I have been following the Motorcycle Noise Bylaws as they spring up right across this country and I have some grave concerns about what I see. We have no national organized effort happening - what we have are individual cells that are unorganized, and not cohesive in their approaches.

In Nanaimo, where the bylaw was introduced, largely without fan fare until the MLA ride, riders on Vancouver Island are now talking of a boycott of that city. They have a letter writing campaign going on and are sending out letters to the mayor of Nanaimo and their MLA's and while that is a step in the right direction, in my opinion everything needs to be taken one step farther - every rider in BC knows or needs to know that BCCOM works for the protection of the rights of people who ride. Joining BCCOM, working as a collective will not only see the Noise Bylaw in Nanaimo be identified for what it is - Profiling, but it will also see legislation be effected that will stop the ability for other cities and regions to implement the same type of tactics.

While I find it admirable that people want to do something there is a right way and a wrong way to go about affecting change. In this case, no matter where the bylaw is being introduced, the most effective way to stem the flow is to work together towards the common good.

If you join a group like BCCOM that already has a seat at the table with the decision makers you have just cut out 70% of the red tape involved and the process will be much speedier than it is by working as a loosely knit group of individuals.

The problem with individuals doing their own thing instead of joining a collective is the fact that our lives get busy, the passion and fire for the 'fight' burns out quickly when one has to make the choice between work and paying the bills and standing up for our rights. Very few individuals have the passion, dedication, fire and determination of Liane Langlois in Edmonton.

Over and over again I see it happen in our community - a small group gets together, they have great desire and ambition and it fizzles out as quickly as it started when faced with the demands of life.

Working with an organization like BCCOM takes that danger out of the equation.  How you ask?

Well, firstly, these are paid people - it is their job to defend your rights - one they are passionate about.
Two, they are lobbyists, they know the ropes, they know who to talk to and they understand the processes and due diligence that needs to take place. Are they successful every time? NO - but they are successful in getting the message out and in bringing the issues forth to those who have the power and the ability to change things. And they are successful far more often than they are not!

Getting legislation in place that will protect our community - a visible minority that truly does far more good than it does harm, can not be done without a collective effort. It takes money, time and resolve.

Your membership dues go towards paying the BCCOM lobbyists who work every day towards the end run goal - they do it diligently, with a focus and determination that just can not be accomplished by small - rogue efforts.

Roaring through a city making as much noise as you can is not going to get the job done, and boycotts are only as effective as the people who boycott - and by that I mean - if you go into to Nanaimo for any reason, doctors appointments, grocery shopping - well you are defeating the purpose and just because you go in your car does not change the fact that you are still giving this community your money - as I said earlier - life dictates what you need to do to survive.

The only way - the most effective way to see legislation enacted to protect our community is to join a group that knows how to get the job done, when to file paperwork, how petitions should be written, how to conduct themselves at hearings and how to talk to those in positions of power.

We, the people may be angry and want to see change but we don't just need that change to be in Nanaimo - we need to see it sweep right across this country. We do that by starting with Nanaimo with the end run goal of seeing the change happen through out one entire province. Once the legislation is in place in ONE province, well just like the bylaws that have sprung up like a cancer, we can turn the flow of the stream in our favour and other provinces will follow suit. They will have to.

If we only deal with these issues in our own communities then the battle will never end - but if we deal with them in such a way that our vision is on the bigger picture well then folks, we fight the battle once in one province and once successul - which we can be as we have a strong defence and case, then the next fight takes place in the supreme court of Canada and we fight the battle there to enact anti profiling legislation.

Make no mistake - these Motorcycle Only Noise Bylaws are more about profiling our community and being a cash grab that they are about noise. It's the old smoke and mirrors trick and if you only focus on the noise aspect then in my humble opinion, you are missing 90% of the whole picture. If you only stand up for your rights in your city then you are missing 90% of the whole picture.

In Edmonton we have one determined woman named Liane Langlois who is virtually alone in the taking the Edmonton cause to court - it is Liane going to dealerships and bike shops to get donation jars out to fund a lawyer - it is Liane who has been writing petitions, doing research and she folks, well, she needs a team but Albertan's are notorious for being too single minded to work together. 

In BC you have BCCOM working for riders rights. There is no organized group working for riders rights in Alberta. There is no group working for those in Saskatchewan, in Manitoba there is the Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups - CMMG, in Ontario there is the OCC, in Quebec there is CAPM

In Bathurst New Brunswick we have a small group of people attempting to lobby for the repeal of the bylaw there but truly folks, the best way to get this job done is to work with the two best organized and most effective groups out there - BCCOM and the OCC - if we can get the anti profiling laws implemented in just one province , like they did in Washington State - the rest will come and far easier than with the divided effort we see going on now.

In the rest of the country there is no solid group working for the protection of motorcyclists and their charter rights as citizens.  

The MCC - the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada - is driven and paid for by the manufacturers (the MMIC) and while they claim to be the VOICE of Motorcyclists they are no where to be seen on this issue and are not an effective national lobbying group to protect our rights in my humble opinion. 

And consider this - the MMIC - the Moped Motorcycle Industry Council is the group that paid for the J2825 standard to be put in place. In their own misguided way they thought that having measurable bylaws in place would improve the image of motorcyclists - no strategists they are not.

It is their man, Luc Fournier who introduced the testing method in Edmonton, Caledon and other jurisdictions. Quote from Luc Fournier, director of policy and government relations for the motorcycle industry lobby group, told the meeting he has given presentations to town and city councils across the country, promoting the concept that they adopt a motorcycle sound testing method, with standards based on a Society of Automotive Engineers test known as SAE J2825, as their noise control bylaw. End Quote

The MMIC has shot themselves in the foot because it is the manufacturers own dealers who are installing for off road use only pipes and pipes that exceed the noise standards that their own manufacturers have implemented and are touting to be a standard by paying for the J2825.

The consumer - YOU - needs to get that. The dealers who are selling these pipes are the ones who should be being held accountable - them and the MMIC. If this was truly about noise, the governments would make these types of exhaust systems illegal to sell and install and the dealers and the MMIC would be the ones paying the fines.

The fact of the matter is the dealers will do whatever you - the consumer, wants because for them it is about keeping the doors open and the lights on. And yet - their own governing body is the one pushing for us to be discriminated against by having paid for the J2825 and taking the testing method to councils across the country.

Join one of the rights groups - put your money to work for YOU - Yes write your letters, fight your tickets and gather all of the evidence you can every time you are stopped, but join one of the lobbying groups that can get the job done. 

Unless you are independently wealthy, don't have the demands of kids, spouses and employers - the most effective use of your time, effort and money is to join a group that has paid people to do the job for you and to follow their requests. If they ask you to send out a copy of a letter - do it. If they ask you to attend a peaceful demonstration, do it. If they ask you to gather specific evidence - do it.

If we do this with a single mind and a single voice we can affect change - if we keep up the way we are with more Chiefs than Indians, with more hot heads and vigilantes than thoughtful, educated and persistent people, we will continue to be discriminated against.

Divided our wallets are empty, our bikes are parked and our voices are muffled the same as our bikes.
I am begging you to get involved.

Like always, I welcome your feedback and input and ask you to please wade in on this topic - let's start a fire that won't burn out anytime soon.

In other News:

A CMAer from Nova Scotia was killed in a crash on Friday

In Edmonton AB, former ETS bus driver and safety council rider trainer Tom Bregg is fighting for WCB Benefits - letters supporting this man in his fight would be appropriate - the WCB needs to be held to task over their treatment of this man

In Truro NS the Blessing of the Bikes saw 700 motorcycles and 2000 people turn out.

Have a fantastic Monday everyone and please - consider my words and their value with respect to joining an organized lobbying group - I truly believe that if we worked together 500,000 voices can and will be heard!

Please, ride safely, ride like everyone is blind and CAN NOT SEE YOU.

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Maybe what we should do is organize a protest that runs around Queens Park. One was done about 20 years ago regarding insurance. I am sure that another one about profiling will bring out just as many riders. Lets hear what the O.C.C. thinks about this.

  2. I don't generally post anonymous comments but this one has merit.

    I would like to know who you are though