Mayor Robertson in another pickle after comments made by his caucus colleagues
On the front page of this morning's Vancouver Sun was a well-written piece by intrepid city hall watcher Miro Cernetig. The column was all about Vision openly musing about wanting to lobby the Province of BC to have 1000 tickets issued by the Vancouver Police Department ripped up due to the fact the people they were issued to were indigent and living on the Downtown Eastside.
The ticket story first broke last week in the Vancouver Sun and was subsequently followed up with a post in the Tyee which claims Vision have no interest whatsoever in ripping up tickets. Rather, they claim Vision is now backing away from their clumsy attempt at resolving an issue raised by unruly protestors who stormed a council meeting last week demanding that the tickets be ripped up.
Initially, Councillors Kerry Jang (the guy the Mayor appointed to head up his controversial HEAT shelter program), Mayor Meggs and the ever-likeable Andrea Reimer were asked by Robertson to leave the middle of a council meeting to deal with the "issue." They came out of the meeting and told the Sun they were interested in finding ways to have the tickets ripped up. When public reaction started hitting the fan, they did a subsequent interview with the Tyee who conveniently posted a contrary perspective regarding what Vision was up to.
Rather than seeking to rip up the tickets, Jang and company said they were only looking at finding alternate forms of payment. You know, they want to ask petty drug dealers to wear orange coveralls and paint local children's parks as an alternative to paying the fines directly. Who are they kidding? Do they really think that the folks who were issued these tickets in the Downtown Eastside are in any condition to be doing community service? Shouldn't Vision be looking at getting them into treatment instead?
Yes, it was dumb to hand out 1,000 tickets in a sudden police blitz. You could have predicted the anger from the activists in the neighbourhood.
What's even dumber, however, is to suggest the law -- even bylaws -- should be enforced using a financial means test.
Not only is that loopy notion impossible to administer, it misses the basic premise of our justice system: The law applies to all, whatever your station in life.