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Canada Day in Victoria.


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#21 G-Man

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:31 PM

Or get really drunk first.

#22 Bob Fugger

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:34 PM

Hmmm, I'm not sure where to fall on this...It's only 1 day a year, and due to trouble in the past, so I can see the Police and BC Transit's position ... and, if you do live downtown, why would you choose that one day of the year to transport alcohol on the bus? OTOH, unreasonable searches....:confused:

Mat, we'll have to discuss your event later while we are canoeing...


Slippery slope, amigo, slippery slope. The right of unreasonable search and seizure is one that needs to be jealously guarded. Once you set a precedent for 'Canada Day,' it only follows that other days become questioned. - why not New Year's, that's a particularly boozy night!

You also don't need to stop at booze. With a vociferous enough lobby, there is nothing stopping groups like CRIA (the Canadian equivalent of RIAA) from convincing our elected officials (except for maybe common sense - which is not something that I entrust elected officials to use) that perhaps cops should be searching our iPods when we board busses, as they may be chock full of illegally downloaded music. Bit of an extreme example, but not outside of the realm of possibility once our rights begin to be eroded.

I think someone said this earlier in the thread, that it smacks of cruel irony that we send our children in harm's way in places like Afghanistan, purporting (and defending) these freedoms, while we are so negligent with them ourselves.

#23 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:02 PM

Originally Posted by mat View Post
In a post on VV last year I mentioned being stopped and searched in our car, while heading down to a friends condo in James Bay to view the fireworks. We had 2 bottles of wine, and various groceries for the BBQ. It took 15 minutes, and various phone calls, to prove to the police we were not intending to open the bottles in a public place. An utter violation of Charter rights.


You see, and what if cell-phones were not available? I'm sure they would not have gone with you to visit the friends' condo to see if you were telling the truth.

And I agree, NYE would be a better night to install this ban from a police point of view, but then it might upset more older adults than it does now, as it is still just mostly aimed at youth as it is now.

#24 sebberry

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:17 PM

Most people boarding the bus with alcohol are using it for later consumption or are already intoxicated. It is not BC transit's job (or is it even their right??) to search bags and sieze alcohol.

If BC transit wants to stop drunks from riding the bus, perhas they should monitor licenced establishments for over-service and prevent those heavily intoxicated patrons from getting on the bus?

Which brings us to another issue. Is BC Transit now refusing service to intoxicated people? That should raise a few eyebrows at MADD.

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#25 phx

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:48 PM

This will not help the image of the "loser cruisers".

#26 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 03:06 PM

If BC transit wants to stop drunks from riding the bus, perhas they should monitor licenced establishments for over-service and prevent those heavily intoxicated patrons from getting on the bus?


There is a very, very, very small minority of people that are under the influence on buses that got that way in licensed establishments.

#27 sebberry

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 04:02 PM

There is a very, very, very small minority of people that are under the influence on buses that got that way in licensed establishments.


Makes sense since the busses don't run late enough to catch all the bar patrons.

Heaven forbid they got drunk at a house party then and decided to use public transit instead of drive.

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#28 mat

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:22 PM

This will get the BCCLU shaking their heads and heading to the courts..

From the TC

Passengers might be asked before boarding a bus whether they are carrying alcohol and to open their backpacks. They can refuse, Morton said, but bus drivers can then refuse to let them board. Twelve Victoria police units will assist B.C. Transit with enforcing the policy.


Refusing transit service for upholding your own Charter Rights? We should organize a protest swarm mob, with lots of people filming.

Other notes from that article

In March, the RCMP's oversight body found that police forces' random searches on last year's Canada Day, the subject of a complaint by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, were inappropriate. The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP said searches are justified only if the searching officer has "reasonable and probable grounds to believe an offence is being committed, and that the bag contains evidence of it."

Sgt. Grant Hamilton, spokesman for Victoria police, said officers will be briefed on rules governing searches.


So police will require 'reasonable grounds' before even asking to search a bag - will that apply to transit drivers? do they have the training and experience?

Fed up with rowdy behaviour on buses during Canada Day celebrations in years past, B.C. Transit is prohibiting alcohol on its Greater Victoria buses during this year's festivities.


So it's not just buses heading in and out of the downtown core - but ALL greater victoria transit buses. What about people not going anywhere near the events, and simply doing some shopping, including a bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer, and going home?

#29 Nparker

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:27 PM

What about people not going anywhere near the events, and simply doing some shopping, including a bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer, and going home?


Clearly it's better to kill a bug with a nuclear bomb than a flyswatter (unless you're a member of PETA in which case you catch and release the bug).

#30 mat

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:11 PM

Article in the Tyee today shows the BCCLU taking a proactive approach to the VicPD and BC Transit policies on searches. They have begun the complaint process before the Canada Day events next week.

VANCOUVER - Victoria transit authorities will be in violation of both the British Columbia Transit Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if they impose mandatory searches for alcohol on bus passengers this Canada Day, said the BC Civil Liberties Association today.

“There’s nothing unlawful with taking a sealed container of beer, wine, alcohol, from point A to point B,” said Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA.

“For them to try to elevate it to something that denies you the right to take public transit is just silly. It’s ludicrous.”


Following complaints regarding last year's random searches the BCCLU won a clear ruling by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (although why the local Police Board did not investigate is a good question)

The article also points out BC Transit will be in violation of it's own policy.

The commission investigation also found the policy a breach of the BC Transit Act:

The transit employee's power to deny the use of a transit vehicle is contingent upon the person's disobedience of a sign or failure to comply with rules. The disobedience or failure must be established before the employee may take such action.

The regulation does not authorize the transit employee to search the passenger or would-be passenger in order to determine whether the person is disobeying or not complying. It is not the source of a power to search passengers' bags.


So, where is the Transit union on this, how are they advising their members. Frankly, any bus rider who is ordered by a transit driver (or police for that matter) to submit to a random search would have a slam dunk lawsuit - this policy is an obvious breach of the Charter.

The BCCLU is also encouraging anyone who is denied access to transit - for either refusing to submit to a search, or for legitimately carrying unopened bottles of alcohol, to submit a complaint, and seek legal advice.

he BCCLA is encouraging any citizens denied access to public transit on Canada Day to seek legal counsel against B.C. Transit.



#31 Jill

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 02:26 PM

What I don't get is how B.C. Transit can argue that they can't handle inebriated people on Canada Day at the same time they're considering running buses later at night to give the bar crowd the option of taking transit home and making buses free on New Year's Eve and promoting the bus to New Year's Eve celebrants.

#32 mat

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 04:45 PM

What I don't get is how B.C. Transit can argue that they can't handle inebriated people on Canada Day at the same time they're considering running buses later at night to give the bar crowd the option of taking transit home and making buses free on New Year's Eve and promoting the bus to New Year's Eve celebrants.


That is an excellent point!

#33 sebberry

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 11:22 PM

What I don't get is how B.C. Transit can argue that they can't handle inebriated people on Canada Day at the same time they're considering running buses later at night to give the bar crowd the option of taking transit home and making buses free on New Year's Eve and promoting the bus to New Year's Eve celebrants.


Makes you wonder how much say BC Transit is having in the decision to search vs. the influence the police have. I wouldn't be surprised if they have been told by the police that they won't get priority response unless they do some of the searching themselves.

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#34 sebberry

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:23 PM

http://rightscity.or...atory-searches/

As a result of the CPC report, Commissioner Elliott has expressly directed RCMP members not to participate in mandatory search programs. The RCMP will police public drinking and intoxication with police presence, a method that works without any intrusion into civil liberties. The Victoria Police Department seems determined to waste time and energy on unlawful searches. And now they seem determined to waste the City of Victoria’s budget defending lawsuits. Clearly the police need to find another way.

It shows real scorn for the law to implement a policy known to be unlawful.


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#35 mat

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 07:15 PM

I am amazed and delighted - the RCMP actually upholding Charter Rights!

In order to properly secure and police the Victoria Canada Day celebrations around the inner harbour, it requires substantive staffing from VicPD, Saanich and members from regional RCMP stations - some, like supervisors, are pre-assigned well in advance for their experience and knowledge of dealing with crowds, others are members working on a day off - many are reserve constables, from all departments and detachments.

So if the RCMP have been advised to not participate in unlawful searches, will they also uphold the law - and prevent other officers from violating rights? Will they act as witnesses?

#36 sebberry

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:25 PM

So if the RCMP have been advised to not participate in unlawful searches, will they also uphold the law - and prevent other officers from violating rights? Will they act as witnesses?


RCMP cars full of VicPD officers handcuffed in the back seat? :P

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#37 mat

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:52 PM

RCMP cars full of VicPD officers handcuffed in the back seat? :P


LOL - as I was writing the previous post had the exact same vision in my mind!

As some VicPD officers will have helmet cams, will we get police generated videos of local officers enacting their 'orders' to search without due cause, and RCMP going 'Tut tut - no can do buddy' ? ;)

Do transit buses have internal security cameras?

#38 Baro

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:54 PM

Maybe they'll tazer the local cops
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#39 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:55 PM

Do transit buses have internal security cameras?


Double-deckers have a camera up top, but I don't think it records, just plays real-time to the driver's monitor.

#40 sebberry

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 09:12 PM

As some VicPD officers will have helmet cams, will we get police generated videos of local officers enacting their 'orders' to search without due cause, and RCMP going 'Tut tut - no can do buddy' ? ;)


While we are on the topic of privacy, I can't say I support the use of helmet cameras. It's one thing to be recorded on a camera in use at a store, or in an airport, etc... but being captured on police video carries a different meaning. I can't quite put my finger on it.

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