Monday, February 16, 2009

Outrageous gang violence demands action from Attorney-General Wally Oppal and BC government - stop the killing!

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!

Bill Tieleman’s
24 Hours Column

Tuesday February 17, 2009

Play your role in ending the violence


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

Understand one thing clearly about the B.C. government's announcement of measures to fight gang violence last week: The only reason anything happened is because of you, the public.

The heat on B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal - the guy who said two weeks ago that our "streets are safe" - got so seriously turned on that now he's talking about "an unparalleled wave of violence" - and it's about time.

B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen said Friday: "No more gangs. No more guns. No more innocent victims."

Great news, but it won't happen - not with the $69 million over three years to add 168 "police specialists" and 10 extra prosecutors the government is promising.

Ending gang violence is a lot tougher than holding a flashy news conference and showing off assault rifles seized the past few years.

Gangsters facing serious gun and drug charges have to be kept in jail, not on bail.

Judges have to impose tough sentences for gun crimes and gun possession, not accept plea bargains that let criminals out of jail in weeks or months.

Prosecutors have to resist plea bargains and convict criminals on serious charges that draw longer custody time.

Premier Gordon Campbell, Oppal and van Dongen have to take continuous action - not just when deadly shootings occur.

And you - the public - have to keep the pressure on politicians until they do the right thing.

So I am thrilled that since last week's column almost 1,000 people have joined my Facebook online protest group called: "Where's Wally? BC Attorney General Oppal has 30 days to end gang violence."

It's inspired by Steve Brown, whose brother-in-law Ed Schellenberg was gunned down execution-style in the October 2007 Surrey apartment massacre - an innocent victim along with Chris Mohan - both in the wrong place when drug-related gang violence erupted.

Steve has spoken out against the lack of government action - and gave Wally Oppal until March 7 to do something.

So go to and type the title in the search box to get there.

Here's how public pressure works: NDP MLA Mike Farnworth proposed on Jan. 22 that body armour being used by gangsters be made illegal. Van Dongen then called Farnworth's idea: "Grossly simplistic ... politics and grandstanding."

"I don't know what difference Mike Farnworth's private member bill would make," van Dongen concluded.

But on Friday what was one key part of the government's seven-point plan?
Outlawing body armour.

That's why I urge you to keep the heat on the B.C. government to end gang violence.

Send Wally Oppal a message
- the clock is ticking on the 30 days Steve Brown gave him.


Anonymous said...

Oppal should be removed from office today!

Wally Oppal . . . a politically opportunistic affirmative-action appointment shows what happens when anarchy and corruption take over democratic government.


DPL said...

Just who is running the streets lately? People are afraid to tell the cops what they see in those horrible day light killings. Let's all blame the courts seems to be the buzz words. Judges don't make the laws they are there to give sentences according to those laws.
Either the provincial government gets a handle on the situation or we will be buying surplus tanks to go down to the store. Or are the citizens required to stay home?

BC Mary said...


I went to the Facebook place by clicking onto Bill's suggestion.

I joined Facebook, as required.

I was accepted.

But from there, nothing. I copied and pasted the name into the search box (which seems to be for finding FRIENDS ... but what do I know?)

and got 0 results, 6 times.

Anybody? I'd like to add my name to the Where's Wally campaign.

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks Mary - and for anyone having a challenge - once you are signed up go to your "Profile" Facebook page - click on Profile at top navigation bar of Facebook - then go to the top right box that is blank and has "Search" in it in light text and a magnifying glass next to it.

Start typing in the Where's Wally? Attorney-General Oppal...title and it should pop up with a link.

Bill Tieleman said...

Facebook - you can also link directly to the Where's Wally group from my blog column links above.

Anonymous said...

Bill the citizens have to play a role in this as well. There are people out there who know things, and they must go to the police with information that would help put these thugs behind bars.
Parents, for everyones sake, talk to your kids! I see so much absentee parenting out there, it is unbelievable. Also, I think the outbreak of casinos in B C has added to our problems, and they should be shut down. Of course you also get corruption amongst the suit class. Laundering money for thugs for a tasty profit. Even our Liberal governmnet is playing a big part in this problem, as the corruption is likely worse than we think possible.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we should blame Wally Oppal for the recent string of shootings south of the Fraser. Rather the blame should be laid right on the doorstep of Mayor Diane Watts and the Surrey city council. Surrey is the largest and most densely populated community in Canada that is still policed by the RCMP, a police force better suited for sparsely populated rural areas. If the Surrey civic government would get off their butts and a establish municipal police force for Surrey, Surrey would not be the crime capital it has become.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bill Tieleman I send the following to you because I was reading you from Georgia Straight and now in 24hr.

I don't know it can be published or not, I thing that before to do that have to be edited a bit... a big bit, but mostly it is for you to read it, please, in any case, for obvious reasons withheld my name, thanks.

I'm a immigrant and Canadian Citizen and I’m very upset, angry and frustrated with what is happening.

So, I decided to put in paper what I think, as it came to my mind, in random order.

Of course not all of it is for publication, maybe, just maybe part of it can be used

1) Change the law, where it says “ and “Maximum” time in jail, it should say "Minimum", no top.

2) Where the Law says “Innocent until proved guilty” it should say GUILTY UNTIL PROVED INNOCENT.

3) The proceed from crime is a great shot of money to the economy, it is well over a BILLION Dollars a year that circulate in the province

4) Politicians, Judges, Lawyers, Police Force and Public Servant are some of them on the payroll?

5) The Police is not able to fight crime because

a) they don’t know how

b) they don’t have the manpower

c) they don’t have the tools they needed

d) all the above

6) there are about between 15000 ands 25000 criminals roaming on the streets, to put all of them behind bars, how many jails are needed?

7) it cost about $80.000 and more a year to keep a criminal in jail.

8) there is no way that the government is going to spend that kind of money.

9) Canada has a war of their own where innocents people are dying and lives are in danger.

10) the police doesn't know who they are, where they are, in one word they doesn't know nothing.

11) in any case, if anyone caught, after a few months are free because; there are no evidence of any crime.

12) and there is another thing which I don't like to think about but the people keeps telling me: "as long they kill each other..."

So, et bring the Canadian Army that are fighting a ghost terrorists in Afghanistan, so far over 200 young lives are gone.

The real terrorists are INSIDE Canada hosting their own war, why not use the Army to get rid off once and for all of ALL gangs?.

No mater how many more police they hire it will not work, like Dangerfield use to say "they get no respect".

Canada can became again a paradise like that used to be long time ago.

If those people are foreigner should be sent back to their country of origin after the government takes all the proceeding from crime.who will complain?, no the decent and honest people that's for sure.

The Law in Canada was made by MEN and ONLY THE MEN can change it.

If not, one has to wonder who benefits, maybe #4?

I guess a Military regimen to get all those people will protect our society, that's is the primary toll of any Army" PROTECT THEIR COUNTRY in our own land.

If you have an arm or leg with gangrene, what the Doctor do? cut the leg or arm.

Sorry for my grammar.

Let me know what you think

bregalad said...

The idea that Wally Oppal can single handedly stop the killing is ridiculous. The idea that passing laws to "ban" things that are either already illegal or almost impossible to detect is just as foolish.

The federal government wasted billions on a gun registry that did nothing more than identify law abiding gun owners. They "banned" certain guns that were already extremely difficult to acquire legally and quite illegal to carry. I doubt all those billions of dollars and high profile "new" laws took even one gun out of the hand of a criminal.

Banning body armor is the biggest joke I've heard in years. Down in Mexico you can buy fine tailored leather, silk, etc. jackets that just happen to have the ability to stop bullets. They're nearly impossible to tell from clothes that don't have that feature. Are we going to ban imported clothing now?

On the bright side the government is going to hire more police and prosecutors. Enforcement of existing laws doesn't grab headlines and is expensive compared with drafting new legislation, but it actually yields results. People may question the need for prosecutors, but there are hundreds of people sitting in police custody earning huge discounts on their eventual sentences because the court system can't offer then a timely trial.

All of this won't address the fundamental problem, however. So long as there is a demand for products that are either illegal or heavily taxed there will be a supply provided by criminal organizations.

Marijuana is valuable because there's a high demand and no legal supply outside medical programs.

Cigarette smuggling is profitable because there are huge taxes levied on domestic sales, but virtually none on exports. Yes I understand that situation is there to protect Canadian suppliers from cheap imports, but every barrier is an opportunity for crime to pay.

Human trafficking is more complex because of the huge disparities between nations, but much of it revolves around prostitution. Once again laws forbidding something have created opportunities for the rich and powerful to, in this case quite literally, rape the less fortunate.

I understand the desire to ban harmful things, but the choice between letting my child smoke a joint and having her shot in the crossfire of a gang war is always going to come down on the side of legalization.

Bill Tieleman said...

To bregalad and others who argue for legalization of drugs:

1) It isn't going to happen, so get over it.

2) If we did legalize any or all drugs currently available you can pretty much bet that the criminals who invented crack cocaine, crystal meth and other evil, addictive and destructive drugs would come up with some new and profitable ones again.

3) The issue in my mind isn't legalization versus the war on drugs, it's a society where people feel so desperate, marginalized and hopeless that they take horrible drugs to temporarily escape their pain. We need a war on poverty and other social ills, not a war on drugs - which I agree hasn't worked in the US.

4) Regardless of a philosophical, academic debate about legalization, people are being shot to death today - literally this afternoon! We need action now - even if it is only a stop-gap measure - to end the gang war.

5) When it comes down to a choice between getting tough on gangsters carrying guns in cars and clubs, giving them mandatory tough sentences and making crime pay or throwing up my hands and talking about someday legalizing drugs, I'll take tough on crime every time!

No, Wally Oppal can't solve gang violence single-handedly. But he can do a lot better than say "our streets are safe" when innocent people and even criminals are being shot to death day after day!

Only public pressure - on politicians and on everyone responsible - can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Gordon (Capt. Toke) Campbell & Wally (Uncle Tom) Oppal and the rest of BC Liberal plutocrats have sat on their butts for years flapping their gums and collecting a hefty public-sector pay cheque while crime pervades all aspects of BC life.

I suggest in keeping with the new and more accurate spirit of 2010: GUNCOUVER . . . The Best Place in Hell!


Anonymous said...

I'll bet you (via BC Lottery Corporation) that the next comment from the AG will be "No Comment".

Anonymous said...

Today Gregor Robertson called for the establishment of a Greater Vancouver regional police force. Now that's what I call a mayor, unlike those do nothings south of the Fraser.

Laila said...

Tell me, who exactly is in charge of this handling this gang war? Who is the person,or the group, designated for a concentrated action against the widespread violence? Is it someone in Vancouver? Or Surrey? Abbotsford maybe? THAT is the issue here.

Regardless of the new number of police to be tossed out here and there to various divisions,the only legitimate solution- I think -is a regional police force.

In Surrey, RCMP often stop right at 120th street- the border with Delta and where Delta police will take over. There is little cooperation or shared resources between municipal forces and the RCMP, and as pointed out previously,gangs know no borders.

I live in Surrey,and in a recent conversation with a local RCMP officer, it was commented that some areas( Newton,in addition to Whalley) are well on their way to the same condition as the DTES.We have grow-ops out the ying yang, we have every level of dealer and a more than willing plethora of customers- and why is that?
Because someone dropped the ball here in a big way,and it is starting to show. This can not be hidden any longer.
The gang members live among us and no one is willing to say a damn thing because you know you're dead if you do. And the ones who don't live here,come here to do business.
The mayor knows this,and yet refuses to addess any aspect of this current situation as her responsibility.
(Too busy courting developers rather than addressing the poverty,addiction and street level petty crimes that inevitably lead to larger problems than can not be swept under the carpet.)
At what point do we stop pointing fingers at each other and say "This is it, this is what I am going to do."

Any legislation that happens is going to happen too late to stop what is currently going on, and we know in Surrey that this is about to escalate.
We are ripe for far more mayhem than what we are seeing now, and my only hope that people find their voices and make them heard. Anger can be a powerful motivator.

Anonymous said...

Farnworth, Ralston and Kwan are goofs. The cops that they serve will stab them in the back at election time. Hear Foghorn gas-bag at a Surrey rally for pants-pissers:

So the sudden rash of cop generated news stories is spontaneous? Hardly, in December, work with the pre-existing Violence Suppression Team was shot down in this despicable case of prosecutor-cop collusion in law-breaking:

Foghorn will take the party down if he continues to act as a player piano for right wing Neighbourhood Watch groups.

Will this at long last sink in?: Vancouver cops take 12 minutes to arrive at a major crime event; they then take another 5 minutes to examine databases (CORNET, PRIME, JUSTIN, Firearms-Versadex) to ensure officer safety before they do stuff that gets them medals for "bravery." The only thing our blues slugs protect is: their unearned wages.

Oppal as a reckless civil libertarian? What a sick joke! Stop buying snakeoil, Bill.

North Van's Grumps said...

"Understand one thing clearly about the B.C. government's announcement of measures to fight gang violence last week: The only reason anything happened is because of you, the public." - Bill Tieleman

In all of the concern for the public's safety, whether its the police, the municipal leaders, or the provincial government, everyone seems to be missing the point of why the shootings are going on.

Sure, its all about one gang either "defending" their territory or going on the offensive to target another gang's revenue base, but there is one fact that remains that needs addressing.

What about that part of the public that condones the use of marijuana and other drugs that are illegal in Canada? Its the buyers who are causing the problem on our streets! Making their habits legal isn't going to change anything, there will always be a middle man wanting to take his cut, even if he has to CUT out the competition.

Its the moms and dads, the brothers and sisters, the aunts and uncles who believe (honestly???) that they have a god given right to enhale whatever they choose, no matter what the expense is (loss of lives included) and as long as that is allowed to go on, unchecked, murders on our streets will continue.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I sound very sceptical, but I wonder from what office in the legislature Annonymouse 9.15 a.m. writes Jo5ey

North Van's Grumps said...

"Anonymous said...
Sorry if I sound very but I wonder from what office in the legislature Annonymouse 9.15 a.m. writes Jo5ey"

There is no "9.15" comment; there's no "Jo5ey"; there's an American version of the word "sceptical", but on Canadian soil??????? Hmmm.

Therefore ... 7.18 PM seems skeptical in itself.... unless the writer is from within AG Doyle's team who were paid to busily sniff around the wireless loopholes left by the operatives who work for the BC Liberals via taxpayer funded computers.

Government wireless may give up secrets Networks tested not secure enough, according to auditor-general's report - By Rob Shaw and Lindsay Kines, Canwest News ServiceFebruary 19, 2009

"Security was so lax on most B.C. government wireless computer systems that anyone with a laptop in downtown Victoria could have surfed sensitive information, an auditor-general's report shows.

Two-thirds of government wireless networks tested last year had either no password protection or used only minimal encryption, Auditor-General John Doyle found.

"It's like someone could stand next to you and look over your shoulder and see everything you're doing," Doyle said in an interview. "If you don't see them, you don't know that they were there and they don't leave any footprints."" SNIP

North Van's Grumps said...

Outrageous gang violence demands action so said the Attorney General Wally Oppal and in the same breath he blamed the public because they weren't doing their bit by curbing their spending habits when purchasing illegal drugs.

It comes as no surprise that there are now words being written that link what we are seeing here in North America as being no different than Al Capone's tactics of murdering all opposition, but rewarding those who saw it his way. It was called corruption of public officials then, police were on the take, so too were judges. The guilty "party" was the government stand on the prohibition of booze.

Boycott weed, stop gang violence

The market solution will put economic pressure on the gangsters running the marijuana trade

By Ed Watson, Special to the Sun February 20, 2009

"Another shooting in Greater Vancouver. Nearly everyone is demanding action by the government and police. News conferences are called to reassure the public. Sociologists and criminologists are trotted out to apportion blame for these shocking violent crimes.

You want to see who's responsible? Perhaps you should look in a mirror."

However in letters to the Editor of the Vancouver Sun, some writers are saying that we need fewer police but more forensic accountants whereby their number crunching will put the big spenders, the money launderers behind bars, which is all that the public is asking for.

Accountants, not police