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Archive for December, 2008

Shots fired, valves damaged at B.C. natural gas sites

The Canadian Press

December 18, 2008

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Several natural gas well sites in northeastern British Columbia have been targeted by vandals but RCMP in Fort St. John, B.C., aren’t immediately linking the attacks to three earlier bombings of EnCana pipelines.

Investigators say valves were tampered with and shots were fired at well sites operated by Iteration Energy and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

RCMP describe the incidents as mischief and say the attacks appear to have occurred up to one week ago on wells operated by the two Alberta-based exploration and resource extraction companies.

The well sites are located in rural areas northeast of Fort St. John and no homes are nearby.

Members of the Fort St. John serious crimes unit are investigating and say there is no evidence suggesting the incidents are related to the recent targeted attacks on EnCana well sites.

Three bombings in October aimed at EnCana’s natural gas operations near Dawson Creek are still being investigated by RCMP.

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Ontario action in solidarity with Greek rebellion

[Posted to 325collective.com]

20 December, Ontario, Kanada – Action in solidarity with Greek rebellion.

“On the night of December 20th in a city near Toronto, Ontario, 4 banks were attacked by anarchists. The windows and bank machines were broken with hammers. Messages against Capital were painted on the wall. Banks pay for prisons. We are against this prison-society and it’s final conclusion; the lifeless prison structure. Solidarity with uncontrollables in Greece, native communities in struggle, and the self-organized struggles of prisoners; your fight is ours! Spread the word.

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Vancouver December 13, RBCs (Royal Bank of Canada) still getting smashed.

[Posted by anon on December 15, 2008, to friendsofgrassynarrows.com]

On Saturday the 13th December a group of anarchists smashed the windows of the RBC at Hastings and Nanaimo. We took the slogan from Greece “SOLIDARITY MEANS ATTACK” to heart. Against domination in all its forms from Olympic development and police murder on Coast Salish territories (Vancouver) to their equivalent in Greece and the world over.

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“Did my employer show any compassion? No, they upped the stress level while my wife fought her now-losing battle with cancer[…]”

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‘A nightmare before Christmas’
Man shoots former employer dead at Xmas party one day after being fired

Glenda Luymes and Katie Mercer, The Province [British Columbia]
Published: Sunday, December 14, 2008

A disgruntled former employee has been charged with killing his ex-boss at a company Christmas party Friday — one day after being fired.

Eric Allen Kirkpatrick, a 61-year-old Vancouver man, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Benjamin “Ben” David Banky — the co-founder, president and CEO of TallGrass Distribution, a natural health product supplier.

“This is truly a nightmare before Christmas for this business,” said Vancouver Const. Tim Fanning.

Police say Banky was gunned down moments after a 4 p.m. company party at TallGrass Distribution’s headquarters at 40 East 5th in Vancouver.

“[The suspect] shot one man fatally right away. The shock was tremendous,” said Fanning.

Investigators believe Kirkpatrick came to the office Christmas party uninvited, armed with a firearm. He had been fired from his job Thursday.

After receiving a call, the Emergency Response Team surrounded the office building. There was no one inside, except the victim and the suspect, as a negotiator made contact. The suspect surrendered after about two hours.

Fanning could not reveal what the negotiations involved, but said Banky’s body was not desecrated. An autopsy will be done tomorrow.

About a dozen employees “managed to get out safely” without any further injuries.

A woman who answered TallGrass account manager Nicole Strashok’s home phone said that employees were still together in Vancouver last night for counselling.

Company spokesman John Paul Fraser said all 28 employees will be provided grief counselling. He expects they will resume business sometime “in the days ahead.”

Fraser said TallGrass will not release information about Kirkpatrick — including when he was hired, his position or why he was fired.

Fanning said Kirkpatrick was not currently known to police, but does have a criminal record. The last time Vancouver police had contact with him was in the late 1960s.

While not much is currently known about Kirkpatrick, the Globe and Mail’s website has comments written by someone of the same name and age describing their downward, stress-filled spiral after being fired from a different job.

“I had a very stressful job that just kept getting more stressful, then my wife got cancer,” Eric Allen Kirkpatrick wrote to the Globe and Mail website in July 2007.

“Did my employer show any compassion? No, they upped the stress level while my wife fought her now-losing battle with cancer,” the person wrote. “As a result, I developed epilepsy. Then I was fired and two weeks in the hospital undergoing tests confirmed that it wasn’t caused by physical trauma as initially thought but probably stress. Then my wife died and I’ll be on these nauseating anti-seizure medications the rest of my life.”

Dr. William Koch, a psychologist and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of B.C., said it would take a number of variables to cause someone to snap violently at work. “They very often might have had histories of hostility or suspiciousness in the workplace,” he said.

“A person who would do this might have some kind of significant acute mental health problem, but more likely they are stressed and there are other multiple factors.”

Included in those factors are financial troubles, compounded by the credit crunch and the possibility of lost wages after being fired.

Local business owners and residents were still trying yesterday to piece together what they had seen.

From his auto-detailing business across the street from the office building, Farhan Bhimji also saw police on the street. He didn’t understand what was happening until he looked at the office building and saw a man with what appeared to be a hunting rifle or shotgun framed in one of the brightly lit upper windows.

“He wasn’t aiming at me . . . but obviously I shouldn’t be standing in the front,” said the owner of Showroom Auto Spa.

Bhimji moved to the back of his shop. Minutes later, police burst through the back door and told him they needed to use his storefront. Officers turned off the lights and hunched in front of his window. They told Bhimji to stay in the back.

About two hours after the standoff began, Kirkpatrick left the office building.

Next door, resident Luke Pigeon watched as an officer told Kirkpatrick to slowly get down on the ground. Another officer put him in handcuffs. “He didn’t say anything when he came out . . . I heard something like, ‘You’re cuffing me too tightly,’ but that was it,” Pigeon said.

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Kirkpatrick wrote letters to the editor

Kent Spencer, The Province
Published: Monday, December 15, 2008

Labour issues were a favourite topic of a man named Eric Kirkpatrick, who frequently wrote letters to the editor.

Kirkpatrick, the same age as the accused killer and also a Vancouver resident, was published seven times in The Province and more than a dozen times in total in local and national publications.

One year ago in the Vancouver Courier, The Province’s sister paper, Kirkpatrick noted that “overtime can’t be forced on you. You needn’t be the subject of physical, verbal or sexual abuse by your boss or fellow employees. We know you can’t maintain a decent quality of life on $9 an hour.”

He weighed in on topics as diverse as big-box stores and tourism, but the common theme was work.

“[I] knew a fellow once that was fired after 13 years, told he was not a good fit. But the new employee at half his wages was!” Kirkpatrick wrote to the Globe and Mail two months ago.

In another letter to the Globe, he complained his employers had once “upped [my] stress level while my wife fought her losing battle with cancer. As a result I developed epilepsy. Then I was fired.”

His missives included pointed comments about Michael Walker, who he described as “a heartless right-wing ideologue” when Walker stepped down as head of the Fraser Institute in 2005.

“If the Fraser Institute had existed in an earlier time, we might not have had the Canada Pension Plan, employment insurance, medicare or minimum-wage and labour-standards laws,” Kirkpatrick wrote.

A 2003 letter to The Province noted he was an “occasional” pot-smoker. “Let’s get reasonable about this issue: Legalize it, control it, tax it and get on with solving the real problems of this mixed-up planet.”

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5 Arrested in Cayuga Blocking Police Escort of Garbage onto Native Land

OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) determined to escort garbage into the Edwards Street Landfill, but even after arrest of 4 supporters, Six Nations activists refuse to remove blockade. OPP violently arrest Six Nations man leaving the site.

December 11, 2008

CAYUGA, ONTARIO, CANADA – For almost five years, community members from the small town of Cayuga have been fighting to close down and to clean up the Edward Street Landfill. Haldimand Against Landfill Transfers (HALT) was formed in 2004 to prevent one of Ontario’s worst contaminated sites, from becoming an active landfill again. After having spent four years in and out of courts, petitioning and dealing with government bureaucracy, HALT approached the Six Nations’ Haudenosaunee Men’s Council to work together on this issue. Cayuga is adjacent to the Six Nations reservation and is located on Haudenosaunee land. It was last November that representatives from Six Nations and HALT turned around dump trucks, resulting in the closure of the site for the winter. This past Monday, despite flagrant noncompliance with Ministry of Environment (MOE) regulations, the dump’s operating owners tried to bring garbage into the dump for the first time in twelve months.

Monday morning, thirty activists—with groups coming from London, Kitchener-Waterloo (KW), Guelph, and Hamilton—converged at the corner of Brooks Road and Highway 3 in Cayuga, to stand with representatives from HALT and Six Nations.

“The reason there are young people here from communities across the region is because we have a responsibility to prevent the provincial government, the courts, and their enforcement – the OPP, from enabling the destruction of communities’ land and trampling on their right to protect it,” said Alex Hundert from the KW activist group AW@L.

Once the blockade had ended, a vehicle leaving the site, carrying three people from Six Nations, was pulled over by a large string of police cruisers, and one man was violently arrested. At bail-court the next morning, the Crown prosecutor admitted that the accused man from Six Nations only “passively resisted,” but still, more than a dozen officers were involved in the assault. He was ripped from the car, thrown to the ground then kicked and tasered repeatedly. He was arrested for “failure to appear” charges stemming from an incident at the Douglas Creek Reclamation site in 2006—the original charges have already been dropped. All five arrested men were released on bail Tuesday morning.

Jody Orr, a HALT representative, said that she was “distressed by what happened on Monday. We have a situation where there is evidence that the receiver is still not in compliance,” however “we have the MOE giving the receiver a week to bring in garbage while he is still in violation of the COA, and it puts the OPP in a position where they have to enforce an injunction against protesters who are protesting the illegal dumping of garbage.” Orr said she was also “really concerned in terms of what i heard about the level of force that was used.”

According to HALT’s website, on October 16 of this year, “the same day that Minister of the Environment, John Gerretsen, posted the Zero Waste Policy paper on the Environmental Bill of Rights website, HALT and others involved in the Edwards Landfill issue in Cayuga received an email that waste would be coming to the Edwards Landfill site.” HALT has shown that the Landfill does not comply with the MOE’s Certificate of Approval (COA). Still, garbage is being allowed into the site. As a result, HALT, Six Nations and supporters decided to be ready with the blockade.

On Monday after the arrests, once it became obvious that representatives from Six Nations were not going to stop preventing the garbage truck from passing (all other vehicles were permitted to travel freely), the truck company owner ordered the truck to leave the site and return home. Earlier in the morning, the driver had expressed interest in leaving the scene, however OPP ordered him to stay. Police said that they were intent in seeing that the injunction against the blockade would be enforced. Even after arresting four supporters, the OPP were not able to remove the Six Nations activists blocking the road.

Over the past year and more, HALT has been involved in complicated legal proceedings with the site’s operators and the MOE. Since 2004, those efforts have cost over $100,000. For more information about those proceedings, ongoing developments, and the environmental impact at the site, visit HALT’s website, http://www.haltthedump.ca.
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Contacts:
Cayuga – Jody Orr, HALT, info[at]halthtedump.ca, http://www.haltthedump.ca,
Kitchener-Waterloo – Alex Hundert, alex[at]peaceculture.org, http://www.peaceculture.org

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Protesters stop garbage delivery (Dunnville Chronicle)

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Source calls escape an act of destruction

Jana G. Pruden, The Regina Leader-Post [Saskatchewan]
Published: Friday, December 05, 2008

An incident at the Regina jail is being characterized very differently by a government official and a source within the institution — and has been described as either a meaningless act of destruction by a belligerent inmate or an unsuccessful escape attempt.

A source inside the facility said the incident began at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, when two inmates in the new building at the Regina Provincial Correctional Centre broke desks in their cell and used the pieces to smash an outer window of the cell leading outside and an interior window leading into the corridor.

The source said staff thwarted the escape after hearing the sound of breaking glass.

“It’s supposed to be bulletproof glass or shatterproof glass, but obviously it’s not because of the substandard materials they used to put into this building,” the source said.

But Corrections and Public Safety spokeswoman Judy Orthner described the scene as little more than the actions of one angry inmate.

“I don’t know how you could ever assume what was going on in the inmate’s mind at the time to suggest this was a pre-meditated breaking of a window to facilitate an escape …,” Orthner said. “It can’t be construed in all cases that because someone has broken something that it suggests an escape attempt.”

The source said the incident was not caught on camera because the security cameras in the area have not been functioning properly.

“They’re going to try and minimize it, obviously, but when you break exterior windows, the purpose to that is to escape,” the person said.

Orthner said the glass in the outer cell windows was chosen based on cost efficiencies, with a conscious decision being made to use tempered glass in the small windows.

The outer cell windows are five inches high and four feet wide, which Orthner said “would preclude anybody trying to escape through a very, very, very narrow window.”

The source disagreed.

“They’re small, but I’ve seen inmates in the past squeeze through vents,” the person said.

But whatever the true intention behind Wednesday’s incident, the fracas is not the first sign of trouble with the new facility, which began housing inmates in September.

Last week, the jail was put into lockdown after a weapon was found made from pieces of cell light fixtures.

Orthner said the lights have tamper-proof screws, which have all been checked and tightened since last week’s discovery. She said the desks used in Wednesday’s incident are standard in correctional institutions around the country, but the way the desks were attached to the walls of the Regina facility may not have been adequate. The desks have now been removed while that issue is being considered, Orthner said.

She said problems can be expected to pop up as the facility becomes operational, and said it would be the same situation with any kind of large construction project with complicated systems and security measures.

But the source said the issues are just part of the new facility’s many flaws.

“They’re saying it’s state of the art and (Corrections, Public Safety and Policing Minister Darryl) Hickie is saying that it’s safe, but it’s not,” the source said.

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Man who killed landlord walks away from Edmonton prison

Ben Gelinas, edmontonjournal.com [Alberta]
Published: Saturday, November 29, 2008

EDMONTON – A 39-year-old man in jail for the second-degree murder of his landlord walked away from a minimum-security Edmonton institution Friday night.

James Gordon Wrigley was reported missing around 9:30 p.m. from the 30-bed Grierson Centre downtown, the Correctional Service of Canada said.

Wrigley was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for strangling his 66-year-old landlord, Kwong Mah, in Calgary.

During the trial, court heard that Wrigley killed the landlord in order to steal his van.

At the time, Wrigley was a 23-year-old crack cocaine user who had committed a series of convenience store robberies with a friend to feed their addiction.

The pair jumped the landlord after luring him to a rented townhouse in September 1993. Wrigley’s friend tied the landlord’s hands while Wrigley wrapped a telephone cord around the landlord’s neck.

The body was stuffed into a closet and discovered a day later by the landlord’s son.

Wrigley is now unaccounted for, and police are asking anyone who may see him to call them.

He is described as five feet six inches tall, about 177 pounds, with a fair complexion, green eyes and brown hair.

The circumstances that led to his escape will be reviewed, Corrections said.

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Again? Another inmate escapes from a Saskatchewan correctional centre

TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another inmate has escaped from a provincial correctional centre.

The Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing sent out a news release just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday saying 30-year-old Chastity Rosali Desjarlais slipped away during an escorted absence into the community.

Desjarlais, who sometimes goes by the name Chastity Kahnapace, was a low-security inmate at Pinegrove Correctional Centre near Prince Albert.

Corrections spokesperson Judy Orthner said Desjarlais was with her escort in an office waiting room mid-afternoon on Tuesday when she snuck away.

Desjarlais was serving a sentence for robbery, resisting and obstructing a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer, and failure to comply with court-ordered conditions.

Orthner did not know when the crimes occurred, or how long Desjarlais has been in custody.

Corrections officials say anyone who knows Desjarlais’ whereabouts should not approach her, and should contact police immediately.

The escape is another snafu in a string of recently publicized mistakes in the province’s corrections system.

Twice in October, employees accidentally released prisoners from courthouses when they were meant to head back to jail.

In August, six inmates escaped from the Regina Correctional Centre by smashing through a brick wall.

In addition, a Big Head First Nation man, Kyle Dufresne, was accidentally kept in jail for six months this year even though he had been sentenced to just 45 days in jail.

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