Sunday, July 27, 2008


There is an old saying that one gets what one pays for. But not in British Columbia. Taxpayers here pay a lot for a justice system that like a milk cow gives steady streams of the sweet milk of justice to posh people (Gordon Campbell’s friends of privatization) but decreasing dribbles to poor people (and that is increasingly including just about everyone else in Vancouver who are trying to survive the drug trade ratcheted up rents and mortgages and eat at the same time) while forcing regular citizens to bring in the hay and of course, clean out the barn. In fact, if I remember correctly, even the law society of BC was aggravated with Wally Oppal for his part in the trashing of legal services and wrote a public letter of non-confidence in him.

Our justice system is in tatters. Gordon Campbell, with Wally Oppal at heel, shut down two dozen courthouses in BC, bought out many of the justices of peace with early retirement, closed a dozen prisons and holding centers to save money, of course, for his two week party where he can strut before the world. The situation now? Well, let’s see. Citizens will cool their heels a couple of years before their cases might actually be brought to trial except maybe parking ticket disputes. A parking ticket might come before the court in perhaps just under a year. And judges have to take into account before they actually send anybody to prison if there is a bed in a cell somewhere because with all the prison closures, the ones still operating have started triple bunking prisoners or holding them up in tents. So a kind of justice by housing shortage is emerging in the courts that have to do with where does a judge send a person convicted of a crime if there is nowhere to send him or her? And the courts are now so crowded police are simply just letting people off with warnings, people they would have booked before Gordon Campbell’s “Shock and Awe” attack on our justice system.

So where does my civil case against Kietwit Sons Co and Kevin Falcon stand resulting from my part in the blockades at Eagleridge Bluffs? Well, while the court did throw out the two main issues I wanted tried, I was allowed to bring the charges of assault forward and also include the Attorney General (my stars, Wally Oppal) and Sea to Sky Highway. Their method of dealing with me? Simple. Ignore me. They haven’t answered my legal demand to acknowledge and present a defense. By law, they are supposed to do this. But of course, all of these powerful people are above the law. In fact, they make the law. The law as it is written holds no charm for them. How dare an elderly woman try to bugger up the traffic (as Kevin Falcon demanded at the traffic tie up on the Second Narrows Bridge when an elderly woman was in the process of being talked out of suicide) or get in the way of their clean sweep of the natural public resources of this province? Ignore the old woman, they seem to be saying. And tell her to go jump. They don’t have to obey the law.

But I say this isn’t over. And we’ll see. Betty Krawczyk

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