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

    January 15, 2021 |

    Wow, Graham, I was taken by surprise (but then again that’s not too hard). Having all you fine folks (my children by other fathers and mothers) would have been great. I’m hopeful that sometime in the not too distant future, we can reprise that trip. Perhaps we’ll just set aside a time for someone else’s landmark day, and we can surprise them. Love to you two. Harold

  • Graham and Nazanin

    January 15, 2021 |

    How could we miss this historic event my friend!!!
    Nazy and I were booked for that cruise Harold, we were looking so forward to it.
    We will be together soon! We both wish that continued unconditional love you receive from everyone to continue as you are that special someone that makes a difference in this world.
    Happy birthday sir, cheers!

  • Harold McNeill

    January 7, 2021 |

    Glad you found the site and that Dorthy enjoyed. I’ve added a lot of school photos in other locations linked to the High School Years stories. Cheers, Harold

  • Shelley Hamaliuk

    January 2, 2021 |

    Hi there, I am Dorothy Marshall’s (nee Hartman) daughter. Mom was quite excited when she discovered this site while surfing the net yesterday, so excited that she told me to have a look! She quite enjoyed taking a trip down memory and seeing old pictures of herself.Keep up the great work!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 12, 2020 |

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you had a chance to read. I decided to update these stories by proofreading as there were several grammatical errors in many. Hopefully, many of those glaring errors have been removed.

    Many of the stories carry a considerable amount of social comment regarding the way the criminal justice system is selectively applied. Next up involves a young woman from near Cold Lake, Alberta, who was abducted by an older male from Edmonton. Her story is the story of hundreds of young men and woman who have found themselves alone and without help when being prayed upon unscrupulous predators.

    Cheers, Harold

  • Susan

    April 8, 2020 |

    Great read, Harold!…and really not surprising, sad as that may sound.
    Keep the stories coming, it is fascinating to hear them.
    Love from us out here in the “sticks”, and stay safe from this unknown predator called Covid.

  • Harold McNeill

    February 17, 2020 |

    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. Continued in the article.

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    February 16, 2020 |

    […] Part I, Police solidarity and the push for amalgamation. Part II, Comparing police cultures and implementing change Part III, The past as a guide to the future Part IV The integration of police services […]