Rural crime needs legislative change, not more lip service.

The trend is evident on all levels of government. Politicians talk big but do little on the pressing issues of today. They make excuses and hide from any and every issue that may involve taking a solid stand on something or actually acting rather than speaking.

We see this with Trudeau’s cowardice on the Trans Mountain pipeline issue, we see this with Calgary city hall tossing the Olympic question back and forth like a hot potato and we see this provincially as citizens desperately seek action rather than more words on the rural crime epidemic which is gripping the Alberta.

Last night I attended a rural crime watch meeting for the MD of Foothills at the Okotoks Centennial Center. The room was packed and it was standing room only as hundreds upon hundreds of concerned citizens came out in hopes of seeing some solutions to the rural crime problem.

I have been a local crime watch member for years and have attended a number of meetings. I have never seen a turnout like this.

The best way to describe the mood in the room would be to say concerned and frustrated. People are not eager for blood. People do not want to take the law into their own hands. People are however feeling that the system is failing them while they live under siege from criminals.

There were a number of speakers from different levels of government (though no provincial or federal elected officials for the area were present).

There was a senior bureaucrat who came down from the Alberta Justice Minister’s office. He spoke at length of the new $10 million investment from the Alberta government to combat rural crime and how it would be applied in a number of ways from increasing the number of police and prosecutors to plans for local crime reduction strategies. It was appreciated and was informative but it does feel like a drop in the bucket. Having 39 new cops is great but when we are speaking of a region with well over 100 detachments, the impact will be limited. Again though, it was appreciated and it is understood that policing alone will not solve this crisis.

We had a number of RCMP officers from the detachments that cover our MD (Turner Valley, Okotoks and High River. They read out local crime stats and explained the large area that they were tasked to cover. They are doing what they can but again are limited by the resources that they have and the area that they have to patrol.

Before the local crime watch presidents came up to speak, a pause was taken to introduce Edouard Maurice and his wife Jessica Maurice to the room as they were sitting in the front row. There was no need to explain who the Maurice’s were or why they were there. The room exploded into a standing ovation and applause that lasted several minutes. If anybody was wondering for a second how local sentiment was regarding using firearms to defend one’s family and home was that doubt evaporated in that moment.

Eddie Maurice and family have been victimized twice. Once by the criminals who invaded their home and a second time by the Canadian justice system which has treated them as criminals for defending themselves. They never wanted to be in this situation and did not choose to become the symbol for local victims of rural crime but that is what they have become.

Rural crime has been a growing issue in Alberta for years but it is the tragic situation of the Maurice family that brought this issue to such a head.

The rural crime watch presidents then took the floor and spoke to the development and initiatives of their organizations. It was informative and many new members signed up. Crime watch organizations are great groups that help proactively prevent crime. Their expansion is one part of the many required to reduce rural crime levels.

Next up was the question and answer period. This was where the frustration was clear from both the audience and those trying to respond to the question. The theme was the same as I have seen at prior meetings. People ask what they can do in the event of a crime and the answer from the front is to tell people to call the police, cower, wait and pray that the criminals don’t mean any physical harm to the residents during the 40 minutes or so before an officer arrives at the scene. This just won’t cut it.

I know that no police officer or official can counsel a person to grab a firearm when their home has been intruded upon. I know damn well that no amount of threats or finger wagging at public meetings will prevent home owners from defending themselves and their families with whatever means are at their disposal when push comes to shove and that includes firearms.

We are at an impasse.

Crime is on the rise. Insurance companies are now starting to refuse coverage to many residents because they are getting robbed too much. Last night one of the officers said “stuff is just stuff”. Sorry officer but that is simplistic bullshit. That “stuff” which is being stolen over and over and over again is often made up of the tools of the trade for the homeowners. They need that “stuff” to make a living and we can’t expect people to let themselves go bankrupt as they remain chronic victims of thieves. They should have the right to defend their “stuff” and their person and they will no matter what you tell them.

I am no legal expert but I would say that it is pretty clear that a jury of Maurice’s peers will quickly acquit him. That was made clear as hundreds of his peers applauded him last night.

Despite the likely hood of an eventual acquittal, the Maurice family will still endure years of stress and expenses all for trying to defend their home.

Do we expect every family that defends themselves from criminals to endure this? Well, if we don’t change the system that is what will happen.

If folks keep getting acquitted by juries, then clearly the law is wrong. We need to change the laws and that is where we need those ever elusive people we call elected officials to get involved.

We need to address stiffer sentencing for repeat criminals. The police at last night’s meeting repeatedly pointed out that the majority of the crimes are being committed by a small minority of chronic criminals. If that is indeed the case, it is time that we stopped releasing that small minority. Catch and release doesn’t cut it.

Addiction is a big factor in driving many criminals. We need effective investment in addiction treatment and mental health. That will take some political will on the part of government.

We need to look at a Canadian version of legislatively entrenched Castle Doctrine which will protect people who defend their homes. This will take some discussion on things such as property rights and rights to self-defense which are some pretty complicated and touchy issues (again why elected officials hide from them). Well, tough issues or not they need to be addressed. That’s why we pay em the big bucks.

While there was no native factor involved with the Maurice case, it is simple fact that a huge amount of the spike in rural crime is in areas within 50 kilometers or so of native reserves. Native issues terrify politicians like no other but like it or not they are not going away. They are getting worse. We need to revise or scrap the entire Indian act and the failed reserve system before we see improvements on those socioeconomic catastrophes that we call reserves. A pretty tall damn order but it needs to be done and we have to start somewhere.

Crime watch meetings and local organization are great. That is about all we can do as citizens to change this crime epidemic however. The rest is in the hands of our elected officials and many of those officials appear bound and determined to sit on those hands.

Somebody is going to die soon. Whether it will be a homeowner or a home invader is really the only question. Warning us not to defend ourselves won’t work.

Perhaps our elected officials need to ask themselves “Will this be easier to deal with now or when we have a body cooling in a farmyard and another homeowner under arrest?”.

The issue isn’t going away and it isn’t getting any better for waiting. If the elected officials won’t act rather than just talk the citizens will be working hard to replace those officials and I look forward to helping them in that. Let’s hope our local politicians find their courage before it comes to that.

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We have to stop pandering to extremist protesters!!

To put it simply, you can’t reason with the unreasonable. There is a collection of career protesters in Canada who are determined to protest any and every possible development in the country and they will not negotiate or compromise. We are wasting resources and putting our first responders at risk as we continually try to appease this tiny but loud minority of extremists. We empowered this directionless group when we sat on our hands for months while they squatted in and destroyed our public parks across the continent as we wasted time trying to negotiate with these people during the pointless “occupy” protests. In almost every situation we eventually had to get court orders and have these squatters physically removed. Our time in negotiation was wasted and waiting for them to move on was a waste of time too. These protesters really do have nothing better to do. Gainful employment certainly isn’t a consideration for most of them.

The list is long but the latest racket is coming from Burnaby where surveys are proceeding in preparation to expand the capacity of Canada’s Transmountain Pipeline which has safely operated and transported hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day to the West coast since shortly after World War II. Yes folks, we have had a pipeline across the mountains for decades and the world didn’t end. Kinder Morgan isn’t even proposing a new pipeline, it is looking to expand a current one. This still drew protest from the unreasonable and the extreme and now it has led of course to arrests.

One clear sign that these protesters are the same ones who took part in the pointless “occupy” protests a few years ago is their filthy living. The hypocrisy and sense of entitlement of these pigs is astounding as they demand that the world clean up while they themselves pollute their surroundings in ways that an oilfield crew would never even consider.

camp1 camp2Above are pictures of the filthy encampment where protesters have sat about for the last few weeks. Garbage is strewn everywhere and reports of a great deal of human waste a short distance away in the trees are coming out. Again, does this sound familiar? Of course it does. This is the same group of people acting the same way they did in “occupy”.

occupoopAbove is a picture of the Burnaby Mountain encampment along with some pictures from “occupy” encampments. The only real difference is that the Burnaby bunch didn’t have as much access to fast food as they did when they were squatting in more urban areas. One reason to arrest these fools when they set up camp sooner rather than later is ironically for the protection of our environment.

Below are pictures of these folks interacting with police.

Trans Mountain 20141120 coward dolt doltline loserI took part in a protest once that came to a point where police told me that I was to either leave or be physically removed. This was after hours of police seeking compromises with me. Despite claims from hysteric professional protesters, police are not actually that eager to physically remove or arrest people. The way I avoided being dragged into a police wagon that day was agreeing to move once things got to that point. I had made my point, why subject myself and the police to the mess of dragging me around?

Why do these idiots insist on making police drag them out? What point are they making? Many of them are hoping to create an impression of police brutality. All of the RCMP officers at this protest wore uniform mounted cameras and there were dozens of private cameras filming every second. While protesters spat upon, pressed and tried to provoke police, the officers showed great restraint as usual.

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respectOne idiot protester put himself in a tree forcing police to put themselves at risk to remove him. There should be extra charges for people putting police in harms way like this.

treetwitOther stupid and failed tactics to delay work were having one dolt chain her head to a piece of concrete while another moron climbed under a jeep. These acts accomplished nothing aside from making more work and creating a hazard even to themselves.

idiot moronThese ridiculous protesters even oppose the reversal of flow in an existing line as demonstrated in “Line 9” in Ontario. Note the similar tactics of piling garbage for others to clean up and chaining themselves pointlessly to things.

line9mess line92 Trish

The right to demonstrate and protest is a vital one but there are limits and we are allowing extremists to increasingly pass reasonable limitations. The “occupy” idiocy cost taxpayers millions in extra law enforcement and cleaning up after them across the country. These endless protests against all energy projects are costing taxpayers and private industry alike millions of dollars. I would rather our police were out seeking and arresting hardened criminals rather than putting themselves at risk to move or babysit these extremists.

This is a fun game to many of these protesters. They are typically upper middle class kids who know that their Dadda will bail them out as they repeatedly get arrested. They are out having fun at the expense and risk to all.

twitsMichael Sona was just sentenced to 9 months in jail for his role in the “robocall” scandal. The judge wanted to make an example of him and rightly show that we will not tolerate infringement of the democratic process. It is time to make such examples of these protesters who insist in illegally disrupting progress and putting others at risk. These companies have jumped through all the legal hoops and done all the preliminary studies and work required for their projects. They deserve protection from these extremists.

Instead of constantly arresting and releasing these clowns with fines, perhaps it is time to give some of them real sentences. Maybe with a couple months in jail some of these kids may realize that their trust-fund doesn’t serve them well when Bubba is making eyes at them in the group showers.

There is no reasoning with these protesters. It is time to start demonstrating that we have had enough of their antics and make them understand that enough is enough.

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Just what the hell is going in on High River?

 

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As a community there is little doubt that High River has been the hardest hit by the flooding and general disaster. That being said, Canmore, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Calgary have all been hit rather hard as well.

High River of all these communities appears to be getting completely out of control as secretive briefings keep even the local elected representatives in the dark about flood plans and communications to the victims is becoming nothing less than a disaster.

Now residents of High River are being victimized further as it has been revealed that the RCMP has been going through their evacuated homes and stealing people’s firearms.

What country are we living in? What the hell is going on? What else are officers going through in people’s homes as they refuse to allow residents back? How much further will the violation of privacy and property of High River residents go? It will be wonderful as people return to their damaged homes to find that their personal belongings have been rummaged through by the authorities for no good reason.

Police assure people that the property that they seizing after having broken into flood victims homes will be returned with presentation of proof of ownership. If your proof of ownership was lost in the flood though, I guess you are screwed. Having the private property locked in your private home was not proof enough to our local RCMP apparently,

This is truly nuts and there are going to be some very huge questions demanding answers in the meantime.

Usually in a disaster it is displaced residents who lose control for a time. In High River it appears to be the police and local authorities. Absolutely crazy!

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