The Secret World of the CBSA

Written by Harold McNeill on September 19th, 2014. Posted in Police Notebook, Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


vancouverairport

Does the beauty and welcoming nature of the new Vancouver International Airport (YVR), completed in time to showcase British Columbia and Canada to the world for the 2010 Olympics, belie the holding of dirty little secrets in the bowels of that sparkling facility?

Link Here to Part I of this series: Abducted: The First Twelve Hours
Link Here to Part II: Living in the Shadow of Mental Illness
Link Here to Part III: Mental Illness: A Rising Crisis on the Street
Link Here to Other Police Related Posts

Update, November 9, 2014:  The inquiry into the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez while in custody at the Vancouver Airport is now concluded.  Several recommendations were brought forth and it is clear from these recommendations that entire CBSA operation should be subject to the same independent oversight as that which takes place with regular police services.  Under the current legislation, the entire CBSA operation is effectively shielded from any form of formal oversight and it was only after persistent probing by various media outlets that much of what is happening is now coming to light. For one summary, listen in to the CBC Early Morning Edition podcast.

September 19, 2014 (Original Editorial): Introduction

Sometimes the greater threat to our democratic way of life comes from within and not from without. I am not speaking of terrorists, jihadists or those who join murdering criminals like ISIS, I am speaking of how we respond to the threat. When we begin to dismantle all that which underpins our democracy because of them, they will have won.

As I researched the following post, I was astonished to see just how far we have fallen in the past decade. I fear that if we continue along this path for another decade, we will have become just a shell of nation which our grandparents and great grandparents fought for in first fifty years of the last century and which they and our great-great grandparents dreamed of when they first joined a line of immigrates and refugees to take up life in Canada.  (From Facebook Post)

Would it surprise you that under the Beijing Airport, hundreds of people, thought to be ‘enemies of the state’ are detained after being pulled aside for a secondary search and questioning during entry? No surprise you say? In China, you could just as easily be whisked away on the street. What about Russia or other countries where human rights and the rule of law has little meaning in the sense we know it? Same answer? Probably.

How about the United States? Given the incredible size and strength Homeland Security and the many laws enacted since 9/11, there is little doubt a person, particularly a foreign national, could easily disappear without a trace at any airport or transportation hub in the country. Being whisked off the street would be just as simple.

Now, what about Canada, “the true north strong and free”? Do you think it possible thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of men, woman and children might be arrested and taken away to secret prisons located below major airports such as Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg and at other, more or less secret facilities across Canada?  Is it possible these prisoners have been stripped of all the rights we Canadians take for granted?  Finally, is it possible these people could be whisked out of the country at the stroke of a pen, never to be heard from again? Not possible you say — we have far to many checks and balances. Well, think again.

This week after researching an article on the plight of a few immigrants and refugees, I was astonished to learn that not only is this happening, it is happening on a regular basis in cities and towns across Canada.

The Secret World of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Over the past several years the CBSA have been conferred with wide ranging powers under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. powers that are nearly as comprehensive as that gifted to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the Combating Terrorism Act, of 2012.  Under the protection of these two pieces of legislation, these agencies are nearly CBSAuntouchable and their powers of arrest and detention beyond comprehension in a country that prides itself as being free and democratic.

Photo (Web): CBSA agents, fully equipped with the weapons, await your arrival at airports and other transportation hubs across Canada. The agency budget has ballooned to $1.7 billion-a-year and staffing to 14,000 in border and other entry facilities. (Vancouver Sun).  By comparison the RCMP have 30,00 members and a budget of 4.0 billion to provide a full range police service in thousands of communities. Stop to think about the duties and those numbers for a few minutes.

Since 2012, the CBSA arrested and jailed more than 20,000 men, woman and children and while I was stunned by the numbers, the length of time some of those people are being held in jail without being charged with any offence is simply beyond belief. We are talking years not days. More will be said about those arrested and the secrecy off it all, but first a little background on the legislation.

All encompassing legislation:

While various sections of both ‘Security Bills’ are clearly unconstitutional, few challenges will ever reach the courts, as most actions taken by CBSC and CSIS is protected within the Acts themselves and never reach the normal court system in the first place.  The powers 9473816granted come without parallel in the history of our country and outstrips the old War Measures Act on every count.

Photo (Web): A man confronts a CBSA official in Vancouver over the arrest of Lucia Jimenez (story following).  Organizations across Canada are beginning to call for an independent review of the CBSA. (Vancouver Sun)

Consider this small part of the secrecy and power granted to the CBSA:

If, after an initial holding period of up to 48 hours, the agency (CBSA) can convince the Immigration and Review Board that (an) immigration or refugee claimant presents a flight risk, threatens public safety, might be travelling under a false identity, or have arrived by “irregular” means (i.e. by chartered vessel) the individual may be detained for up to a year before a hearing.”(my underline) (Ottawa Citizen, para 2)

Look at the words: “…can convince…presents a flight risk…might be travelling…a year before hearing…”  These holes are so big that if I was granted that power during my police career, I could have arrested and detained anyone, anytime, anyplace, without giving it a second thought. All I had to do is use a little ingenuity and all the while my actions would be shielded from public scrutiny.

Taken as a whole, the CBSA and CSIS were gifted with Legislative Elephant Guns, but given there are no elephants to hunt, the agencies have turned their big guns on small game in order to fill the urge to capture. What then, happens to all those they have captured?

If they happen to arrive in Vancouver, there is now a prison under the Airport. It is but one of dozens of similar prisons the CBSA have established across Canada and since 2012 they have filled those prison cells with more than 20,000 people. Many of these people were arrested flimsiest of grounds and with barely a whisper of complaint from the media or the general public.

Last year alone, 10,000 people were taken into custody and held, some for many months.  Of the 20,000, about 100 have been in continuous custody for periods ranging from five to ten years and those people are not “smoking gun” terrorists or jihadists, nor have they committed a crime in Canada. As far as our criminal law is concerned they are innocent (not just innocent until proven guilty – they are plain, flat out innocent). The majority are just ordinary citizens arriving from another country seeking to find a better way of life in Canada.

While the legislation provides the CBSA (a quasi-police organization) with nearly free reign to arrest and detain, “unlike other law enforcement agencies in B.C., (and Canada) there is no independent oversight of (agency) operations…” (Global News BC). Neither is there any legal recourse to our regular courts for those arrested. If this is not bad enough, the CBSA further disperses accountability by contracting out much of the detention work to a private firm called “Genesis Security”.

Some may have read about the results of contracting out prisons to private enterprise in the United States. One of the biggest challenges found was “occupancy guarantees” that came in the form of quotas or payments for empty prison cells”. In a Texas case, the prison, courts and police were working hand in hand to keep the prison full.  So, we are left to wonder, what happens if CBSA does not provide enough ‘clients’, will the CBSA need to pay a penalty? The whole CBSA and CSIS prison scandal is only now coming to light as a result of digging by a few dedicated reporters. Following is an outline of just three of the many hundreds of tragic cases.

The death of Lucia Vega JimenezLucía Vega Jiménez

In early 2013, a young woman from Mexico, Lucia Vega Jimenez, 42, who was working in a downtown Vancouver Hotel was arrested and held after being checked at a Sky Train station. A non-citizen, she was taken into custody by the CBSA and jailed under the Vancouver Airport.

Photo (Web): Taken by a friend as Ms. Jimenez as the woman lay in a coma at a Vancouver hospital.

Some days or weeks after her arrest (the time frame is unclear) Ms. Jimenez died in hospital following as a result of injuries suffered in a ‘suicide’ attempt while being held incommunicado at the Vancouver airport.  There was no public acknowledgement of her death by the CBSA for over a month. Her suicide apparently followed after a deportation order had been served upon her.

Jimila Bibi: Attempting to escape persecution

A similar story appeared in the National Post on September 17, 2014, when Jimila Bibi, a ‘mild mannered’ mother of six in her mid-60s, was taken into custody in Saskatoon. The woman originally fled to Canada from Pakistan as she sought to escape relatives who had lodged a complaint with Pakistani police about her having committed adultery, a serious offence in Pakistan. Although her Jimila Bibihusband initially stood by her, he finally caved in to intense pressure from his relatives and divorced her. She was then left to the mercy of the courts and community. With the help of relatives she fled and soon after arrived in Canada.

Photo (Web): Mrs. Bibi was embraced her friend and ally Sahana Yeasmin, then arrested, handcuffed and taken away by CBSA official (holding her arm). (Photo, at Saskatoon Airport) 

Prior to her arrest, the woman had been peacefully living in Saskatoon for 22 months, was a model citizen, was gainfully employed by Canadian relatives and was legally in Canada. The IRB (Immigration Review Board) accepted the woman’s well-documented case and agreed that her fleeing Pakistan was based on a real threat to her safety. In IRB hearings she was reported her to be honest and open and as having followed all the conditions set by IRB.

However, before her arrest, it appears someone in Ottawa took exception to the United Nations High “criticizing Canada’s treatment of detained immigrants and asylum seekers” (Times Colonist, September 16, 2014). Ms. Bibi had done nothing to draw heat upon herself other than seeking a better life in Canada, a country where she believed she could escape persecution. Since her deportation it is reported that “…students at the University of Saskatchewan are planning a march in support of Bibi whose case organizers say highlights serious flaws in the refugee system.” (Link).

Victor Vinnettou, a perplexing history

As a final example, the longest running case of CBSA detention is that of Victor Vinnettou, 55, who has been in the continuous custody for over ten years while the agency seeks to confirm his identity. Some suggest Vinnettou’s case may track back to South Africa in 1976 when the country was in the midst of a civil war.  Whether Victor Vinnettou turns out to be the missing South African hero Mbuyisa Makhubo or not, seems Victor Vinnettouirrelevant.

What is relevant is that this man’s life is now confined to a small segregated cell in a CBSA prison in Lindsay, Ontario. That cell could quite possibly be his home for the rest of his life as there is no appeal process and he has no rights.  He may just as well be spending the rest of his life living in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba rather than in Canada. How can this be happening in Canada in 2014?

Not one of the 20,000 people jailed were identified as being a terrorist or of having been caught in a circumstance that would suggest they were placing Canadians at risk.  It is certain that if any of them had such a connection, their arrest and detention would have made headlines across the country. No, the majority were arrested and held on the flimsiest of grounds – grounds that spoke more to the need of an agency to justify its existence than to a need to ensure the safety of Canadians.

That these actions are taking place in a nation that prides itself on being the land of the free is nearly without precedence. We would likely need to go back to the internment of the Japanese during World War II to find a similar parallel.  For nothing more than ideological reasons, we have given a quasi-police agency the unfettered right to arrest and detain foreigners at will. Except for the occasional tidbits being ferreted out by a few reporters, all of this would remain largely hidden from public view or oversight.

Remember, none of those 20,000 present a danger to Canadians, yet all their rights were extinguished, rights we accord to even the worst of criminals in our country. In regards to the arrest and detention of foreign nationals, we are no different than China, Russia or any other quasi-dictatorship were people can arrested and detained at will.  Is this what we have become in the 21st century century?  If we treat their citizens in this manner what can we expect from other countries?

Canadians Travelling Abroad: What happens to them?

Canadians working abroadIn travelling to various countries, Lynn and I have met dozens of young Canadians working at bars, restaurants and other retail or tourism jobs. We always take time to chat and we found many (perhaps most) are working without work permits or proper VISA’s.

They fly under the radar as this temporary employment helps them to pay for their world travels, but because they come from privileged families and a society that will pull out all stops to help them if they get in jam, there is little fear of being arrested and detained. Besides most countries in which they are employed, need the workers.

Not so most for the young people (and many not so young) seeking a better life in Canada. Many come from countries where knowledge of bureaucratic systems may be limited. Many are not sophisticated in the ways of a modern ‘democracy’ and a good number may only have rudimentary command of English. Some may be fearful of police and police agencies as a result of past experience. Take a look at pictures of the CBSA personal and their is no question they appear intimidating.

Lynn and I received a small sample of what it might feel like to be detained when we first arrived in China. Late one night, after making an unscheduled stop in Quigdao, all passengers on our Air China flight were unceremoniously ushered off the plane, taken by bus to a dimly lighted area and marched into a forbidding looking building that had small light bulbs illuminating the hallways. With no explanation, no English language translations (or for the languages of others) and no idea where we were headed and why, it was very intimidating.  While we were eventually placed back on the plane and our flight continued, it was a sample of how helpless one can feel in a strange place. (Link, 1. China, off to a rocky start).

For someone entering Canada for the first time and being uncertain about what is happening or why, it could well be stressful and confusing. Many have read of the tragic case of Robert Dziekański, the polish citizen who was tasered to death at the Vancouver Airport in 2007.  During my years as a policeman I know how some people can make bad decisions, give stupid answers and do stupid things when they are nervous or scared. Being confronted in a strange country by oppressive looking security police can increase the stress exponentially.  Remember, these are just ordinary people.

Many of those being held by the CBSA (probably most) did not come to Canada looking for excitement or adventure; they were just trying to find a job in order to make a better life. Many came to find work in order to support a family living in poverty back home.  A good many probably did not realize that if they managed to get by the CBSA and the immigration process, some of them would end up being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers. Finally, a good many of those in custody might simply accepted that their arrest and detention was just part and parcel of getting into Canada. A motivated CBSA officer intent upon making an arrest, could easily create the right conditions.  I was a police officer long enough to know it is not that hard.

Now reverse the story and think how you might you feel if your mother, father, son or daughter was picked up and tossed into a jail cell in Mexico, Beijing, Moscow, or some other country where government officials and agencies can do pretty much as they please. You have read reports of various cases.

When this happens to a Canadian in a foreign land, it usually does not take long for our Embassy Services to go into overdrive and this is followed by an outpouring of media attention that will certainly brand the offending nation as having no understanding of freedom or the rule of law. Family members might even send an emissary and specialists to assist in arranging the release of their loved ones.  How often do you expect that will happen for those being held by the CBSA in Canada?  Our government certainly has a lot of explaining to do as to why this is happening.

Burnishing the image of the CBSA

Of course when criticism flows their way for failing to respect the laws of the land, the Government and CBSA brush aside such criticism as coming from bleeding heart liberals who are no more than apologists for terrorists and jihadists. It makes no difference that no CBSA 0830-cbsa-realityor CSIS member has ever come face to face with a real terrorist or jihadist. Sure, they have caught a few idiots like the Toronto Eighteen who did their planning at Tim Horton’s and then there was that hapless individual who spent over a year trying to figure out how to derail a VIA RAIL train something any teenager could figure out given about ten minutes on the internet.  Beyond that, things have been pretty quiet. (Link: How to get a train off the track)

In order to bolster the image of the CBSA as being on the front line of the war against terror, the Government gave approval for the agency to participate in a reality TV show called “Border Security”. Having watched a couple of episodes, it is pretty bland stuff and most cases made it clear the CBSA had dig pretty deep for visual images and sound bites. Little consideration appears to have been given the privacy of individuals and as one concerned group explained:

“At best, this TV show is an invasion of privacy with questionable ethics on informed consent; at worst, it can put the lives of vulnerable migrants at risk by commercially exploiting their stories for broadcast. No one deserves to face the trauma of being forcibly separated from their families and then having this suffering turned into entertainment. We also find it extremely troubling that the federal government has approved and is involved in this production.” (Link)

It now seems senior CBSA officials are having second thoughts as they suggested to the Minister that further shows be cancelled.  Of course, because the show did provide some PR value for the government, the agency was overruled and taping continues (link).  As a bit of insight in how trivial this show has become read paragraph below (1) written by Force Four Entertainment, the company contracted by the Government to produce the series. It describes the content in some detail.

Who we are as Canadians

While real Canadian police officers must comply with very specific laws when arresting and detaining people, the CBSA and CSIS has no such limitation when it comes to foreign nationals. With the passage various national security Bills, these agencies do pretty much as they please and when working hand in hand with Provincial and Federal Agencies (e.g. Transport Canada, Ports Canada, Airport Security, Trans Link and dozens of others) they can easily arrest, detain and hold any foreign national at will. The numbers speak for themselves.TrueNorthStrongFreeCover

The ability to selectively target and harass foreigners in this manner is not the country for which hundreds of Canadian men and woman gave their lives in the last century.   From 1938-1945 over 60,000,000 men, women and children around the world died as a result of efforts to stop just three Governments (Germany, Italy and Japan) in their attempt to subjugate the world with their poisonous ideology.

In the early stages of that epic battle England shouldered the burden, but soon after was joined by Canada and many others. It was an epic battle undertaken to preserve freedoms and the rule of law that had evolved over the previous two centuries and in that regard, the English system was (and still is) the model for the world.

Photo (Web)It was by shear accident I selected this photo to complete this post as it seems to fit.  It was only after it was uploaded that I looked at the fine print. My first inclination was to remove it, but on second thought I could find no photo that is more appropriate.  Isn’t it ironical that the very person and party responsible for the removal of so many of our freedoms, should use this photo and with these tag lines as if that was all done  for our own good.

The reality in Canada is that the past ten years we seem to have lost the will to push back against our own government as it continues to pass legislation that erodes not only the freedoms of every Canadian citizen, but also uses special legislation to target every foreign national who touches upon our soil. It is one a step towards targeting specific groups of Canadian Citizens as we have observed in recent media reports. While stripping passports may be warranted, we live in a country that holds to the ideal of ‘due process’. It you want to take that passport, put forth the evidence for doing so in court.  If due process is done away with for something as basic as a passport, everything becomes arbitrary. We will be left with be some faceless bureaucrat in an agency like CBSA or CSIS who calls the shots.

In conclusion, we seem to have forgotten we are a country of immigrants and that each of us is only two or three generations removed from a time when our grandparents or great grandparents stepped off a ship in Halifax, Montreal or Vancouver, or one of the land entries like Peace Portal (where my father, age 2, and his family passed in 1910), entered an immigration line and looked toward to a better life.   How quickly we forget what it was like for many of these immigrants to be discriminated against if they were Irish, Scottish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, German, East Indian, Ukrainian, or any of a dozens of other nationalities that make up our country, or perhaps they did not belong to the religion that was the flavour of the day.

Harold McNeill
Send me a note with your comments if you wish (lowerislandsoccer@shaw.ca)
Share the posts with others if you have concerns about the direction we are taking.

Note: A good summary of the US experience with Security is summarized in: Failure is Success: How American Intelligence Works in the Twenty-First Century.  Canada carries out similar activities, however we do not have as many agencies, go as deep and do not spend as much as the United States.  We are, however, embarking upon the same path.  Following is two paragraphs from the article:

(On the 17 related NSA agencies in the US): Whatever the case, while taxpayer dollars flowed into your coffers, no one considered it a problem that the country lacked 17 overlapping outfits bent on preventing approximately 400,000 deaths by firearms in the same years; nor 17 interlocked agencies dedicated to safety on our roads, where more than 450,000 Americans have died since 9/11.  (An American, it has been calculated, is 1,904 times more likely to die in a car accident than in a terrorist attack.)  Almost all the money and effort have instead been focused on the microscopic number of terrorist plots — some spurred on by FBI plants — that have occurred on American soil in that period.  On the conviction that Americans must be shielded from them above all else and on the fear that 9/11 bred in this country, you’ve built an intelligence structure unlike any other on the planet when it comes to size, reach, and labyrinthine complexity.

Yes, everything you’ve done has been in the name of national security and the safety of Americans.  And as we’ve discovered, there is never enough security, not at least when it comes to one thing: the fiendish ability of “terrorists” to threaten this country.  Admittedly, terrorist attacks would rank above shark attacks, but not much else on a list of post-9/11 American dangers.  And for this, you take profuse credit — for, that is, the fact that there has never been a “second 9/11.”  In addition, you take credit for breaking up all sorts of terror plans and plots aimed at this country, including an amazing 54 of them reportedly foiled using the phone and email “metadata” of Americans gathered by the NSA.  As it happens, a distinguished panel appointed by President Obama, with security clearances that allowed them to examine these spectacular claims in detail, found that not a single one had merit.

(1)  Introduction to the Reality TV show, “Border Security”:

Phony tourists here to work, belligerent visitors smuggling contraband, toys packed with heroin, weapons disguised as cell phones: all are just another day at the office for the Canada Border Services Agency.

Welcome to Border Security: Canada’s Front Line – a revealing look at life on the front lines of national security.  Follow Canadian border services officers as they intercept suspicious characters and contraband from around the world in an effort to keep us safe, and our health, workforce, and ecosystem secure.

Force Four Entertainment has gained exclusive access into the highly classified world of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In every episode of Border Security, cameras shadow CBSA officers as they interrogate suspicious passengers who may or may not be hiding something.  Passengers react in a variety of unpredictable ways – they lie, argue, play the victim, plead ignorance and even threaten legal action.  For viewers, it’s a wild, unpredictable ride as each passenger’s secret is finally revealed.

Border Security is a dynamic documentary series that offers viewers a front row seat to high stakes, bizarre reveals, and comical conflicts that are part of everyday life for border security officers. (By Force Four Entertainment)

How could a job become more dangerous and scary than that?

(2) A note written to a friend who ask about who fights terrorists (the Harper government of course) and who supports terrorists (the Liberals and NDP of course):

Just to follow up note on your ISIL post and the current article I am writing.  You and I agree that ISIL and others are ‘real’ terrorists, the worst sort of humans who inhabit the earth. They stand alongside the worst tyrants of today and others like them 10246724_341235642690550_1723117607620217448_nacross the history of humankind. What I am writing is about what happens at home when we let those despicable human beings (criminals) colour our judgment about who we are, what we stand for and how we respond to the threat.

Take as an example any number of home grown serial killers and rapists (e.g. Willy Pickton, Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka and a long list of others). These men (and more that a few women) stand along side ISIL members who rape torture and kill, then laugh about it. You may have recently read about the young man from Prince George who was just convicted of the brutal murders of four young women. If we dressed any of these killers in other clothes they could be the ISIL guy who beheaded the journalist.

Our police agencies deal with such people on an ongoing basis, but they don’t let those criminals colour our judgment about how we treat ordinary Canadians and we don’t write and apply special laws to deal with those criminals, laws that could be abused and used indiscriminately.

We have an amazingly strong system of Criminal and Civil Law that is the envy of much of the world and our laws (including our Charter of Rights and Freedoms) is a good part of the reason many people from other parts of the world wish to live in Canada. The laws also have a number of checks and balances that prevent members of the justice system from abusing their authority.

It is about this on which I will write; as I fear we are letting members of ISIL and similar groups cause us degrade our legal system. We are slowly losing sight of our belief in the rights of all humans to be free from the abuses that are part and parcel of a police state.

Cheers,

Harold

Friends response to the comment:

Thanks for the heads up.  I totally agree with you.  I guess the only difference between ISIL and these individuals is that ISIL is a large organization and hold much power.  I in no way accept the fact that individuals are any less responsible and as you say dressed different they are the same.  Think the thing I have the most trouble with is if you came to Canada to live peacefully why are you trying to change our Canadian values to those from whichever country you came from.  We are Canadian and we are a peaceful country, we have our core values and we are respected all over the world and I for one want that to remain that way. Sometimes we were asked if we were from Canada or the US (wonder why) only to be treated extremely well because we were Canadians.

Background Articles (many other articles are linked within these articles):

National Post background on Jamila Bibi (Link)

Ottawa Citizen: It’s time to rein in the Border Security Agency

Global BC: Woman Dies in Custody

Toronto Star: Red Flags over Detentions

The curious tale of Victor Vinnettou:

McNeill Life Stories: Border Security Gone Crazy:

 

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Comments

  • 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.

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    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 […]

  • Harold McNeill

    February 15, 2020 |

    Testing the comments section after changes made. Updated: February 10, 2020

    Further to the update below (February 1, 2020), I note that since the government announced a “No-Fault” insurance plan for BC, Robert Mulligan is taking a slightly different tack, suggesting that no-fault will only increase the problems by taking away the right of an injured party to sue.

    I’ve copied just one sentence from Mulligan’s longer discussion, “And I think people don’t like the idea that somebody who’s, for example, was drunk and ran into you and you become a quadriplegic is going to be treated exactly the same way you would in terms of getting benefits (go to minute 00:15:26 to see his full comment)

    Statements like this appear to be simple fear-mongering. As was the case in the past, people who commit criminal offences, as well as other forms of negligence while driving, may well lose their insurance coverage and in all likelihood would be sued by ICBC to recover costs of the claim. (Link here to Mulligan’s full conversation on CFAX radio)

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    January 5, 2020 |

    […] 28. 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) […]

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    November 11, 2019 |

    […] During the Ice Age, the Earth’s average temperature was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is today. That was enough to keep snow from melting during the summers in northern regions. As snow fell on the snow, glaciers formed. (NASA Earth Observatory) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories How to Game an Election - McNeill Life Stories

    September 18, 2019 |

    […] The Federal Conservatives and Seymour Riding Association complied but one day later those memes will be shared by every third party social media site and by thousands of supporters where the message will be taken as a statements of the fact.  Five years from now those memes will still be circulating. (Link here to background on the SNC Lavalin matter) […]