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Rest in peace Constable Katia Hadouchi

A Quebec police officer, Constable Katia Hadouchi, died yesterday in a single vehicle MVI while responding to a domestic violence call.

My condolences to her family as well as her friends and colleagues.

Presentation at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities

A big “thank you” to the staff and elected officials at UBCM for giving me the opportunity to speak to delegates about their resolution in support of marijuana decriminalization. Pat Slack, Daryl Plecas and Dave Williams spoke agains the motion, while Evan Wood, Geoff Plant and I spoke in favour. It was a positive, respectful debate and the audience members had great questions.

Tonight is the Sensible BC panel. Resolution A5 will be considered by delegates on Wednesday morning.

Let’s talk about regional policing in British Columbia

Let’s talk about regional policing… three decades ago.

This article is from the Autumn 1978 issue of the B.C. Police Journal. Here are a few excerpts:

  • In the fall of 1977, the Attorney-General and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing together identified a need to examine a wide range of issues related to policing costs.
  • The major purpose of the project is to examine policing costs in British Columbia, how they are shared among Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments and then to consider practical cost-sharing alternatives.
  • The terms of reference also require a study of the possibility of regional delivery of policing services and other cost-related issues.

It seems this intractable problem has been around for a long, long time.

On a more modern note, there is a coffee meet up in Victoria to discuss amalgamation on Friday, September 28th from 9am to 10am.

Two poignant gas and dash quotes

These comments were posted on my Facebook page after my last post:

– “When I worked at a gas station, I was asked to pay for stolen gas. I flat out refused, but I know others didn’t. I suspect this is the common thread in these deaths. I don’t understand the argument against pre-pay if it reduces theft and saves lives. Is it simply that gas stations don’t want to pay to upgrade their pumps? Is it cheaper to bully employees and hope no one files a wrongful death suit when the truth finally comes out?” (Former gas station attendant in BC)

– “Grant’s Law, in my opinion, is a great thing here. You don’t go to WalMart, throw your junk in the car, and then go in and pay for it. Back in the day, shortages from runaways was usually between $600 and $1000. That’s profit right off the bottom line.” (Gas station manager in BC)

It looks like Ontario will now consider legislation. A private member’s bill is in the works from Liberal MPP Mike Colle. The remaining provincial governments will likely do nothing until they experience their own gruesome tragedies, grieving families, media spectacles and political firestorms. (The exception here is BC, which was forced to act six years ago thanks to the tireless advocacy of Doug De Patie.)

“Gas and Dash” legislation by province

Another tragic “Gas and Dash” death has occurred, this time in Toronto:

The attendant ran out of the northwest Toronto station’s convenience store and almost into the path of the vehicle, trying to stop a driver making a run for it without paying for gas. From Ann Lapenna’s sixth-floor balcony, it looked like Mr. Prajapati grabbed the tailgate as the car sped up and screeched off.

 But it was clear within moments that he couldn’t get loose. The speeding SUV dragged the man along the pavement for more than half a block. It took the bump from a pair of defunct streetcar tracks to knock him free.

Here are the provinces that have legislation requiring customers to pay before they pump. It’s a short list:

  • British Columbia

No other provinces have come on board, in part because of opposition from groups like the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute.

These crimes are preventable through legislation. I’ve started a new page, Gas and Dash Victims, to keep track of these needless deaths.