There is an American Political Truism about being caught with a Live Boy or a Dead Girl – (pause for cognitive disparity dissonance nervous laugh resolve across the readers, eh) – AND – there is a Canadian Political Truism about about “fucking a sheep in the middle of the day in the High Tourist District and only if the sheep later objected, would the election be theirs to loose.” –
I first heard it when former BC Mayor of Vancouver Mike Harcourt leapted from City Hall to the Island at Victoria, the Provincial Seat of Power as leader of the Provincial NDP – National Democratic Party – when we had an opposition with seats and a semi- balanced parliment instead of the voter apathy only the the oldest and the youngest voting with the middle aged dropping out so badly that election days need to be a civic holiday to shut down business so people actually do turn out and vote. anti-pathy eh..
Anyway, Wally Oppal is one of the few political and legal professional people that I like.
He is a human rights champion like very few others, an unsung hero to many special interest groups:
- Gays and Lesbians and Transgendered 2 decades before it was fashionable.
- Visible Minorities – which is something that varies from region to region across Canada.
the only thing left off the list was artists and scientists – intellectuals…
Wally Oppal wrote what was called The Oppal Report on Domestic Crimes in Canada, including identifying the lack of training for police and awareness for domestic abuse in same sex couples.
In fact, because I followed and had read about the report, when I was the news editor of the Vancouver Queer Community press in the 1990s, when the VPD was still harrassing the community by searching the premises under the guise of “we had a bomb threat- you have to vacate now.” They had guns, holstered.
Everyone else left the office, except for me, the News Editor, I was actually doing the paste up – hot wax on the articles and applying them to the blueprint pages, getting them camera ready for the publisher.
“Why would you get a call and not us if we were being threatened?” I asked, continuing to apply the roller to the page.
The other fellow, was Ivan Ivan Ivanovich also known was John Kosachenko and John Causeastinko, depending on how you knew John. The last I heard of him, he was being written up in the Globe and Mail in a feature story about 5 AIDS survivors, he was now an Elder Statesman of The Community. I actually pinned the article up on my cubicle wall to remind me of him. At Work. It was just a page out of the national newspaper. somewhere iin 2007-09. A difficult period of my life and it was really comforting to know John was still alive at incredible odds.
He was The Main Photographer and ran the dark room – He also smoked pot, but he ran to get his camera to photograph the police.
Knowing he was staying, I put down my roller tool and turned off the wax machine and the coffee maker, then I gathered my belongings – the Police did their search.
They found nothing and we went back and re-did some of the layout to add the article. Those of us who came back. Anyway.
So later, when I worked for the RCMP, doing their forms, I used the Wally Oppal report to address the missing issues on the forms that the officers filled out.
Which sadly, did not include the Vancouver Police. they are able to focus on city and sometimes regional matters, but RCMP is a national force, with international roles and are a key part of Canada’s global peacekeeping – which includes training other nation’s police forces.
Wally Oppal was the Minister of Justice in BC and at Federal Levels and he is currently in private legal practise, representing a business couple who bought into the McDonald’s franchise and have run afoul of the foreign workers – and this is where ..
when will Fast Food be on the Next Big Tobacco – governments suing or taxing these businesses for health care cost recovery – not underwriting them paying lowest wages possibles.
the lesson of the RCMP is paying people enough compensation for the work to be done and avoid corruption.
insert Mel Brooks Stand up Philosopher, eh? Indeed. When you die at the palace you really die at the palace, it’s the only era where likes save a life ….
in the 1920s, when booze was illegal, that’s when Organized Crime got their best foothold, offering what was illegal and they were big in the union businesses too – because once upon a time, labour employer conversations were done with violence and people died on picket lines
the idea of rights and civil rights is that they are gained in civil manners, but also at some point, people have to say , enough, – these things are useless hoarded and only matter when they are offered.
Wally Oppall is one of the visionary guys, and as far as I am concerned, I would vote for him no matter which party he was running for, and it’s something that I had the chance three times to tell him.
I never met him in an interview or workplace situation, but I have met him several times, just walking around Vancouver. Most of the time, he walks slow and shuffling, trying to not be noticed.
I have stood by him three times, at intersections waiting for the light to change and I always smile and tell him what he did mattered to me and how I used what I learned form him to do a difference