British Columbia: Guns, Gangs, Drugs
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Criminal Activity seems alive and well in BC, it seems business as usual for Criminals who walk, while our Courts are all talk. Politicians, Judges and Bureaucrats state to the media Crime is down, convictions are up. Perhaps they are referring to last nights "CSI Drama" reruns last night. I, as most Canadian need to tell these Politicians, Judges and Bureaucrats to change the channel, take a commercial break, talk to the taxpayers who pay their ludicrious salaries, to go read the paper and look out the window.
My Final Thought
An election cannot come soon enough, let's hope British Columbians vote their displeasure and put this "Gong Show" of politicians and bureaucrats out once and for all. It's time for Elected Judges who are elected by the people for the people, instead of the Status Quo where Judges are appointed by Politicians and Bureaucrats who some feel tow the Liberal party line.
Guns, Gangs, Drugs
Murder Mystery in Apt. 1505. B.C. must declare war on organized crime to save lives
Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The gangland execution of six men in a Surrey apartment tower -- two of them innocent bystanders -- underscores the need for B.C. to declare war on organized crime.
The death toll of those "known to police" has gone through the roof in the last decade. Now people going about their own business are at risk.
Edward J. Schellenberg, a 55-year-old tradesman from Abbotsford, and Chris Mohan, a 22-year-old resident of the Surrey highrise, both died Friday for no reason whatsoever.
And all of us face a similar risk, no matter what the authorities say to try to soothe public anxiety.
Gangbangers not long ago shot up Quattro, the tony Italian eatery on West Fourth, in an attempted assassination.
We are lucky no one died, as two did in the shoot-'em up in a restaurant on Broadway near Fraser in August.
Now Surrey is the site of this grisly multiple murder tied to the lucrative Lower Mainland drug trade.
Someone thought four young men, including one who was still a teenager, were worth killing, and they were also willing to slay two innocents along the way.
It's also an outrageous provocation.
Forget about the Christmas slaying in Toronto, where a 15-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet -- what's happening here is worse.
Only a few years ago, three people were killed and six wounded, several bystanders, at the Loft Six nightclub in Gastown.
Ordinary people began avoiding many of the city's nightclubs, where the gangs do much of their business, to feel safe.
That is no longer precaution enough.
Going to work, visiting a friend . . . after last Friday's Mob-style massacre, nowhere is safe -- not even your home.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper promises tougher sentences for those who commit gun crimes, but ordinary people fear the courts won't enforce them.
Too often in this province, those who belong to gangs are treated with kid gloves by judges.
Only a week ago, we saw a convicted cocaine dealer walk on his latest trafficking charges because the judge ruled inadmissible evidence surrounding three kilograms of cocaine seized by police. No drugs, no conviction. Investigators should have respected his privacy more, in the eyes of the justice.
Similarly, it took half a decade for prosecutors to recently put out of business the leader of a North Shore-based Iranian gang. He previously got the benefit of the doubt, too, when caught with a pile of blow.
So before we celebrate, let's see how long he gets in jail when sentenced in December.
Police intelligence estimates the economic activity of organized crime in B.C. runs into the billions -- credit card fraud, prostitution, drugs, kidnapping, smuggling, assaults, extortion, metal theft, pot production. The bad guys are into all of it.
There are scores of illicit groups out there, from traditional outlaw bikers such as the Hells Angels to the more recent immigrant-dominated gangs.
More than 100 criminal organizations, police say. Five years ago, there were barely half that many.
We have seen the rise of a vibrant, burgeoning underground economy with the attendant corrosive socio-economic effects and increasing violence as participants in this subterranean market attempt to self-regulate.