Hitchbot makes it to Victoria

I see on the news that the device known as hitchbot (sort of a walking computer looking thing, without having any real mobility) has traveled across Canada.   The couple that sent it on its way, by setting it up on the side of the highway with its thumb out, hoped that it would have numerous rides on its way, and it did.  An interesting social experiment I think, though an experiment of what I’m not entirely sure.

The above posting was made on August 18, 2014. As of August 3, 2015 I am informed that Hitchbot was torn to pieces while in Philadelphia, USA. What the he&& is wrong with people?

 

Odd advertising practices of Vernon Restaurants

So on August 18, 2014 I was down on Kal Lake Road in Vernon, BC , and wanted to order some pizza.   I of course consider Uncle Dave’s pizzeria, which is located on Kal Lake Road.  I go online to have a look at their menu, and I can’t.  I can’t even find a website, let alone a menu.   I look online at tripadvisor.ca (a great site that I use a lot) and see some good reviews for a place called Margheritas Pizza.  Again I’m interested, and click on a link for their website.  It seems that their website no longer exists, or perhaps never did?   It’s pizza, it’s an order it to your home sort of thing, and yet there’s no online presence at all?   I’m pretty sure that they have access to the internet from the shop, or at least have personal web access accounts, why not set something up through those?  I dunno, just seems a bit odd.

Finally I order from Uncle Dave’s – Two “meat Eaters”.   45 Minutes later, only one shows up.  I was very clear when I ordered, I wanted two, not one, two…      Sigh.  By this time I’m a bit frustrated, and refuse the order.

I decide to order from Jim’s Pizza http://jimsplacepizza.com/  (which is further away, but has a good web presence, and I’ve ordered from them before – it arrives (both pizza’s!) in about 35 minutes.  Thanks guys!

Is it just me? London Drugs? What happened?

So on friday I go into London Drugs in Vernon.  It’s a good store, or I’ve always thought so, and I’m there to get a TV.   My TV broke, and Claire wants to get another TV.  So do I, but I’m not exactly a person of means these days!  In any case, we go to London Drugs to get a TV that is on sale and is listed in the flyer that just came out.  It’s the first day of the sale.   We ask for the TV referred to in the flyer, and we’re told they don’t have any, none came off the truck.     This is disappointing, but the sales fellow very helpfully checks to see if any other stores have some.  They do!  Great!, how long till it’s here?   The answer… a week?  Yep, a week.  I’m not living in the wilderness here, the nearest other London Drugs store is about 45 kilometres down the road.   Okay, we are willing to go pick it up.  The salesman very helpfully calls the Kelowna store, and arranges for one to be held for us.  Great service, thank you!  But…. why doesn’t the store have one of the TV’s that is in the flyer?   I ask to purchase the floor model of the on sale item, it looks to be in good shape (I’m looking for a price reduction as it’s not in a box and has been running for who knows how long), but I’m told he can’t make that arrangement.     Alright, we’re set.  We’ll go on sunday.

Sunday comes….  we get to the store, and they have the TV.  Fantastic.  That transaction goes well.  But… (why is there always a but??)   I’m also wanting an extended phone cord.  About 15 feet or so.  I go to that department, and there’s a spot for 6 foot ones, and a spot for 12 foot ones, both well populated with stock, but the spots for the next two sizes up are completely empty.   What?  There was a run on long phone cords on this particular day?  This seems unlikely.  When I encounter stores with a lot of empty spots where stock is supposed to be I become concerned about what’s going on at that store.   A big part of what lures me to brick and mortar stores (instead of the at home easy shopping bonus of ebay!) is the availability of the item right then, not later, not when it comes in, but right now.  When that’ not there, as it was not on two shopping inquiries most recently with London Drugs, I’m left wondering..  What happened??  But…..

Yes, there’s really another but!   A few days later I drop by London Drugs to return a battery.   I’d been by to get one for my mom’s telephone.  The clerk was very helpful, but the battery that we thought would work didn’t fit.  Don’t get me wrong here, the sales clerk did a great job, excellent customer service, but I had to return the thing.  I was okay with that.  On entering the Vernon store, I saw a large sign over a counter, saying “returns and exchanges, customer service”.  It’s a really big sign.  I get in line behind someone who seems to be purchasing all their groceries for the month.   That’s okay.  Then I get to the counter, and say I want to return something.  The clerk looks at me, looks at the item, and says “you go to electornics for that”.  I say “I want to return it.”  She says “you go to electronics for that”.   Why the heck did I just stand in a line under the sign that says returns and exchanges??  I dunno, maybe I just don’t get these things.

Public Washrooms – what is the attraction?

I’m at Save on Foods in Vernon, doing some grocery shopping.  I kind of like grocery shopping.  It helps get some meal ideas going, gets me out amongst people, it’s a good activity.    I’m finding that I need to use the washroom, and no, it’s not just to wash my hands.    Now I don’t know about you, but I usually do not think all that favourably about public washrooms.  They are often dirty, unkept, but it’s the people that drive me over the edge!  Yes, it’s the people that drive me over the edge.   The ones that use the public washrooms I mean!

How about the guy at the Provincial Campground that was sitting in the only stall, with a little boy waiting outside (who was looking more and more distressed to use the washroom) and me, while he..   yep, was reading the newspaper.   How do I know he was reading the newspaper?   I looked through the little gaps in the panneling.   What!  Great Scott, you peeked?  Yes, you’re darn right I did, and I saw this perfect twit sitting on the only stall reading the newpaper,while people are lining up to use it.   (Okay, he’d didn’t get to sit there for much longer at all, but the point is that he was doing it!)

And then there’s the guy at the gas station.  I agree, gas stations are just the worst, but if you gotta go that’s how it is.  I wait at the door, and wait, and wait and then I start pounding on the door.   If I’m standing outside in a state of extreme discomfort I’ll be darned if I’m having someone sit in a state of comfort on the other side of the wall.   After a lot of pounding, this urchin walks out.   He`s in another world, but he`s out.  I`m desperate, and there`s no time for chat, so I charge straight in, and there`s blood.  Yeah.. blood, dude`s been shooting up.   You complete a**, you`re getting high to feel good, or feel better, or whatever, (doing a thing you choose) while I`m a prisoner of my own innards standing outside that stupid door waiting for you?!?  I’d really rather that he ws doing his thing at the park bench rather than hogging the only washroom available.   I think perhaps using the washroom is about the most self centred thing that people ever do.  You may be the brightest person in the world, but if you’re needing to pee, you have one thought, and one thought only… I’ve gotta go!

I digress, what about my experience at the Vernon Save On Foods Washroom?  Well, I made my way to the far end of the store, really having by this point an urgency to attend to the washroom and…. it was signed as “Out of Order”.   That’s the guys door.   I try to be resourceful, and look to the Women’s door.  I beleive that women have a number of the same bodily functions that I may have.    AND…..it’s signed…. “Out of Order”.     I look around, and there’s not a soul, not a person or any stripe or description, moving in the area.    Cripes guys, you’re running a business where a thousand plus people a day come in your doors.   Every single one of them has various bodily functions that are percolating away, and both of your bathrooms are out of order??  When my bathroom at home goes “out of order”  I get on it immediately.  I fix it.   Have you ever been to someone’s house and been told the bathroom is out of order?   Are you kidding me??  FIX IT!!!  There’s really not that many things you can do to fix a bathroom, and all are pretty readily accessible to the most untrained of persons.    Leave a plunger near the door and I’ll fix it for heaven’s sake!

I don’t know when someone fixed the washrooms at Save On Foods ..  I really couldn’t stand around, and… I had to go

City of Vernon and Professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) – We’re a little bit safer

2014.10.05

It’s a sunday afternoon as I write this.  I’m watching some Professional MMA (UFC) on Sportsnet 360.  It’s a great card, some well known fighters and some up and comers.  It’s also about one month after the Mayor and Council Members for the City of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada voted to pass a bylaw to prevent Professional MMA events in the City of Vernon.  You can find the bylaw here.

I’m a fan of MMA.  Great stuff, a growing sport, getting lots of television coverage, and clubs springing up all over teaching the skills that are the foundation for it.   It’s great to see.

As I understand it, in large measure this move to ban Pro MMA in the City of Vernon was based on the representation of Reg Burgess, the Superintendant of the RCMP in Vernon.  They (Vernon RCMP) say that they are concerned about links to organized crime associated with Pro MMA.  These are secret concerns, in that we as members of the public don’ t get to hear them.  They are disclosed to council only, by way of a closed door meeting.  Have there been criminal convictions associated with those running Pro MMA, or amongst the fighters?  Although Criminal convictions are a matter of public record, we don’t hear that these are the basis for Mr. Burgess representations on behalf of the RCMP in Vernon.  Soooo, I guess his concerns are based on unproven things?  Hunches, conjecture??  I dunno, it’s all too clever for me.   As a citizen, I’m just glad that they’re looking out for it and for me.   But…. I’m watching these MMA Professional fights, almost 5 hours of them, and they were held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Yep, right here in Canada!   I’m worried about those citizens, the ones in Halifax!   Are they aware of these risks, the ones that the Mayor and Council for the City of Vernon were able to identify?   Were the Mayor and Council of Halifax informed of these terrible risks, that must prevent the holding of a Pro MMA event?

I watched the whole show, really enjoyed it.  Other that the fights in the ring I didn’t see any trouble.  I also havent’ heard in the news of any riots or other activity (hmm, I guesss because it’s not a hockey game??) occuring in the stadium or on the streets afterwards.  As I watched, I observed that Boston Pizza was a sponsor for the match.    I’ve seen Jim Treliving,  an ex RCMP officer, whom I understand to now be the CEO of Boston Pizza on the Dragon’s Den many times.    He’s a pretty straight up guy and really tries to help out the new business people that appear on the show, and I know they sponsor a lot of teams all over Canada.  Another sponsor was FRAM.   I think they make oil filters?    Scotia Bank was also a sponsor.   Scotia Bank is certainly a reputable company, they even sponsored Cricket teams, including Canada’s National Team (a subject very near and dear to my girl’s heart).

So I’m left wondering, does this sea of criminality in Professional MMA not extend elsewhere?   Or did the RCMP in Halifax not see fit to inform Council there?    What are the specifics of these concerns?   I dunno, this is for the members of council in the City of Vernon to figure out, and the Mayor too.  I’m just left knowing that I’m a little bit safer.  I think??   Hmm. I dunno?

 

Update:  2018.09.15   I hit the press a bit when I spoke up about this bylaw.   I had not wanted to.  In fact I really tried to avoid it- head down, look at the floor, come a bit early and just take your seat.   But since then I’ve been a bit haunted by comments like one from J. Pratt (whom I’ve never met) who said:

J. Pratt

• 4 years ago

Did everyone miss the irony of the fact that the only person to speak in favour of MMA events is someone with ties to organized crime?

That’s what he said. I’ve thought about this at some length, and to this I reply:

I have considered some of the comments here for some time. Wow, almost 4 years in fact. That may seem a little petty, not having much else to focus on in life? I’m not suggesting that I’ve non-stop been thinking about this, but when people come out with clever and anonymous comments those comments have an effect. I think an explanation is in order. I was well aware of the parallels that could be drawn as I made the comments that I did before city council. When I went to this council meeting I had hoped to be as anonymous as I could. I didn’t wear a sign or badge that said “gang lawyer”. I walked in quietly, tried to keep my head down in case anyone recognized me, and didn’t plan on saying anything. I had heard that city council was going to vote on a matter that concerned me, being a ban on professional mixed martial arts. Now say what you will about gangs and mixed martial arts, but I just don’t see them as being synonymous. Apparently the police in Vernon do. They are concerned enough that they make a secret presentation to council that got this whole thing started. We don’t get to hear what the concerns that they had are, that’s all “in camera”, meaning you’re never able to know it. I just heard they were having a vote to ban any MMA professional bouts in Vernon, and I thought “hey I like MMA, I think it’s a heck of a sport.” I’ve watched hundreds of matches on the TV, and have been able to attend one while on holiday in Mexico. I had tried to attend another in Vernon but the match didn’t go ahead. I believe the reason it didn’t go ahead was a lack of ticket sales? In all of those matches that I’ve watched I’ve never seen a gang symbol of any sort that I recognized. I haven’t heard any slogans/phrases that seemed to be associated to gangs, not a single one. There was never, at the close of hundreds of matches that I’ve watched, an announcement of the victory of this or that gang. I hear more gang associated stuff from professional wrestling, and no one in the world ties anything of meaning to that. The ghost of Al Capone did not call me up and say “hey, gang lawyer who’s been disgraced publicly, run down to city hall and try to oppose this bylaw that prevents our gang fund raising.” What kind of strategy would that be?? It in effect undermines the very thing you’re trying to accomplish?? Yes, I knew that. I’m not dull witted. So I went to the council meeting with every intention of being as anonymous as I could, but hoped to be in silent support of whoever might speak up against what I see as a really misguided and discriminatory bylaw. I sat quietly in my seat, I got there early as I thought that the mixed martial arts clubs in town (small struggling businesses to be sure, no sign of gang involvement that I’ve been able to detect) might put in a good presence and I wanted to be able to sit down as my back hurts if I stand for too long. I had thought there would be some lengthy debate. What happened….. No one showed up and no one stood up. Not one person spoke up. They asked if anyone had comment and there was complete silence. None of the members of Vernon city council said anything in opposition, none of the pubic said anything, silence. I looked around, and looked around, and the time to make any reply was about to be gone, so I stood up. I knew full well the parallels that would be drawn. I expected that I may well be recognized and ridiculed due to the “gang lawyer” association, but I really thought this bylaw was discriminatory and misguided and surely someone should say something???? So I did. I spoke for about a minute and a half, and talked about how I enjoyed the sport, and that there were clubs in the city that practised this very sport, to become skilled, and in some cases become professional, and how the money that was involved was so very small at the level that we would see here in Vernon, not ever even coming close to covering gym costs, and it fell on utterly deaf ears. The “in camera” presentation by the RCMP apparently had devastating effect. I was not asked a single question. No one else stood up and spoke, and Vernon city council voted 100% in favour of the bylaw, and there’s not been a professional mixed martial art bout in Vernon since then.

So there’s my explanation. I don’t see too much that’s “Ironic” in that, but I guess if you’re desperate to find it and very clever maybe you’ll get there. I note that there has never been, to the best of my knowledge, a professional mixed martial arts event in Vernon, so the whole thing is a bit of a tempest in a tea pot I guess. The one that tried failed due to a lack of ticket sales.

Update 2019.03.26

Good news.  The City of Vernon council looked again at this issue.   They voted to rescind the ban on these events in Vernon.   They invited the current chief of the RCMP in Vernon to offer comment.  She advised that she had investigated the theory of organized crime being involved in MMA and found it not to be the case.    The Vernon Morning Star did a good article on it.   I’m left with a question though.   Was “organized crime” ever actually involved, and if so, did they leave?  Why did they leave if they left?  Perhaps because, as I had advised counsel when I spoke up the first time around, these events struggle like mad just to pay the bills.  There is no huge bundle of money available.  Sure, when you’re hitting pay per view it’s a different story, but these events in towns the size of Vernon, they struggle.    Hence the reason that organized crime never was involved in these events.  On what basis did the police assert this involvement in the first place?  We won’t know, that’s a secret meeting that no one is allowed to know the contents of.    But the assertion sure didn’t stand the passage of time.

 

Update 2019.08.24

More good news.  An MMA event was hosted in Vernon on Saturday August 24, 2019.  I was not able to attend but my mother did.  She’s 74, but thought that at the first sign of gunfire or organized crime activity she could make a break for it.   This was not the first time my mother had attended an MMA match, and she’d never noticed any organized crime activity, but she was ready.  After watching almost the entire event she went home.   She noticed absolutely nothing that appeared in any way criminal, or connected to organized crime.  It was a sold out house, and there were some pretty good matches.

Secret Investigations of Secret Suspects with Secret Witnesses

I was reading a news report today,  from the Canadian Press.  You can find it here: http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-124935-4-.htm#124935

It was a story about the federal goverment having a plan to expand the powers CSIS presently has, so as to guard against terrorist threats here in Canada.

What particularly bothered me was the following:

“The federal plan to bolster security powers follows a recent statement from the RCMP that the national police force has about 63 active investigations on 90 suspected extremists who intend to join fights abroad or who have returned to Canada.

Extending protection for informants could mean defence counsel and even judges would never have the right to question human sources who provide information on behalf of CSIS in court proceedings — such as when the government attempts to deport a suspected terrorist using a national security certificate.”

Does this read a little like Mcarthy’ism?   What’s it take to get on this list of persons to be investigated?   What sort of real test is applied?   This does not sound like the stuff of a free and democratic society to me.  It sounds instead like skulking about by boys with a bit of authority, and a real vested interest in finding targets.    Canada and the US have each had a long history of Mcarthyism like conduct.   I am saddened to see that we continue to repeat it.

For a primmer on Mcarthyism, here’s a nice wikipedia article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mcarthyism

Our national parks – Credit cards or don’t go there

While on our honeymoon in beautiful Ucluelet, B.C. Claire and I thought we’d do a bit of hiking in the nearby National Park called the Pacific Rim National Park. Claire and I are both Canadians, born and raised so to speak, but not particularly the athletic types. Okay, long walks are alright, and occassionally straight up a hill, but not all the time. I say this to observe that we are what I would describe as average walkers, just wanting to drive to the park and walk around a little.
I’ve wandered off a bit in the story, so let me say that we hop in the car and drive to the park, a few clicks down the road. We pass a sort of administration building, but it appears to be closed, and there’s no sign to suggest that we should stop there. We get to the parking lot where a short hike is alleged to be available, and there…. well… there’s where the problem starts. On pulling into the lot, there is a sign directing us to buy a ticket. I think it’s about $8.00 each. That’s okay, not going to break the bank or anything, and I’ve got the cash to pay it. But…. (yeah, there’s usually a … but … in there or I wouldn’t be writing the article” you have to have a credit card. No, not a debit card, not cash, but a credit card. The machine will only take a credit card. Respectfully, as North Americans, there’s too much reliance on credit, and we just got a good look at what excessive reliance on credit does with the crash the U.S. suffered, and our National Park requires it? I do have a credit card, but I don’t take it everywhere with me, and I didn’t have it with me, and frankly would have been annoyed at having to use it. What’s wrong with cash? Vending machines take it. What’s wrong with debit? Just about everything takes that. My credit card, no, it’s back in our room. We left.

Royal Bank of Canada Customer Service – A new corporate priority

 

Hmm, after a near 40 year relationship with the Royal Bank of Canada, I receive a letter from them saying (short version) a banking relationship requires trust on both sides, and we no longer feel that trust both ways. They cancel all my accounts and credit.
I’ve never, to the best of my knowledge, done anything inappropriate in my banking. This letter comes out of the blue, with no prior issues of any kind with the Royal Bank of Canada or any other bank. As one can expect, I write to them, and ask them why they take such a view. What pray tell is their reply?    It is …… we don’t have to tell you…. yep…. we don’t have to tell you. Sure, I allow that as a matter of law they don’t have to tell me, but as a matter of basic human conduct it’s the decent thing to do. It’s been almost 40 years! I recall as a little boy taking my piggy bank there with my parents and grandparents to open my first bank account. I was so very proud as a little fellow. I didn’t hold it against them when they commingled my account with my dad’s account, even though our names are spelled quite differently. I had dealt with them for my entire life. I write to them and tell them that we’ve dealt with each other for life, and that a basic courtesy is to tell me why they no longer wish to do business, and why they don’t they want to maintain that relationship, and their reply is in the nature of . … we don’t have to tell you. I go to the banking ombudsman, again looking only for a reason for this decision, and get the same reply … They don’t have to tell you. I can allow that this is so. Fair enough as a matter of law you don’t have to tell anyone what your reason is for any business action, but as a matter of practise, well, I would have thought after 40 years you’d have the courtesy to at least be fair, which includes being up front about what your issue is. nice job guys. RBC sucks.

A small victory in the tragic murder of Robert Dziekanski

A fellow by the name of Robert Dziekanski was coming to Canada to join his mother, who already lived here. It would seem that he was irritable on arriving, perhaps after having flown half way around the world. He was approached by four police officers, and within moments was dead on the floor. He was tasered, and tasered, and tasered, and tasered some more. He was tasered standing up, tasered laying down, and tasered until he was dead. Today, I read in the news “The RCMP officer who stunned Robert Dziekanski with a Taser at Vancouver’s airport lied at a public inquiry into the Polish immigrant’s death, a judge ruled Friday.
Const. Kwesi Millington fired his Taser multiple times after he and three other officers were summoned to Vancouver’s airport in October 2007. Dziekanski, who spoke no English, had been throwing furniture in the international terminal.”. You can read the full article at
http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-133439-3-.htm#133439
Three others are still facing this matter, incluing Benjamin (Monty) Robinson who is still waiting for a verdict from the judge who heard his trial, and Const. Gerry Rundel, who is in the midst of trial as we speak. One other was acquited, Mr. Bill Bentley, though Crown is appealing that acquital.
It took years to get this far, but today there was a small step in righting the wrong that was done to Mr. Dziekanski and to his mother and to our society.
(Update – Monty Robinson was convicted on March 20, 2015. Gerry Rundel was acquited on April 30, 2015. Bill Bentley was acquited and after the matter appeared in front of the Court of Appeal  Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie wrote the decision of the 3 person court approving the acquital. Monty Robinson was sentenced to two years less a day (a sentence that would place him in the provincial jail system) on July 24, 2015 but appealed that conviction on the same day).

* update His appeal of his conviction was dismissed by the BC Court of Appeal on January 11, 2017, with 2 judges of that court confirming the conviction and one dissenting.

Update July 14, 2016:Kwesi Millington was convicted of perjury, and sentenced to 30 months in prison. That puts him in a federal institution. He appealed that conviction, but his appeal was dismissed by the BC Court of Appeal. Castanet covered the story here: http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-170723-3-.htm#170723
Interestingly, Kwesi takes a much different view, saying on his own website: “However, in 2011, I was charged with a crime that I did not commit.”. I say interesting because Kwesi manages to skip over the fact that he was found guilty, not just charged, and was subsequently sentenced for the offence. That’s a far cry from “charged”.

Update July 17, 2018:  Kwesi Millington is not one to lay down.  He  appealed his 30 month sentence as well (that’s a sentence that places him in a federal institution), though in July of 2018 abandoned that appeal as reported by the CBC.

Frank Paul, a chance to make a difference

Picture the actions of a civil servant, a collection of civil servants in fact, that fail to protect the very public they are charged with protecting.   Actions that have the effect of hunkering down and protecting the status quo from an early start.   I draw to your attention the near murder of Frank Paul.

Frank was an alcoholic.  Frank was a mess most of the time it would seem.  He’d get messed up, sleep where he shouldn’t (and probably would rather not have) and would be a bit of a pain in the a**.   Frank got scooped one night by a couple of City of Vancouver Police Officers, who took him to the local lock up in Vancouver British Columbia.   After some time, it was determined that he’d be more trouble than he was worth, and so the decision was made to take him out of the local lock up.  Frank was really a mess that night, barely conscious.   The cops had to drag him out, and they did, and they dropped him back on the street.  Frank was dragged out of the lockup, clearly not aware of much of anything around him. Frank died of exposure a while later after he was left in a back alley.

Everyone denies responsibility, heck, no one today is really responsible for much of anything at all these days, but the matter just won’t go away.  The native contingent is asking something in the nature of  “what the heck, how could you drag him unconscious out of your cell block and leave him to die”.   Frank Paul was a human being.  A troubled human being to be sure, but a human being nonetheless.

The matter goes before the courts in a review, because the native contingent, and more and more of the public activist contingent, just won’t go away. In part, the review considers a background like:

“Although she had just arrived on the job, Crown prosecutor Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten said she was asked to review the file in 2001, but told the inquiry she didn’t even view the video until after she had handed in her legal opinion. She expected her boss, Gregory Fitch, to also review the file and add his opinion to her recommendation, which she completed in three days.  Understandably, DeWitt-Van Oosten didn’t expect to be the final word since she had just arrived on the job in Victoria and acknowledged her first assignment was to pass judgment on three of her superiors who had backed the no-charge stand.   “Everyone was more senior than I,” she said.  Yet Fitch, then director of legal services, rubber-stamped her report, adding none of his own thoughts or independent research.  Do I close my eyes and see Mr. Paul?” DeWitt-Van Oosten asked at one point during the trying interrogation she was put through.  “Yes. It was sad, absolutely, but my role was to engage in a legal analysis and I did that to the best of my ability, and ultimately reached the decision I did.”  Gillen acknowledged Fitch took far too long to finish his review of the file — dragging his feet for seven months after receiving Van Oosten’s report.  “You don’t have many cases like this,” Gillen said. “It’s an unusual case.””

These quotes are all drawn from an article on Canada.com at http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=6c999760-cae5-413c-a35f-1ee8a0be913d&sponsor=

There’s a lot of dressing up in this case, and the quotes above give a good feel to it.  You don’t have too many cases like this”  or “my role was to engage in a legal analysis….”   at the end of the day everyone in the Attorney Generals department for B.C. decided that nothing criminal had been done.   I’ve thought about this for some time, I’ve read the articles, and it’s time someone just said it.  What was criminal here was the absolute failure of the lawyers in the AG’s department in assessing this matter.  The police, well…. frankly it’s not real surprising they are a  bit dodgy, they have a culture that is all about the thin blue line and similar crap, but the AG’s department is the backstop, the office that is supposed to stop and set  a standard,  a place where someone says no, it’s not right.    This time, the entire thing went through hearings, and lo and behold, it would seem that everyone did their best.   Yep, no wrong doing here, good intentions and good faith and all that.  And…. at the end of the day, the police dragged Frank Paul out of the lockup in an unconscious state and left him to die on the cold and wet streets of Vancouver, and those responsible for review of that conduct… well, their role was to engage in a legal analysis, and that’s just what they did, completely divorced from any of the human condition that was Frank Paul.

Update January 2017.   In a bizarre turn of events, both of the crown officers cited above were elevated to the position of Justice (that’s a judge) in our superior courts.   Mr. Gregory Fitch sat on on the British Columbia Supreme Court from 2011 to 2015 at which time he was elevated to the Court of Appeal.   Ms. Dewitt-Van Oosten was elevated to the British Columbia Supreme Court in November of 2016.    In light of the foregoing rather surprising appointments, well, rather than making unpleasant observations, I will just hope that both can do a little more looking out for guys like Frank Paul this time around.   Don’t stand up for the status quo, stand up.