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Posts from the ‘BC’ Category

Don’t buy property in the City of Victoria

Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Chris Coleman are putting the following motion before the Committee of the Whole on April 6th. It’s Item #16 on the agenda:

Recommendation: That Council amend the Streets and Traffic Bylaw to add Section 84(3) as follows: Section 84(3) An exemption to the provisions of this section shall occur when the CMHC vacancy rate for Victoria is at• 3% or lower. When the exemption is in place, people sleeping in their vehicles must not park their vehicles on any street for the purposes of sleeping before 7pm and must not remain parked on any street for the purposes of sleeping after 7am.

Want to know what this will look like?  Take all the derelict boats from the Gorge waterway, multiply by 100 and put them in Fairfield, Rockland, James Bay, North Park, Oaklands, Vic West and downtown. In a city still healing from the crime and violence of tent city, it is incredible that a proposal would be put forward to enable camping on Burdett Avenue and other city streets. These campers will be even closer to houses and apartment buildings than tent city.

What are the dangers? Disposal of human feces, for starters. Noise complaints. Fire hazards (open flame) from candles and portable stoves. Vehicle engines left running all night. Use of loud generators in residential neighbourhoods. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Consumption of alcohol and drugs inside cars. Care and control of a vehicle while impaired. Drug trafficking in and around vehicles. Fatal drug overdoses.  Hoarders and other people with serious mental health problems living inside cars. Car cities – the new “tent city” – popping up throughout Victoria. CarBnB. Extra wake-ups for bylaw and police. A national incentive for every predatory criminal with a vehicle to travel here.  Those are a few concerns off the top of my head. But none of these issues are mentioned in the report from Mayor Helps and Councillor Coleman.

The proposal is based on a Facebook poll with eight responses.  Look at the response from “male 05”:

Oh yeah- my buddy [name removed] was sleeping in his truck-camper (the carry-along kind in the box of the truck), in the parking lot of [name removed] after hosting the Thursday night jam they have there. He was woken up by the cops at 1am as well and told that he had to move along- difficult to do when you’ve been hosting a jam for free beer essentially. He had to go into the hotel lobby with the cops to confirm that he had been working there, and that they knew he was sleeping in the parking lot and were ok with it. He was informed by the cops that if they found him there again he would be ticketed and possibly towed for ‘drinking and driving’ Again, in spite of the fact that the hotel was ok with him being there

Taking this third-hand account at face value, a drunk musician parked overnight on private property.  Police used discretion, issued a warning, and did not investigate him for care and control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol. Is this truly a good reason to allow anyone to live in cars on public streets?

This proposal reinforces the uncertainty that has been felt by residents and businesses for a long time. No one in Victoria knows what will happen to the streets, parks and schools in their neighbourhoods. It is completely unpredictable.  Not just on a five year timeline, or a one year timeline, but even on a month-to-month basis.

And this is why I always say to anyone who asks: “Don’t buy property in the City of Victoria.”

Do BC nurses face higher risk of violence than law enforcement?

This sponsored content in the Times-Colonist is bit misleading. Or perhaps a kinder way to say it would be “poorly worded”:

In the past decade, B.C. nurses experienced approximately 2862 time-loss injuries from violence, which were often the result of being kicked, hit or beaten by patients or residents of the facilities they work in. What’s perhaps more striking, though, is the fact that these nurses are at greater risk of injury from workplace violence than law enforcement and security workers.

Although violence is commonly associated with jobs in security and law enforcement, occupations in this field made up just 14 percent of all injuries that resulted from workplace violence, while nurses (including aides and health care assistants) accounted for more than 40 percent.

There are quite a few problems with comparing occupations like this. For example, one major issue is that these statistics only include a fraction of the law enforcement officers working in British Columbia. The RCMP officers from E Division are not included. These police officers from E Division – all of whom work in British Columbia – fall under the Canadian Labour Code rather than the BC Workers Compensation Act.

About a third of all RCMP officers work in E Division.  There are 18,000+ officers in the RCMP which would mean about 6000 RCMP officers in British Columbia. Obviously this creates a big gap in the WorkSafeBC data.

November / December issue of the 10-8 newsletter for Canadian police officers

The latest 10-8 newsletter is now online. Here are the highlights:

  • New Justice Appointed to Supreme Court
  • Manner Of Strip Search Matters: s.8 Charter Breached
  • Firearm Need Not Also Meet Definition Of Weapon
  • Lawful Arrest Neuters Civil Claim
  • Corraborating Sources Enhances Reliability
  • Police Conduct Assessed By What they Did, Not Could have Done
  • Watching Detainee Did Not Breach s. 10(b)
  • Police Owe No Duty To Investigate
  • Officers May Use Experience in Making Decisions
  • Cell Phone Search Incident To Arrest Lawful, But Limited
  • Information Compelling, Credible & Corroborated: RGB Satisfied
  • Reasonable Grounds Assessed At Time Of Arrest
  • Penile Swab & Fingernail Clippings Proper As Incident to Arrest

September / October issue of the 10-8 newsletter for Canadian police officers

Here are the highlights of the latest issue of the 10-8 newsletter for Canadian police officers:

  • Justification For Night Search Upheld: No Charter Breach
  • 22-Minute Advisement Delay Violated Rights: Cocaine Excluded
  • Production Order May Issue On Basis Of Reasonable Suspicion
  • 2013 Police Reported Crime
  • No-Knock Entry Justified: Exigent Circumstances Established
  • Arrest & Demand Required Separate Analysis
  • s.489 Authorizes Seizure of Material Unrelated To Warrant Offence
  • Demand To Be Made As Soon As Practicable, Not Forthwith
  • Crown Bears Burden Of Demonstrating Access Not Reasonably Feasible
  • Police Acted In Good Faith: Evidence Admissible
  • Back-up Officer’s Evidence Served as Corroboration

Mike Novakowski does an incredible job as the editor of these newsletters.

New rules at the BC Human Rights Tribunal

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) has introduced new rules aimed at improving efficiency and the flow of complaints for both complainants and respondents. Here is a summary of the new rules, and  here are the full official rules.