written by Harold McNeill on January 7th, 2016. Posted in Lynn McNeill Specials


Six Little Dolls

Double Click to Expand the Photo

A very special woman in our home spends hundreds of hours designing, crafting and quilting special gifts for family and friends. This particular gift was destined for our Granddaughter Audrey Leclair who, this Christmas, is four years old.  The Six Little Dolls to fill Six Little Deds made up Audrey’s 2015 Christmas Gift.

The quilt and dolls were lovingly crafted by Nana (Lynn McNeill) with an occasional helping hand from Esther Dunn (quilting), Linda Simonsen (hair) and Alysha Yakimishyn (faces)

If you look closely at the six little beds, you can see they are crafted in a three-dimensional manner and that the dolls can slip between the covers (each bed is individually crafted). We learned from mommy (Christine) that on opening each doll Audrey would give it a kiss and tuck it in a bed.

The quilt is designed as a wall hanging.

Cheers,

Harold

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.