Thursday, March 30, 2006

The City of Richmond, BC is Rotten to its Core

For many months now, CKNW radio talk show host, David Berner, and Vancouver Sun reporter, Daphne Bramham, have been focusing their attention on the rampant corruption throughout the civic institutions in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver.

This story sheds a new, interesting twist on a recent conversation that Berner had with the Richmond Firefighters Union President, Tim Wilkinson, about the sexual harassment charges that female firefighters have laid against the department. At this time, 100% of the female firefighters in Richmond are not working. In the discussion Wilkinson said that he and his union fully support the female firefighters. Nonsense. Watch the recent movie, "North Country", and you will see who the unions really protect in such circumstances.

Here's one telling quote from the Sun story: "... the firefighters' union told members not to cooperate with police and that some members may have even threatened victims not to come forward." I can't say I'm surprised. Working in the mining industry for the years I did, I saw the same sort of "circle the wagons" mentality amongst the union leaders there.

With each new story about Richmond civic institutions, it's becoming clear that there is an incestuous cabal in place. The men in power, be they union or management, elected or non-elected, do whatever they want and then lie & deny, lie & deny. No matter what the offense - or even the crime - their one & only goal is to "protect each other's back". Truth and doing the right thing never seem to come into play.

Ultimately it is the citizens of Richmond who must be held accountable for not throwing the powers at be out on their proverbial you-know-whats. Their apathetic choice not to should be a wake-up call to all Canadians of how democracy gets corrupted when people stop caring about good government and accountability.

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