The last days of 2003 ended with police raiding offices in British Columbia’s Liberal run legislature. This latest Liberal scandal came to the public’s attention when 32 boxes of documents were confiscated. The confiscations were based on leads in a commercial crime probe, with links to a drug investigation, police corruption and organized crime.
While Canadian police say the investigation does not involve elected politicians, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Spokesman, Sergeant Ward, did say: “Illegal drug activity by organized crime in British Columbia has reached critical mass, touching every region and every major street corner.”
Ward also said, “In general, the spread of organized crime has been like a cancer on the social and economic well-being of all British Columbians.
“We are seeing major increases in organized crime-related murders, beatings, extortion, and gang warfare at a level never before seen in this province. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
It has been reported in the Vancouver Sun, that the RCMP probe is targeting a suspected influential B.C. drug trafficker who is related to a prominent Liberal party worker. Details of nine search warrants at seven premises, including the legislature raid, remain sealed.
The investigation has led to a who’s who of high-ranking B.C. Martin Liberals:
David Basi — Provincial Liberal finance minister Gary Collins aide. Basi is a strong Paul Martin Liberal supporter involved in the Young Liberal Association. He was fired on the same day his office in the B.C. legislature was raided by police.
Erik Bornman — A past aide for Paul Martin when the prime minister was finance minister. Now a lobbyist and the communications director for the Paul Martin Liberals in B.C. with more than “a decade of political experience inside both the B.C. Liberal party and the Liberal party of Canada” according to Pilothouse communications website – offices and home were searched.
Mark Marissen — Paul Martin’s chief political organizer in B.C., and husband of Deputy Premier Clark was contacted by police. He claims police said he was the, “innocent recipient of documents relevant to their probe.” Marissen provided the documents.
Bruce Clark — Brother to Deputy Premier Christy Clark and Paul Martin Liberals chief fundraiser in B.C. Clark says he is “not a suspect,” but Clark also had documents of interest.
The Vancouver Province reported January 11th David Basi’s property located on Shawnigan Lake was raided by police two weeks earlier and that a marijuana grow-operation was dismantled.
Basi leads a group of Liberal politicos known locally as the “Basi Boys.” A tight group of Indo-Canadian Liberal activists known to have delivered substantial Sikh support to Prime Minister Paul Martin’s leadership campaign: party memberships jumped from 4,000 to 37,000. All ridings except one were “Martinized.” Questions have been creeping into the media regarding cash transactions, large numbers of memberships sold, and potential fictitious membership names. Even a golden retriever named Gregg ended up on the federal Liberal party membership list; receiving a Christmas card from Prime Minister Paul Martin two years after the poor dog was dead.
The day the legislature was raided, Sgt. Ward explained the investigation had begun 20 months earlier concerning, “the involvement of organized crime in the sale of B.C. grown marijuana in the U. S. in exchange for cocaine which was then sold in Canada.” Reads something like a fictional crime novel doesn’t it?
In Calgary, Alberta where I live, the next province over from B.C., the police have reported a record numbers of pot seizures, which only represent a fraction of the dope being grown in Calgary — police were unable to physically respond to all the tips given. And this is where the Paul Martin Liberal – B.C. bud connection becomes even more clear.
Illicit drug related organized crime remains a low priority for Liberals. Canada’s Auditor General reported in 2001, “federally, 11 departments and agencies spend approximately $500 million annually to address illicit drug use in Canada.” This is the entire budget including police enforcement, border patrol and prevention. The Auditor General’s office reports that even less is being spent today. According to RCMP national spokesmen Sergeant Jocelyn Mimeault, due to a government spending freeze current funding for the national drug program is also uncertain.
Shortage of federal funds relates directly to the lax attitude the federal government has regarding the rapidly growing B.C. bud trade. Sgt. Ward also explained, B.C. bud is now generating an estimated $6 billion a year in British Columbia alone. Putting this into perspective, $6 billion is almost one-quarter of British Columbia’s annual provincial budget.
To more fully examine Liberal priorities, compare what is spent elsewhere:
- $1 billion on the failed gun registry
- $1 billion HRDC boondoggle in unaccountable and unsubstantiated grants
- $3.6 billion on the Kyoto accord that continues in Canada in spite of Russia indicating it will not sign (nullifying the international accord)
All these boondoggles happened under Paul Martin’s watch as Finance Minister, before becoming Canada’s prime minister.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that decriminalizing marijuana will somehow free up the justice system, when all indications seem to be the opposite. Demand will legally go up, while the only sources for marijuana remain illegal. Overall this will give a huge boost to Canada’s already increasing basement black market trade in marijuana.
A Washington Times article focussing on the Canadian border, recently quoted an American border agent, “With regard to B.C. bud, a number of organized-crime groups in Canada have been identified as suppliers, including outlaw motorcycle clubs and Vietnamese gangs, but some of those involved are simply entrepreneurs, working out of their basements.” And according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, “a cannabis grower operating a 50-plant hydroponic operation that harvests three crops of 15-percent potency can realize an annual profit of $225,000 (Canadian)”.
That’s a lot of money for an average overtaxed Canadian.
The Canadian professional police association also points out decriminalization’s effect on already lax sentencing for growers and pushers, “reduced maximum sentences for lower quantities of marijuana plants send conflicting messages to the judiciary. This is occurring at a time when existing sentencing practices are inadequate.”
Low fines and high profits can mean only one thing. More illegal activity.
Some will point out that another Liberal scandal is business as usual for Liberals. But Martin’s lax-attitude towards marijuana and his Liberal workers potential connections to organized crime have the potential of making his electoral fortunes go up in smoke.