Sunday, February 22, 2009

From the Where's Wally File: Why Has the BC Government Let Gangs Proliferate?

Anti-gang rally’s message: enough is enough!
Family Calls Government Cuts Appalling

The family of a man killed by gang gunfire in a case of mistaken identity is holding no punches when it comes to the provincial budget.

Kirk Holifield's father Bert says cuts to the offices of criminal prosecutors are appalling, "The Solicitor General hasn't talked to us. The police haven't talked to us. Nobody talks to us. We're having some - the media has been helping us alot but as far as the police and the Solicitor General, no we haven't. Sure I'd be more than happy to listen to them but first of all they've got to call us."

Last week the Holifields were informed by the media police had counted Kirk among Metro-Vancouver's innocent victims of gang violence.

While they had long been told Kirk was innocent in private, it was the first time police acknowleged it publicly.
Where's Wally? BC Attorney-General Oppal has 30 days to end gang violence

People need to know our streets are safe.
- B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal, Feb. 4, 2009

Wally Oppal and BC government - stop the killing!
Bill Tieleman. February 17, 2009.

Police at scene of latest shooting death Monday morning - young woman gunned down with 4-year-old child in back seat at 10 a.m. in Surrey

UPDATE TUESDAY - Another young man shot to death in a hit on Fraser Street in Vancouver!

This violence is unanswerable. The fact these people are out on bail, it's unanswerable. It's an outrage. - Steve Brown, anti-gang violence advocate
Campbell Defends Court Cuts

Premier Gordon Campbell is dismissing criticism from the NDP over budget cuts to court services.

This as Metro Vancouver deals with a wave of gang violence.

The government says the cuts are to administrative staff, not front-line services, and Campbell says NDP Leader Carole James is late to the game, "We have actually said that we are adding additional prosecutors to prosecute gangs. That's what we're going to do. We also have an obligation to make sure that we're delivering our court services as cost-effectively as possible. That's also what we're going to do. But no one should be under any illusions - we have a 16 person prosecution staff that is focused solely on gangs; we've added 10 additional prosecutors to that."

Carole James says the cuts will harm efforts to crack down on gang crime.
Conditional Sentence in Death of Pop Star
Crown to Consider Appeal
CKNW. 2/20/2009

The crown says it will take a serious look at the possibility of an appeal after a man found guilty in the death of an Afghan pop star was given a conditional sentence in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster.

The crown had been seeking a five to seven year prison sentence for Ahmad Seiar Froogh.
He was instead given a conditional sentence of two years less a day, to be spent in the community.

Froogh was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Afghan pop star Nasrat Parsa.
He punched Parsa in the face at a hotel on Kingsway in May of 2005.
Parsa fell down some stairs, hit his head, and later died in hospital.

B.C. man convicted in death of Afghan singer will not go to jail

CBC News.

Where's Wally? Attorney-General Wally Oppal given 30 days to take action on gang violence in Metro Vancouver or face call to resign
Bill Tieleman, February 10, 2009.

Inquiring minds want to know.... just where will the Honorable Minister Wally Oppal, Mr. Attorney General Himself run on
May 12th. ? Vancouver-Fairview, Delta, no-where? A lot of chickens are going to come home to roost this next go around, I'd be thinking about that pretty carefully.

And, my final word, instead of pointing so many fingers at the police, government, society -blah, blah, blah, how about parents take some personal and parental responsibility for raising kids that are growing up to shoot people in broad daylight. People who shoot mothers in broad daylight with babies in the back. People whose daughters show up with gansta boyfriends who drive $80,000 cars, and have two.
People who show up with lots of money, bling and fancy cars and get VIP-ed. Money for vacations, for houses and big screen TV's. How do you tell a new school drug dealer? He's got the biggest big screen and the best entertainment system dirty money can buy.

Until families and communities start to address the fact that saying nothing is as good as giving tacit approval for your kids to be involved in gangs and crime. For your girls to become the tricked out bitches of the little bad boyz with guns, nothing is going to change. Because they will know, the benefits will outweigh the costs and risks. Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse. And crime does pay, it pays very, very well (just ask the the Man). Until you're dead and your parents are standing over your grave, scattering your ashes, wondering why they didn't tell you "no, don't do this, I won't let you." If they had, you might still be here. And the trail of bodies would stop, or at least yours wouldn't be one of them.

The House that the BC Liberals Built:

Statement from lawyer Peter Ritchie

January 30, 2009.

Trial Lawyers Association of BC

TLABC Backs Ritchie's Criticism of BC's High Court costs and
Warns Proposed Changes Will Make Things Even Worse

Holmes said Ritchie correctly points out that most of the court costs for the jury trial are unique to BC and are not charged in other provinces, such as the anticipated $15,000 fee for renting a courtroom, a jury trial fee of $25,000 – in essence total trial fees of $40,000 – plus the travel expenses of witnesses.

“Nowhere else in Canada is like this,” Ritchie said yesterday in a lengthy statement released to the media, pointing out that by comparison to BC’s $40,000 trial fee, in Ontario trial fees would have been $645 and in Alberta $800.

Message in the Mail: Court Cases Will Take Longer & Cost More

Ridings of the Premier and Attorney General are the First Hit

January 30, 2009

(Vancouver) – Ongoing criticism over proposed changes to the rules of civil court has moved into households throughout the constituencies of Premier Gordon Campbell and Attorney General Wally Oppal. The Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC) and its supporters continue to warn that pending rule changes will make court cases cost even more and take even longer in what is already Canada’s most expensive jurisdiction in which to seek justice.

CONTACT: Bentley Doyle

604-682-5343 or 1 888-558-5222

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