Keep the Peace and be of Good Behaviour

Written by Harold McNeill on August 18th, 2016. Posted in Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


 In another somber moment on Parliament Hill, RCMP Commissioner, Bob Paulson. has encouraged the Federal Government to chart a new direction for law enforcement. As with previous recommendations, Civil Liberties and the Charter of Rights is not of any concern.


While it is likely just coincidence, it is reported the FBI has again alerted the RCMP Security Service to a potential terrorist in our midst just at a time when the Federal Government is looking at rolling back parts of Bill C-51.  The last time that happened was also when the Government was considering Bill-C7 and at that time opposition was also heavy. Back then (2013), the FBI alerted the RCMP to another potential terrorist attack and the Via Rail guys were taken down a couple of days after the Boston Bombing. Media around the world covered The Fog of War. Together, the timing of these two events was a little too neat in countries that have so few terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

While  Bill C-51 is extremely intrusive in its present form, it will become even more so if Commissioner Paulson’s recommendations are accepted. In this post, I have replaced the word “terrorism” with that of “criminalization” as a means of demonstrating how far federal agencies, namely the RCMP, CSIS and the CBSA, is willing to go in order to enhance agency interest over public interest.

If you happen to support Bill C-51, a bill that is related solely to ‘terrorism’ and, perhaps, support even more invasive laws being included, what would you think about the entire content of C-57 (present and proposed) being folded into the Criminal Code?  Do you think that would give police to much power to simply bypass the checks and balances developed over the past 150 years? (check this post on Oversight)

New Directions: To keep the peace – really?

Following the recent death of Aaron Driver in circumstances that have raised many questions, it is understood Commissioner Paulson is recommending a bold step forward. As can be discerned from recent comments made by an equally somber Ralph Goodale, the Minister of Public Safety, it appears the RCMP Commissioner has encouraged the government to look at new ways of getting not only potential terrorists off the street but also a large portion of those who seem to be headed towards a life of crime.

The Commissioner might well have told the Minister: “Why not treat criminals in the same manner we treat terrorists, after all, there are many tens of thousands of more criminals in Canada than terrorists and the harm is done by those criminals is exponentially greater. Besides, what a terrorist does is simply a criminal act by another name.”  

A first step would be folding terrorism back into the Criminal Code rather than treating it as a separate offence within Bill C-51.  That simple change would free up tens of thousands of highly trained investigators and millions (closing in on a billion) of dollars that could be applied to combating crime. In short, the Commissioner now agrees a terrorist act can be easily dealt with using standard criminal titles such as high treason, homicide, attempted homicide, threats, making an explosive device, possessing prohibited weapons, conspiracy,  etc.  On the surface, this makes good sense.

Look at any Canadian police lineup that includes both criminals and terrorists and it would be impossible to tell the difference. It is only when you dress up terrorist to look like a terrorist that the difference becomes obvious. For instance, in my career as a police officer, the balaclava was the face cover of choice for bank robbers (see Oak Bay Bank Heist). I have no idea what bank robbers wear today, but I’ll bet they’ve moved away from the black balaclavas. (Conspiracy to rob the BC Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay).  Wear that mask for a robbery today and there would be a thousand security officers swooping in to take them down.

The Aaron Driver Case: Was it another “Suicide by Cop”?

ws_ws_aarondriver_4608_0701Photo (Web Source):  (Aaron Driver, an ordinary Canadian sitting at his computer desk). Driver was shot and killed after setting off some manner of smoke and mirrors explosive device in the back seat of a taxi that had just picked him up at his residence.

Either he was not much of a bomb maker or his intentions were to scare people not hurt them.  As noted in the introduction, take a moment to read a little background on this guy’s motivation. (Suicide by Cop)

While the explosion did not harm either Driver (who was holding the device) or to the taxi driver who picked him up (more at CBC news), the fusillade of bullets directed at Driver immediately after the explosion certainly completed the task. Media reports suggest that after the initial fusillade, a half dozen more bullets penetrated Driver’s body when it was noticed he was still twitching.  Nice and clean. No trial, no pesky little questions about police tactics and nothing about who knew what in the lead-up to this carefully crafted takedown. In a country with very few terror inspired events, it seems likely our security services must make the best of that which is handed to them on a platter.

Of course, a challenge faced by the RCMP and the other spy agencies is the extremely small pool of potential terror suspects like Driver, Korody, Nuttall, Chiheb Esseghaier, Raed Jaser and a half dozen others (the Toronto 18 for example) that exist in Canada. Further, our terrorists seldom look like the terrorists portrayed by the media. As in all terror cases, unless the suspect is Muslim, the RCMP, CSIS and the CBSA is seldom able to find any direct connection between the suspect andAaron-Driver-winnipegfreepress.com_-800x430 terror groups such as ISIS. Aaron Driver is but another example.

Photo (Web Source).  If during the summer, Aaron Driver and others like him had worn a black mask, it would have been much easier to identify him (and others like him) as terror suspects.  In this photo, the smile in his eyes suggests he may be joking around. On the other hand, the mask may suggest it’s bitterly cold outside. 

In relation to the most recent incident, it appears the Commissioner has come to realize the vast majority of criminal offences committed in Canada are committed by ordinary Canadian criminals and not by so-called ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorist sympathizers.”  The Commissioner now recommends that under the new laws (if passed by parliament) police would be able to arrest, detain and place before the courts any person they had reasonable and probable grounds to believe was actively considering or had recently considered joining a criminal gang such as the Hells Angels, Mafia or Home-Grown-Terroristsany of dozens of other gangs (youth and adult) that are known to exist in every city and many towns across Canada.

Collage: From the post: Advocating Terror to become a Crime:  Take a close look at this collage if you want to see the face of evil of just a few of Canada’s more notorious terrorists: The Bacon Brothers (BC), Maurice Bouchard (PQ), Eric Dejaeger (Nunavut), Vito Rizzuto (r)(PQ), Alan Legere (NB), Clifford Olsen (died in prison)(BC), Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka (Karla served 12 years after a plea deal) (ON), Willy Pickton (BC) and Russell Williams (ON).

In terms of absolute evil, how do you suppose Aaron Driver or any of the other of the previously named Canadian ‘terrorists” over the past ten years would have compared? Canada has many hundreds of seriously dangerous criminals who have murdered, raped, robbed and addicted tens of thousands of other Canadians? Over the past decade, that number would total about 3.5 million in terms of violent crimes (see chart in the footer).

That number includes an estimated 6000 individual murders and 200,000 sexual assaults.  Scan the chart and multiply each category by 10 to get a sense of how many people have been the victim of a serious criminal attack.  Now think about the number who have killed or injured by an internationally motivated homegrown terrorist. That number is less than ten over the past thirty years.  In fact, the last major terror attack Canada suffered was Air India bombing in 1986.

It appears this recent change of heart by the Commissioner, was prompted in part by the massive increase in gang activity in Surrey, B.C., home of the new RCMP high tech HQ (photo below)rcmp-e-division-headquarters-surrey-bc. It was from the Surrey RCMP HQ that 250 RCMP security officers directed the Nuttual/Korody terror investigation, a case now known as The Grand Illusion.

It is hard to imagine how it came to be that two drug-addicted misfits were given such close attention for so long, when Surrey, B.C., the crime capital of BC, is a place where youth and adults gangs are given free reign as the city is so short of regular police officers.

Further on the mind of the Commissioner, he must now also understand that experts in the field have long been aware that 99.999% of all crime committed in Canada is of the more standard type and that only .00001% is driven by ‘terrorist’ ideals. Clearly, the Commissioner and his immediate staff know there are greater opportunities in looking at the “criminalization” of young people, in the same manner, they have been looking at terrorist converts. That is, why not expand the arrest, detain and place on a peace bond to all sections of the Criminal Code.

The peace bonds would be used whenever a “criminal convert” or “criminal sympathizer” was identified. Those persons could then be placed on a bond “to keep the peace and be of good behaviour” in instances where police did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute them for any specific crime. Others have also suggested another “option would be to amend the Criminal Code to require professional de-criminalization counselling for individuals suspected as criminal sympathizers as a way to change (their) behaviour,” (National Post, para 3). These tools would give all police forces a reach that goes well beyond their current mandate that usually requires ‘reasonable and probable grounds.’

It is further suggested if an individual has taken concrete steps toward joining a gang (by loose association with the gang), the courts would be given the authority to force that person to wear a GPS tracking device. (National Post, August 17, 2016).  The RCMP Commissioner thinks that within five years of putting the program in place the RCMP and other police forces across Canada could identify tens of thousands of youth and other young adults at risk of becoming criminals and have the authority deal with them as if they were already criminals.

Another senior RCMP officer is reported to have stated, “by spending just over a trillion dollars and by deploying hundreds of thousands of agents, we have held terrorism to just a handful of cases over the past ten years. That is a record that is the envy of many other nations. By now transferring all those dollars, all that manpower and all of those powers to the regular criminal justice system, every police force across Canada will be able to quickly identify and arrest those who are thinking of committing a criminal act.”

It seems that now we have terrorism under control we are on track to eliminating crime.  Thank you Mr. Commissioner.

Victoria, B.C.
August 19, 2016

Violent Crime in Canada – 2015

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 4.39.00 PM


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  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.