Editorial: Decision proves that fentanyl no big deal

Editorial: Decision proves that fentanyl no big deal


Looking at 2018 crime stats in Oliver is not the way to start 2019 on a positive note.

The stats are downright depressing – violent crime up 93 per cent (230 per cent at the prison), domestic violence up 50 per cent, and theft from vehicles up 97 per cent.

Oh, and don’t forget the two murders last year (still no charges reported in those investigations).

Compared to Oliver, Osoyoos is a paradise, where domestic violence is down 50 per cent, theft from vehicles is down six per cent, and violent crime is up only seven per cent.

But this dark cloud has a silver lining with the creation of the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. Hopefully this group will have some meaningful impact on the evil that men (and women) do around here.

High crime areas in Oliver need closed-circuit television cameras to record these people who are stealing us blind. While some people don’t like the thought of being recorded, they have nothing to worry about if they’re law-abiding citizens.

Many argue that more police officers are needed to put a dent in crime. Well, Oliver has been waiting for two additional officers for a long time without any commitment from the province. That’s kind of like waiting for a bear to come down from a tree when 50 people are standing around the trunk.

The solution then?

A complete overhaul in crime legislation, and tougher judges who aren’t afraid to pass stiffer sentences (that bring back some deterrence).

We were shocked to read of the acquittal of a man who was pulled over for speeding in Chilliwack in 2017. The officer smelled a strong odour of cologne and observed several cell phones in the vehicle (red flags for dealing narcotics).

The officer subsequently used a drug dog to conduct a search, and at one point the canine attempted to sit down (as trained) to alert the officer that drugs were found. But the dog was apparently thwarted by a curb, therefore, couldn’t sit down all the way.

The suspect, who had a criminal record, was arrested, and a more thorough search of the vehicle turned up 27,500 fentanyl pills.

But the judge ruled that the search violated the man’s Charter rights, noting that the dog didn’t sit down as trained, so it wasn’t clear if the canine had detected narcotics or not, which wasn’t enough evidence to make the search legal.

The judge sided with the defence and the accused walked away a free man.

What an outrageous miscarriage of justice!

This is a perfect example of why our system is broken, and why all faith has been lost in it.

I guess fentanyl isn’t a big deal in B.C. after all (despite how many people have overdosed). You can traffic as much as you want and still walk away without consequences because  a dog didn’t sit down properly.

Our system is utterly shameful!


Lyonel Doherty
Oliver Chronicle


  1. About fifteen or twenty years ago I inquired with BC Justice as to why a man who had 97 convictions over ten years stealing cars was not being incarcerated. The reply was that when this person first started to steal cars he was sent to prison a few times but it didn’t stop him from stealing cars so they quit putting him in jail.

    Judges use a different logic than the people they are supposed to be protecting.