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Eye see you

“City has eyes on you

When Britain introduced CCTV cameras to the streets of London the crime rate went down by 60 per cent, and it’s been dropping ever since.

The cost of policing with CCTV is a fraction of what it cost to put police on the street.

We should have done it years ago.

Brian J Kilhams. 


Dividers save lives

Thank you!

That’s what I want to say to all those workers who are laying down the cement dividers on Hwy 97 North.  I commute to work every day and use that highway twice a day  - and to say I feel safer with those cement dividers would be an understatement.  It has given me such a sense of relief for my safety and for the safety of others.

Thanks everyone for making our highway safer.

Ingrid Dilschneider


Bank draft fraud

Dear Castanet (and readers)

I work at a prominent Financial Institution as a bank teller. I can say with authority that fraudulent bank drafts and money orders are not as rare as was expressed in the news report "Bank Draft Fraud', but also not common enough to strike fear into a person's heart either. 

As a teller for the last 6 years, I see them about once or twice a year. Usually they are sent to an individual and not a business, and with the pretense that once you receive the draft/money order and get access to the funds you should send some money back to the issuer for one reason or another. Anytime someone you are selling something to asks you to send money back from a bank draft/money order  should automatically raise a huge red flag that something isn't right.

What the public needs know is that they are extremely easy to verify for yourself. Simply find the issuing branch phone number and ask them to verify it. Most, if not all, legitimate drafts/money orders have the branch location on the front of it. If there is a phone number on the draft itself (which is the case with the pictured fraudulent draft) DO NOT CALL IT! That is a phone number the fraudsters could have set up to fool you. Always find the phone number yourself, either via the issuing institution website or by the phone book. Most major institutions have a "find a branch" feature on their website with the phone number for that branch listed. If you are not able to find it directly, call your local branch and they should be able to direct you to the right place to verify it.

Don't be afraid to take a draft though. Caution, not fear, and a little bit of knowledge is the best way to combat fraud. 

Michelle Cartmell


Harper and FIPA

This past Friday a secret trade agreement was ratified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, known as FIPA, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement. This deal will allow China's corporations and government to to sue Canadian government in secret tribunals if we make decisions that put our Canadian interests before the Chinese profits, effectively stripping us of our sovereignty. We will no longer be able to make our own decisions about our economy, environment and energy.

This agreement takes effect Oct 1 and is binding for the next 31 years. Even a change in government cannot nullify this agreement for at least 15 years.

This agreement was signed with almost no parliamentary debate or discussion, and with those that knew of the deal opposing it. The Canadian people have been kept in the dark.

It is unconstitutional and has an ongoing court challenge by the Hupacasath First Nation yet, Prime Minister Stephen Harper went ahead and made the deal behind all our backs.

Almost equally appalling is the lack of media attention and coverage. This agreement has the profound possibility of seriously affecting our Canadian way of life and how we make laws and policies.
It could possibly even mean that we have to have the Endbridge pipeline built as it has Chinese interests involved.

It is a sad time in Canadian history when 1 man, PM Harper, can without his own party support; the support of the opposition and the people of Canada sign deals in secret that are ultimately bad for Canadians.

Leslie Banister

BC Libs are not evil

I think a crucial point to stress in the current teachers' contract dispute is that the Liberals are not "wrong" in the sense in which the pass laws in apartheid South Africa were wrong. Those laws were wrong in the sense of being evil. 

No, the BC Liberals are wrong only in the sense of being mistaken. They sincerely believe that rigidly limiting education spending, while funding their pet projects (e.g. a $500 million stadium roof), is what they must do to get the best results for BC citizens over the long haul. In this belief, they're "wrong" in the sense in which a thermometer can be "wrong": inconsistent with reality. 

Their ways really would - given a decade or so - begin to erode the social order in BC, as some politicians in Britain are now learning. Homegrown terrorists come out of neglected public schools. (The Brits have really let their public schools go downhill.) More simply, citizens who care nothing for their nation come out of second-rate public schools. Most importantly, systemic economic ills result from the under funding of public schools. All of these ills are very difficult to remedy once they get a foothold. 

But it's important for us to recall that the BC Liberals are not evil; they're just mistaken. This problem we must attempt to correct by reasoning and evidence. Patient, logical debate and compromise is the democratic way. 

For which of us has never made a mistake?
Sincerely yours,
Dwight Wendell

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