is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada
called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain
ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full
of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity
to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without
Wilderness Adventures - Nov., Week Two/2007
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
of this page.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
you're thinking you've read this article before, you probably
have. I had it up on the blog yesterday afternoon before
the taser video came out. When it did, I posted the article
below and removed this one to be re-posted today.
I'm not sure how common the term is to the general populace,
but my family have always referred to the RCMP as the
We had a lot of land up on the 'Mountain' that we first
homesteaded in 1970 and because my Dad worked at the Williams
Lake Detachment, we always monitored the police channel
when he was working. In fact, the radios in their cars
at that time often could not be heard back at the Detachment
from places like Glendale or out at Comer Hill, so the
old man would call up to us and ask what the guys out
that way were saying, and we would relay the information
over the phone. In fact, I remember one night when
there was a guy wandering around out there in the dark
with a gun after making threats, and things were pretty
tense for a few hours. The guys on the ground
couldn't talk to the office or ask for back up, so my
Mom and we kids were the relay for a few hours. Two listening
to the radio, and one in the middle of the room passing
information to the person on the telephone at the other
end of the house. (Back in those days if you even had
a phone, there was one jack and no such thing as a portable.)
I was just reminded of the many times one, two or three
RCMP Members would show up on the mountain, (our ranch
was located on top of a mountain about 11 miles out of
Williams Lake on a road that was impassable three months
out of the year) to sit and have coffee at our kitchen
table and b.s. with my old man. They would often go out
after coffee and practice shooting with their service
revolvers on our target range because every so often they
had to pass a shooting exam. Some were excellent
shots and some were just bloody awful, and we
kids, who had tremendous respect for authority and were
also dead shots, would keep our sniggers to ourselves.
Being disrespectful was unheard of. 'Unthought' of, for
I knew most of the Members by name that were posted in
Williams Lake, Alexis Creek and eventually Anahim Lake
back in those years and of course, my Dad spoke of them
and their exploits on each night shift. In fact I probably
knew more about what every Member did on his shift for
years than his own family did and I saw or was involved
in a few memorable moments of my own after leaving home,
and got dragged to more than one RCMP Ball. So you
see, I grew up among RCMP Members and though I
don't think my Dad entirely approved, my sister was seeing
a Member for a while and I ended up being married to one
I remember when Star Wars first came out and I heard the
term, "May the Force be with you."
I remember how odd it sounded. To me, the Force was the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and no one else should be
able to use that term. Obviously, I have no control over
Hollywood and the meaning of the Force now will forever
be associated with Luke Skywalker, a Jedi knight and the
small, wrinkled Yoda. But for me, the Force was one to
be reckoned with. Big guys with heavy boots and
belt and gun, and beaver hats in winter. Fearless
and confident and determined to protect the public in
whatever manner necessary. They had to go through rigorous
psychological testing and I remember one guy I saw for
a short while that was an auxiliary. He had tried numerous
times to get into the Force and was refused every time.
Because my Dad worked at the cop shop he actually knew
the details as to why the guy wasn't allowed into the
Force. Immaturity was the main reason. Too many guys that
get picked on in school, had a big chip on their shoulder,
or lack confidence or live in fear all their lives and
figured a gun on their hip would make a difference. They
wanted to join the Force because a uniform would empower
them. That psychological testing was there for a
reason and weeded those guys out. I think that
for the most part, you got guys that became policemen
because they wanted to look after community, keep it safe,
and put the bad guys away. I'm aware that's a pretty simplistic
view but I think that about covers it.
At that time, anyone entering the Force had to be transferred
out of their home province, and I understand that it was
to ensure RCMP Members were never faced with being posted
where they had family members or friends and where a conflict
of interest might arise. That meant that a newly
minted RCMP Member went where he had no friends, no family
and probably wasn't married because if memory
serves me right, they had to wait for a period of time
after recruitment and until their pay rate reached a certain
level before being married. I could be wrong though. So,
other detachment Members became their friends and their
families, and a new recruit was taken under the wing of
a more experienced Member and trained how to police, in
a way that worked in a community, not necessarily what
was in a police manual.
As a result of this, you ended up with a police community
unto itself, where Members either knew personally, or
knew of other Members throughout the province
and it formed a close kinship that many considered a private
little group. There was reason for this. With whom
do you share the details of a grisly murder or suicide
if you need to get it off your chest? Whom can
you trust with police information? Since technically Members
were not even supposed to discuss police work with their
wives, (most did but you still couldn't and wouldn't,
share the really bad stuff with your family because you
didn't want them to know how crappy the world actually
is out on the streets) this left only their comrades.
Out of that, you might expect to see an inhuman wall of
jackboots and uniforms. I have never, ever
seen that until now. Or I should say, just the last few
years. Because all I've ever seen from most RC police
officers all of my life, is the strong desire to protect
their community. Well...perhaps a morbid and hinky sense
of humour as well but how else do you deal with some of
the stuff you have to put up with on the streets?
I'm not sure what the underlying reason is for people
to join the RCMP now. I don't know if the rigorous
psychological testing is no longer in place because the
RCMP are having problems finding recruits, or what. Although
I have noticed that we're seeing some older
recruits that have some life experiences behind them and
are much more mature as a result. That's a good thing!
But are we getting more people that have been picked on
all their lives and the testing isn't picking that up?
I've mentioned this before but I mention it again, because
I think it's relevant.
Size and height restrictions were in place
since the beginning of time when it came to joining the
RCMP. That changed when the human rights types got on
board in the late seventies and early eighties. They forced
a change in height restrictions for men when they insisted
that women should be able to join the Force and so size
restrictions for men were reduced to that normally fitting
I have a problem with that.
Actually, I'm torn. I figure if you're a
woman and you're tough enough to become a cop without
having to use your gun, more power to you. Unfortunately,
most of the ones that I've known over the years are not,
and so a male Member invariably has to accompany women
on many calls. That's a waste of resources no matter how
you look at it. And yes, I know I'm going to have a lot
of people pissed at me for that comment, but I stand behind
it. So be it.
So to make all things equal, they had to let little guys
that were five feet F....all join the Force too. If you're
over six feet and 225 pounds, you generally don't have
to prove anything to the world. It's just human
nature for people to automatically assume tangling with
a big bruiser of a guy is going to be a bad idea.
But if you're short, I don't care how tough you are, you're
going to have to convince the odd person that you're man
enough to do the job. In my experience, a lot of short
guys have a chip on their shoulder from a long life of
battles starting in grade school and it's a chip they
carry throughout their lives. You'll have a hard time
convincing me that a short, fat little cop isn't carrying
a chip on his shoulder and a hard on for the general populace,
regardless of what kind of uniform he's wearing.
I'll tell you a little story.
Years ago there was a southwestern State that was experiencing
a lot of shootings, abuse, major problems, etc. when people
were stopped in their vehicles by police. Apparently,
the solution was to require all Highway Patrol Officers
to be over six feet tall. They had to wear a Stetson cowboy
hat, and high heeled cowboy boots. They had to take a
course on manners and interacting with people, and required
to treat every single solitary person they stopped with
the utmost of courtesy and respect. Every man they stopped
was called Sir at the end of every query and reply and
every woman called Ma'am. Those good old boys were
literally dripping with old fashioned courtesy.
The general public was encouraged to contact Highway Patrol
offices if they encountered one single Patrolman that
was anything but overly courteous. The results
were immediate and remarkable. Shootings dropped to zero.
Abusive language from people stopped. Complaints about
Patrolmen from people dropped to nearly zero. People actually
thanked Patrolmen for their tickets. Amazing, isn't it?
If you're a jackass and tend to be abusive toward a police
officer that stops you for a traffic infraction, it's
much more difficult to be mouthy with someone big, tall,
and very polite that doesn't rise to the bait and is showing
you a tremendous amount of respect. On the other
hand, if you're a jackass, you might be more inclined
to be abusive to a little short cop because you know how
to push his buttons. End of story.
Police nowadays are faced with a myriad of problems that
will probably only grow worse. A video game generation
that thinks killing a real human being is the same as
killing a character on their computer screen.
A generation of kids raised by parents that both worked,
may not have time for their kids, and forgot to teach
them respect for authority. An unbelievable drug problem
that is at the root of increased gang violence, robbery,
car theft and shootings. On the other side of the street
are cops that have more technological gadgets at their
fingertips than any before, video equipment on their car,
good communication system, excellent 911 response system,
and a lot of fear. Why?
video was to be released today after 9 p.m. Eastern and
6 p.m. Pacific time showing the tasering of the Polish
Immigrant killed at the Vancouver Airport.
You know what? I'm afraid I have to use the same words
as many people that saw the video and who were interviewed.
Disturbing. Deeply Disturbing. Actually,
I have to say sickening.
I'm sure we've all watched the show Cops at least once
and seen someone being tasered. Although I've always found
the use of tasers a little disturbing because they look
downright cruel, you're able to shrug the image off because
the guy being tasered is always depicted as a bad guy,
a big bruiser resisting arrest or some drug crazed guy
that just can't be taken down by police. It's not until
you see some of the shots they showed on television tonight
of others being tasered that you realize what a nasty
problem we have on our hands. A woman sitting on
the pavement surrounded by six cops being tasered repeatedly
even though she is no longer resisting arrest. If
she ever was. A man outside a courthouse who was
resisting arrest but had already been taken down by two
cops when he was tasered repeatedly by a third cop. A
woman, by the way. And then to see that poor victim
at the airport. The whole thing is just freaking
disgusting! Sorry folks, but I don't have any other word
for it. I really don't.
The Polish guy spoke no English and before embarking on
his long flight to Canada, had been told by his mother
to stay in the baggage area when he arrived. She would
find him. It was the first time he had ever been on an
After arriving he waited for 6 hours in Arrivals, apparently
assuming that was where he was supposed to be. (His mother
waited for him but could not find him.) At no time
did any airport staff make an effort to question him,
or help him. Eventually he made his way through
Immigration and was cleared through there at 12:30 at
night. At this point he had been on Canadian soil for
8 1/2 hours. He began to enter the baggage claims area
and then backed back into the secure room he was in. I
can understand how he might feel. He can't speak
English and it's obvious to him that if he leaves the
area his is in, he cannot return. (Secure area,
of course. Once out of the gate, you can't get back in
that way.) He becomes agitated and begins to throw things,
including a piece of computer equipment that had been
sitting on a desk and then wanders around with a small
table. People on the other side of the doors in the baggage
claim area, including a woman, attempt to talk to him
and even though she cannot legally enter the room, she
still appears to succeed in calming him down through the
glass walls enclosing the secure area.
Two airport security guards stand at the exit to
the room but do not appear to make an attempt to talk
to the man, find a translator, calm him down,
or try to find out what's going on. They just wait for
the cops to arrive. Four uniforms arrive at 1:30 in the
morning and are told repeatedly by several people as they
run past that the man cannot speak English. And yet they
are yelling at him in English. The Polish man doesn't
even look that unhappy to see them. Although very
obviously scared, I think that he had hoped his actions
would bring someone in authority and someone that could
understand him. You can see him holding his hands
up and then turning away, shrugging, apparently disappointed
that again, there is no one that can understand
what he says. Four freaking cops and he gets tasered.
He is screaming in pain, his body convulsing all over
the place as he is being hit with 50,000 volts and those
four useless bastards pin him to the ground. As
he vibrates from the shocks, one of them yells, "Hit
him again!" Two cops are on top of him, one
with his knee in the man's neck pinning him to the floor,
the other on his back, and he's tasered again. I
cannot begin to describe how disgusted and angry I am.
At the very least they should be charged with an excessive
use of force and lose their jobs. At the very least.
....Four cops and two security guards in a secure customs
area where they know the man cannot possibly have
a firearm or weapon of any other sort, and where
he cannot possibly run away, and where there is no one
else that he could possibly harm.....I'm telling you,
I have seen six year old girls with more courage
in their little fingers than any of those useless
SOB's will ever have! So far as I am concerned, those
chicken shit bastards should have to remove their uniforms
and never, ever, be permitted to don them again. Angry?
Damned rights I am! I hope every single Canadian is as
angry as I am. I thought I would never hear myself saying
this because I do not believe in frivolous civil law suits.
But I really hope that man's mother takes the Vancouver
International Airport and the RCMP to every court in the
land for as much as she can possibly get in monetary compensation
for the death of her only son.
The first day of an immigrant's new life, and he
dies pinned to the floor by four cops, holding nothing
more dangerous than a small stapler in his hand.
Welcome to our country.
Figures released on the newscast show that since tasers
came into use 269 people in the US have died and 17 in
Canada. As was pointed out, there are strict standards
for any hair dryer sold in Canada and yet there
are no testing standards required for tasers used by our
police force. As I mentioned in previous articles,
tasers quickly replaced pepper spray as the weapon of
choice for police officers in North America and after
watching some of the footage of other taser incidents
on the news tonight, I can only assume the cops are using
it because they're sadistic bastards. It's quite one thing
to use a weapon to help you bring someone dangerous to
the ground so that you can control them bodily. Especially
if you're by yourself. It's quite another to repeatedly
use such a deadly weapon after the victim is on the ground,
particularly when there are several officers present.
In fact, if there are several officers present, I can't
see any excuse in the world for pulling out a taser.
Can I be objective about it at this point in time? No.
So far as I am concerned, all tasers should be removed
from Canadian police until after an independent investigation
is done on the airport incident, and recommendations made
as to whether they should be used here at all and in what
circumstances. Because according to official standards,
at this point police are permitted to use them under nearly
any circumstance, even though the person may be non violent
and unarmed, and even though there are no testing standards
in place indicating the dangers of the weapon. Since
members of our police force, whether through lack of training
or the kind of people now being brought into the RCMP,
are unable to make good decisions on the use of tasers,
I think that the weapon should be taken away. Perhaps
then our police can go back to the art of good policing
rather than the gutless Rambo stuff we've been seeing
If you're of a mind to see the disgusting actions of our
country's finest, you can find it at YVR
Taser Video - Viewer discretion advised
for right now. I'm not sure how long it will be posted
there but I'm sure it will make its way to other media
outlets in short order.
There was another story posted for today but I will remove
that and re-post it tomorrow. So if you've already read
the article titled The Force, you can skip
Ice And Cold
got down to -10C or about 14F last night and it's expected
to go to -16C or about 3 degrees Fahrenheit tonight which
is just a little Brrrr! It never got above freezing
today in the shade and although frosty, it was a gloriously
sunny day the whole day through.
The first thing I noticed besides the brilliant sunshine
when I got up this morning was the amount of ice
that formed on Nimpo Lake last night. It reached out quite
a ways from our shore and the back bay was nearly completely
frozen over. It always freezes first back there
though because it gets little wind and is in the shade
for a good part of the day at this time of year. The stuff
in the front won't stay of course, because any little
breeze or the warmth from the sun will knock it back,
but Ice On is coming, that's for sure!
Sadly, our immature loon is still hanging around which
means he's here at least two weeks later than he should
be and he's still not a very large bird. It's not like
he can't catch fish. I've got a picture of him getting
one and he's pretty good at it. It's just that someone
seems to have forgotten to tell him to go south for the
winter and I'm getting a little concerned. I don't
want to be like Frenchie.
Andy told me about this guy he knew years ago that was
crazier than a bed bug and not an easy fellow to get on
with. Andy and his cronies were doing some surveying and
claim staking near this old coot's land and rather than
run afoul of his contentious attitude, they used to take
him goodies and coffee, and such. Kind of a bribe,
to avoid looking down the wrong end of a rifle barrel,
I guess. Apparently Frenchie rescued this loon
from a nearby lake that had frozen over for the winter
and brought it into his cabin. It often sat on the kitchen
table and Andy said it cra....ped a lot! He said the stuff
was all over the place, maybe because of what Frenchie
was feeding the bird, or maybe they're always like that,
but the cabin reeked as a result. Andy said you
don't realize what a huge bird it really is until you
see it confined within the walls of a small cabin, especially
if it becomes agitated. Eventually he was able
to pet it but the bird wasn't a particularly friendly
one. Just as well, I guess, if it was going to be released
back into the wild in the spring.
Much as I love loons, I'm afraid my hospitality would
not extend to allowing one to deposit all
over my house. I suppose if one did have to rescue a loon,
the best bet would be to put it into a dog kennel and
get it down into the Bella Coola Valley, the Okanagan,
or Lower Mainland as soon as possible where the temperatures
are warmer and its chances of surviving better. I wasn't
aware that any migratory bird would miscue until Andy
told me that story. So I guess we'll keep an eye
out and make sure the little guy left here doesn't get
stuck in the ice or end up starving. Of course
rescuing a loon might not be as easy as it sounds. More
likely it would beat you to death with its wings.
Continuing the RCMP Articles:
They had a bit on the news tonight about the video taken
of the police that tasered the Polish Immigrant at the
Vancouver Airport a little while back. Apparently the
video has finally been returned by the police to the fellow
that took it, and it will be released to the public tomorrow.
The owner of the video did clarify some things on times
and numbers and described the event. Where previously
it had been reported that there were five police officers,
there were actually only four, and where it had been said
24 seconds passed from the time the RCMP entered the door
to the time the man was tasered, it was actually 35 seconds.
Thus shedding a more favorable light on the police
and their actions.....or not.
The owner of the video describes that the man seemed pleased
to see police upon their entrance, put his hands up and
began to back up. As he started to turn away from
the police, he was tasered in the back. When he
went down, the police jumped on him and attempted to taser
him a second time while one office held the man down with
his knee pressed into the man's neck, his face pushed
into the floor until he went still. The police checked
his pulse and discovered there was none.
Apparently airport security could not be bothered to call
their own paramedics which were less than two minutes
away. Instead, police waited for an ambulance which arrived
twelve minutes later. Even though trained in CPR, not
one cop made any effort to revive the downed man and he
was pronounced dead by ambulance personnel.
It just kind of gets worse, and worse, doesn't it? There
is no question in my mind that a whole lot of people have
a whole lot to answer for. I guess we'll know
tomorrow after the video has actually been aired. For
more detail on this incident, refer to last week's articles.
In the meanwhile, apparently we don't have enough of our
own police harassing us with roadblocks, the DOT were
out in Anahim Lake today as well, and I think there were
about five police and Department of Transportation officers
on the roadblock near the Dutchman Restaurant today.
There was a time when there might have been reason for
the DOT to come out this way once a month, because local
RCMP had better things to do besides sit on roadblocks
day in and day out. However, that's about all they seem
to do now so I'm surprised DOT thinks it necessary to
be out here too. Or maybe the thought on the matter is,
"Oh, they want to complain about being over
policed in Anahim Lake? Well, we'll just give them something
to complain about!"
That's okay, Andy got a kick out of being stopped today.
He drew the process of finding and showing his registration
out for some few minutes as he sifted through paperwork
on a number of trailers and such before getting around
to his truck registration. Hopefully, he succeeded in
wasting their time as much as they waste ours.
I think you'll see more and more quiet rebellion as time
goes on, especially from people like us that run pretty
legal. At the other end of the spectrum, however, some
of the local business owners are quite pleased
with the attention their establishments get, especially
with break ins, which occur on a regular basis. Fortunately
for the police, the last one this past week was pretty
easy to solve. The alleged perp left his footprints
in the snow which led right back to his residence.
It's nice when the police actually do concentrate on real
crime solving, and I'm sure it's a break for them. When
you have too many police in a small community, what do
you do with your time? As was mentioned at the community
meeting (see last week's articles at November
Week One) there were only 80 'callouts'
reported in a month. Do the math. That's less than
three calls a day, divided between at least two or three
RCMP Members. Many of those were drunks picked
up sleeping it off in the woods or behind a building,
and many of those...repeats. So how do you justify having
six RCMP Members at the Anahim Lake Detachment? And who
is paying for them? Guess!
Snowstorms And Power Outages
year is starting to shape up to be like last November
where we had one snowstorm after another. Yesterday
was grim the entire day with fine flurries and dark grey
skies. It started snowing in the early afternoon just
about the time the neighbour and I decided to go for a
walk. It wasn't too bad in the woods but was coming down
hard enough out on the road that it was hard to even see
your feet. Eventually the snow had built up to about
eight inches by late last night by the time I
went to bed. However, sometime during the night it started
to warm up and by this morning it was raining and the
snow was saturated. It had already compressed and melted
down to 6 1/2 inches by this afternoon. I took the snowmobile
out to break the walking trail again and while it was
fine on the trail, I suspect we have enough snow off trail
now that you could actually get stuck in some places.
We lost our electricity around 9:30 this morning
and didn't get it back until 6:30 this evening,
so today was pretty much shot when it came to getting
work done on the computer. As a result, and as is usual,
I'm a day late and a dollar short. But at least we did
get our power back. Not so for many people throughout
British Columbia. Apparently about 180,000 people lost
their power in the last 24 hours and many in remote areas
might not get it back until Wednesday. Since we're remote,
then I guess we're darn lucky to get it back when we did,
especially since the repairmen had to come from Williams
Lake this time. Heckman Pass on the Bella Coola
Hill is closed so our normal BC Hydro repairmen couldn't
make it through. I don't know why the Hill is
closed other than I assume a lot of snow fell there last
night, but it might also have been slides. If the Hill
was at all like the roof on our house last night, there
would have been major snow and possibly rock slides. The
temperature must have been just right because you would
hear this great rumble and then the snow on one whole
side of the roof would let go at a time.
A friend came in from Likely, east of Williams Lake today
and said that the temperatures were quite high and there
was no snow, but that there had been vicious winds, dropping
a couple of trees on the road that he had to circle around.
He did say that there was a lot more snow than
even we got between Tatla Lake and Kleena Kleene.
That's not unusual because Kleena Kleene sits at the end
of a long mountain pass that funnels moister ocean air
straight in from the Pacific.
Surprisingly, we actually got very little wind here but
the rest of the province got hit pretty badly. When I
called BC Hydro to report our power outage all I got was
a recording listing all the regions throughout the province
that had endured high winds and power outages and it pretty
much indicated that you might as well get off the phone
unless you had a line down or an electrical fire happening.
We did get power back in time to see the news on
the weather channel showing fallen trees on houses and
cars throughout the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan.
Although high winds were expected, I don't think the weathermen
were expecting this degree of damage or that many power
I'm not sure what knocked our power out but I have a pretty
good idea. There were several green saplings bent over
the trail in the woods that had been pushed down by the
heavy snow and I suspect that a heavily laden branch or
tree brushed a power line on our road because it knocked
out the fuse on the pole. But I understand there were
several places on the line along the highway as well that
the repairmen had to work on, whether broken line, a tree
down, or the lines just touched from the weight of the
snow. This is a bad time of year because it's warm
enough for a large amount of snow to get too heavy for
power lines or trees nearby. Once it gets colder,
it should be less of a problem because the snow stays
crisper. That shouldn't be a problem soon. I noticed that
the temperature has dropped 5 degrees in just the last
couple of hours and I think it's expected to stay cool
for a couple of days.
From the looks of the satellite picture, we have at least
a day if not two of clear, sunny weather because of high
pressure system moving in. However, right behind it is
another low, and though it's not packing the same punch
as this one, there's one coming in from Alaska that looks
like it's bringing high winds. I don't know if the
two are going to meet but if they do, things are going
to get awfully nasty.
I don't have the time tonight but if I can manage it,
I'll be continuing the series on the RCMP this week. In
the meanwhile, if you want to catch up on the articles
dealing with that subject from last week, you'll find
them at November
The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a
remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a
beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search
engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim
Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities
in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large
as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough
room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible
country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip
of the iceberg, so join me!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!