Living in the Shadow of Mental Illness

Written by Harold McNeill on August 19th, 2014. Posted in Editorials


depression

Photo (Web Source).  The dark shadows of depression and mental illness can be lifelong or sudden in onset.  While cancer, heart disease and any one of dozens of other diseases are accepted and treated with respect, not so for depression and mental illness. They remain in the shadows. People experiencing these debilitating states are often cast aside where they are left to their own devices. Many military personnel, indeed, many front line emergency service workers, have felt that pain. Can you imagine a cancer patient being cast aside and left to his or her own devices because of a stigma being attached to cancer?

As numerous families have learned, the nature of the illness makes it difficult to reach out for assistance by either the victim or their family as the attached stigma casts an ugly net. This story continues to track those who have been caught at the margins of our society where failure to provide timely and ongoing assistance can have tragic consequences not only for those immediately affected but also across the mainstream.  

Update:  Times Colonist, February 16, 2020, articles by Louise Dickson, She got her gun back, then she killed herself,and,  Mounties decision to return gun to PTSD victim haunts her brother. 

Summary: I don’t know how many read the above articles, but they contained the tragic details about young woman, Krista Carle’, who took her own life after suffering for years with PTSD. While tragedies such as this play out across Canada every week, the reason this story resonates so profoundly is that the final, tragic, conclusion took place here in Victoria.

Both articles were carefully researched and written by, Louise Dickson, a TC regular, who has captured the essence of what it means to be cast aside within a system that has every reason to pay close attention – when it’s one of their own.

If we don’t possess the ways and means to help those struggling with mental illness within our own organizations, what possible chance is there for persons found on the street and in obvious need of professional help? These points are vividly brought home by a local police officer who has chosen to speak out rather than remain silent even when, at one point in his career, he faced threats that charges of obstruction could result if he pursued the subject.

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Conspiracy to Bomb the BC Legislature: The Grand Illusion

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


Nuttall and Korody

September 5, 2022 Update: It is not the least bit surprising the two victims in this case have sued several levels of government and various individuals as a result of this manufactured case.  Both the Judge who sat on the case as well as the B.C. Supreme Court have confirmed this case as being malfeasance on the part of the RCMP National Security Service members.  The entire case is summarized in the following post written and posted in 2015 during the course of the trial.

December 19, 2018. Update:  In a unanimous decision released Wednesday morning, the Appeal Court sided with a B.C. Supreme Court judge who stayed proceedings in the terrorism trial of John Nuttall and Amanda Korody on the grounds that the police investigation was a “travesty of justice.”  Read more background at Entrapment

January 6, 2016 Update:  More information about police misconduct continues to be aired following the conviction of the above couple on terrorist charges.  Read more in the Times Colonist

November 18, 2015 Update:  A BC Supreme Court Judge has ordered the RCMP to release documents related to legal advice they obtained during the investigation of the above couple.  This is part of the hearing related to the subject of misconduct (or entrapment) by the RCMP.  Full report in The Province

June, 2014 Update:  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)

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, linked 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)

Part II

Conspiracy to Bomb the B.C. Legislature: Introduction

This post continues the discussion as to 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 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 when it came to breaking the law. (Oversight of RCMP Security Services).

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Separation of Church and State

Written by Harold McNeill on May 13th, 2014. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts, Editorials


 

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May 2014, Late one night Stephen Harper and Peter McKay run away from the Supreme Court…

February 2018 (2018)
For a 2018 update on this subject link here to Church and State

This post will trace the evolution of our secular system of government and attendant public institutions. By remaining fully secular, these organizations allow all Canadians to remain free from religious rule and teachings, yet many are under constant pressure to revert to a more religious based system. It was difficult finding a way of criticizing without the criticisms being seen as a rant rather than a rational discussion. Hopefully, I have succeeded, but suppose that will depend upon the perspective of the reader. 

June 11, 2014: In a significant move BC Lawyers, by a vote of 3210 to 968, directed their benchers to reject an application for accreditation made by Trinity Western University for their new Law School. (Link)

May 15, 2014, 11:00 am. This is an Edited version of the original poster of May 13, 2014, at 12.29 pm.  Mostly cleaning up the structure with some subject matter moved around. There has been no alteration of the original direction and intent of the post.

A smattering of news reports over the past several weeks focuses on the challenges faced in maintaining a balance between competing interests in our pluralistic society. This week, PMO staff found the Prime Minister wandering around kicking chairs and punching walls after the Supreme Court yet again struck down one of his carefully crafted pieces of legislation. It is largely because of this Court of Last Resort that we are able to maintain a balance in our society. While the Prime Minister may rant and rave about this ‘activist’ court interfering in the business of Parliament, we should all be thankful it is there to protect our rights in cases where ideologically driven legislation fails to meet the standards set by our Constitution and Charter of Rights.

For his part young Trudeau choose to open Pandora’s Box with his directive about accepting only Pro-Choice candidates (if you please!). It seems Justin, God bless the little guy, has inherited his Daddy’s tendency to ‘never let a sleeping dog lie’, and as for little Stephen, he completely forgot his Mommy’s message about ‘not poking a hornets’ nest with a stick’. These items make for an interesting read, but, standing alone, are just stories about a couple of gifted and privileged boys playing politics in hallowed halls of Ottawa. Neither item would prompt me to write an in-depth post, but the next certainly did as that item, in my opinion, is an emerging challenge to our secular system.

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The True North Strong and Pot Free —– Not

Written by Harold McNeill on December 20th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts, Editorials


420-2010aerialview.jpg

 The True North Strong and Pot Free —– Not
Vancouver, April 20, 2012. Over 20,000 people, the largest crowd to date, attended the Four Twenty Protest.
At 4:20 pm (precisely), a sweet smelling cloud lazily drifted over the Library and across downtown Vancouver.
Twenty thousand people just had a group toke.

It has long since been ordained that the ubiquitous Mary Jane would one day become, if not legal, at the very least a controlled substance sold in Government style Liquor Stores. Marihuana grow ops will be popping up across the country like dandelions on a newly planted lawn. Now that a few States in that bastion of extreme conservatism south of the border have begun to decriminalize the substance, can the Province of British Columbia’s five billion (that’s right five, with nine zeros) pot growing industry, be far behind? For BC  this is not a trivial amount of untaxed ‘free enterprise’ money by any count.

Seeing an opportunity in this trend, Medbox Inc., a U.S. based company, is set to introduce into Canada, automatic Pot Vending Machines (PVMs) for use by those licenced to toke as permitted under the Canada Health Act (link to story).  Apparently the PVMs provide easy and secure 24 hour access. Imagine, pot on demand at your nearest 7-11. It was also reported the RCMP is looking at installing machines in their remote detachments (link). City members, of course, will be able to pop by the nearest 7-11.

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Index to Editorials

Written by Harold McNeill on May 30th, 2012. Posted in Index to Posts, Editorials


Most Recent at Top

(Gaps in Editorials over time indicate I was likely busy writing stories in other sections)

2019

Posts on The 2019 Election

Is Fiscal Conservatism Dead

Left or Right: Is there a difference?

How to Game and Election

The SNC Lavalin Affair

The Kings of Conservative Media

The Changing Landscape of Politics in Canada

 

The past as a guide to the future (Part III): Over the past 60 years, many activities the police once performed as a natural part of their daily duty, eventually became incompatible with achieving their basic goals. What happened? (August 2019)

Comparing Differing Police Cultures (Part II):  What causes police departments in a close geographic area, begin to diverge in their culture. (July 2019)

Police Solidarity and the Push for Amalgamation (Part I):  The first of a four-part series on policing in the Capital Region of B.C. This part reviews a history of the local forces back to 1964.  (July 2019)

Canada, that which makes us one:  A Ukrainian dinner, coffee at Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s, and eating a meal at one of the many ethnic restaurants within three blocks of our home. It all adds up to who we are as Canadians.

2018

Our City: The Capital Regional District. Did you know British Columbia is the only Province in Canada where the cities, towns, municipalities, and unorganized territories, underwent amalgamation over 50 years ago? Over five years beginning in 1965, it was the most extensive series of amalgamations in the history of Canada, and it was unique in that constituent members retained the power to oversee a sizeable portion of their internal affairs. It was the best of both worlds and to this day remains a model for managing the affairs of politically and geographically diverse communities across British Columbia.

The Changing Landscape of Politics in Canada  It all began in England (as all things do), it arrived in Canada when a young man from Victoria decided to work on an election campaign and it ended with an algorithm of sufficient strength to change the way we think.

Are Insurance Rates Soaring Across BC?   If you are a Conservative business person and a government-mandated business holds the reins of the insurance business in BC, you need to find a way to change that.  The best way to do that is to try and convince everyone the government-run business (a Crown Corporation) is costing everyone a ton of extra money.  It turns out that’s not true, that BC has the best auto insurance rates in Canada.

Church and State  How does Canada attempt to keep the Church and State in separate corners?  To see how important this is, all we need do is look at countries where the church is in bed with the state.  In the United States, it is almost impossible to get elected unless you openly express allegiance to God, even though the Constitution expressly states the two must remain separate.

R. vs Stanley: Saskatchewan Court of the Queens Bench:  So, you think justice is blind and that a trial by our peers is not affected by political imperatives?  Well, read on.

2017

Intervention, the key to fighting crime: The RCMP have beefed up their efforts to identify and intervene where it is believed a young person is being drawn into a life of crime.  An Assistant Commissioner in the RCMP states this is the only way to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in a life of violent crime. (June 2017)

Creating People Friendly Communities:  Is it possible to create people-friendly communities?  Of course, it is, but in order to do so there will need to be a move away from cars and our city and town planning departments will need to look more closely at how people-friendly communities are created and maintained.

Illegal Aliens intercepted in Sarnia:  It was a busy day for the Police and Security Service personnel as hundreds of illegal aliens from the United States made a dash for Canada.

Keep the peace and be of good behaviour:  Why is it our government and security agencies continue to push millions of dollars towards mitigating the minimal danger posed by would-be home-grown terrorists and completely overlook the far greater danger posed by homegrown criminals and gangs.

Brexit: How a minority took over a country:   51% voted to leave the EU, 49% voted to stay, but did those numbers actually reflect what Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales really wanted?

2015

Visions of the World   This is a follow-up post to the attack in Charleston, South Carolina.  Why does the United States and Canada give domestic terrorist organizations that are white based a free pass? An earlier post of this appeared on Facebook in early 2014.

Oversight of Police and Security Services:  A look at Bill 51 from the perspective of a Police Sergeant who was present during the FLQ Crisis that gripped Canada in 1970 and how oversight of the RCMP Security Service failed badly. What lessons can be learne?. (October 15, 2015)

Advocating Terror to Become a Crime:  While ISIS style terrorism dominates the news, Criminal Gangs and Lone Wolves of the Criminal sort pose a far greater danger to Canadians at home.  The Criminal Law as it presently exists provides police and Security Services with plenty of tools to defeat those who would disrupt our society without adding dozens of terror related bills that will make things worse rather than better. (January 20, 2015)

To Live or Die: Some Hard Decisions:  Can Assisted Suicide be managed in a way that will protect the vulnerable?  This is another of those very difficult decisions that face Canada.  The life of a world renewed scientist, Dr. Stephan Hawkings, is used as an example. (February 9, 2015)

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Terrorism, Another Perspective

Written by Harold McNeill on May 8th, 2013. Posted in Editorials


Note: May 27, 2022:  This post contains background and statistics on mass shootings in the United States of a type similar to recent events in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

The Boston Bombing of 2013

The tragic bombing in Boston demonstrates again how quickly and completely media, government and law enforcement can spin the terrorist card. Along with the deployment of well over a thousand City, State and Federal police, mass transit was shut down, businesses were closed and nearly a million residents of the area told to lock themselves in their homes until the suspects could be captured.  During the depth of the manhunt, the situation was best described by a Boston police officer who stated, “we are operating in the fog of war”.1

Boston: “The Fog of War” (Photo: MetroDCPhotography)

The hunt was on for two inept, ideologically driven brothers, both US citizens suspected of having set off crude bombs that killed three and seriously injured dozens more, created a media frenzy that quickly spead around the world. The difference in these killings from the tens of thousands of killings which occur each year in the United States is that the Boston suspects were Muslim, their weapons of choice were crudely made bombs, and, the event being defined as an act of terror.

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Smart Meters: A New Environmental Battleground

Written by Harold McNeill on February 2nd, 2013. Posted in Editorials


Note: Times Colonist, February 3, 2013.  Smart Meter foes fume at Coleman   Updated comments in the footer.

Note:  A copy of the following letter, purported to have been circulated by the President and CEO of BC Hydro, was sent to me by an anonymous source. I accepted and reproduced it at face value. Is it possible someone was spoofing me?

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NRA: The Second Amendment Argument

Written by Harold McNeill on January 21st, 2013. Posted in Editorials


Photo (Web)  Business as usual. How can this position possibly be justified?
Feb 2017: 330)

The NRA continues to use the Second Amendment as a large part of their justification for maintaining the right of US citizens to own firearms without restriction (reference notes in footer). Their position is summarized in the following quote:

“The Second Amendment is not about hunting, target shooting or self defense. It is about the tyranny of government. It was born from a profound first-hand experience of how the loyal British subjects were betrayed on April 19, 1775, by their government, which sent soldiers to seize guns and ammunition. This is why Americans and in particular the NRA, are adamant in defending and preserving the Second Amendment. They know the tyranny of government.”

As a basic tenet, the NRA suggests it is only by arming the citizenry that government can be held to account. Think now about the nature of government in the US and Canada. What could possibly lead to a state of affairs in which it was deemed necessary for the citizens to pick up firearms and confront government? Our entire societal structure would first have to undergo such profound change that we would be in no different position than are the citizens of countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc..

With the advanced military-industrial complex that exists within the United States (and to a lesser extent in Canada), it is inconceivable the citizenry could ever mount a successful rebellion such as that taking place in the countries mentioned above. The entire NRA position is, in my opinion, simply a public relations exercise designed to justify the existence of the NRA as a title sponsor of the Republican Party.

If any modern, law-abiding, democratic country has deteriorated to a point where it was deemed necessary that ordinary citizens take up arms to defend themselves against each other or against their government, that country will already have fallen so far as to have become only a shell of it’s former self.

About the only organizations that would fit the NRA definition of being able to ‘fight’ a very limited guerrilla war against government would be fringe groups such as the White Supremcists and Patriots along other organizations such as the Sovereign Citizens in the US and Freemen of the Land in Canada. For various reasons I think the Tea Party has moved closer to becoming one of those groups and it is certainly not on the fringe as are the others.

On a positive note, the majority of citizens in the US and Canada recognize those organizations pose far more danger to our societal well-being than do the majority of ordinary citizens and the governments of our respective countries combined. Even so-called ‘terrorists’ cells do not match up to these fringe groups in their ability to damage our society.

While ‘freedom’ to own a gun is largely a US issue, it is one that also impacts Canada as the United States is our closest friend, neighbor and ally. The recent move by the Federal Conservatives to remove the Long Gun Registry and destroy all the records in spite of the requests by some Provinces to retain the registry, suggests their is an undergound movement to likewise lesson controls on ownership even though over 90% of Canadians support stringent gun ownership restrictions.  Within the United States, public support for greater control of guns is relatively strong, currently holding at over 60%.

As our two countries continue to evolve, it is important to see our futures evolving toward a more peaceful state of being, not nations in which organizations such as the National Rifle Association, White Supremcists, Patriots, Sovereign Citizens, Freemen, Tea Party and others threaten our well-being because of their fear mongering and extremism.

Just say’n…

Harold McNeill
Victoria, BC

Notes:

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger referred to gun lobby propaganda on this issue as “one of the greatest pieces of fraud…on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”  (Link here for discussion)

Wikipedia provides a short description of the 1939 US Supreme Court Decision (United States vs Miller) which upheld the right of State and Federal governments to place restrictions on gun ownership. (Link Here). Since that time a number of other Federal and State Court decisions across the United States have followed that precedent. That the NRA and others have been able to perpetuate the myth that the right of individuals to own firearms is protected under the Second Amendment ranks right up there with the myth that Christopher Columbas discovered North American in 1492. (Link Here)

Gun Ownership in the United States:  Since 1973 the percentage of individuals in the US owning a gun has fallen from 47% to 36% in 2011. (Link Here).  The number in Canada is estimated at 20%. The number of guns per 100 people in the United States stands at an estmated 88 (the hightest in the world) while in Canada that number stands at 36.

Canadian National Firearms Assocition (Link Here) Not surprisingly, Canada has its own NRA, although it is not as powerful nor as extreme as its US counterpart.

Link here to NRA Attack Ads

The NRA in Canada:  The February 10, 2013 edition of the Fifth Estate provided a very good summary of the NRA position. The report stated that by 2015 in the United States there will be more deaths by gun shots than in car accidents.  In 12 US states, gun shot deaths already exceed vehicle accident deaths.

The NRA opened a branch office in Canada in order to help fight our existing gun laws.  The organization provided considerable support and funding to gain public support for overturning the Long Gun Registry and destroying all the files in order to make it more difficult for the registry to be implemented at some point in the future.

Businesses in the United States are the largest purchasers of handguns produced around the world.

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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.