If you read today's news you will see that a lady who killed a biker got an $1000 fine and a $150 victim surcharge - this for killing Terry Kunto - a well known Calgary bike shop owner - you will also see that two guys racing and or speeding in Quebec each got $1,848 fines.

In BC a glass of wine could net you a 3 day suspension plus a $200 fine if that glass puts you at .05 or more but under .08 - being .08 is an automatic 90 day suspension, $500 fine and the automatic requirement for an interlock device for your ignition.  Speeding will also net you 7 days with your vehicle in impound plus stiffer fines - ALL ROAD SIDE JUSTICE and partially implemented this way because BC's court system is short of judges unless I have misread something. (BC has been struggling with a shortage of judges for some time now)

Loud pipe fines in Alberta can net you a $275 fine depending on the jurisdiction and for repeat offences up to as much as $10K.

Ontario has some pretty tough laws too...

My question is this: Where is the common sense in any of these fines and laws? Where is there any balance or measured and thoughtful approach to penalties?

A thousand dollar fine and a 90 day suspension for killing a biker at night making a left hand turn because you didn't see the bike and you are remorseful -
"There is no doubt the accused is extremely remorseful for what happened, and what she did was what happens on many occasions without any lasting result," provincial court Judge Peter Barley said before imposing the $1,000 fine on Rhea Martin, 34, plus a victim surcharge. "It's an indication why everybody should be careful at all times. This case, it wasn't even reckless or careless, just a driving mistake with tragic consequences."
I am confused here - how in the world can a speeding fine be worth more that the one handed out for taking a life?  How can killing someone not be considered reckless or careless but be attributed to something that happens every day with no consequence? Where did they get this judge?

And in BC - how are the police even close to being qualified to hand out road side justice for impaired driving? Look at the track record of the RCMP in that province. I mean really folks this is so draconian and so WRONG.

If people in this country had any doubt about us becoming a police state - maybe they will quit doubting now and get off their duffers and go to the polls in their municipal elections and when the provincial elections come up - perhaps we voters will actually send some messages.

I get that we need to have laws to protect us from ourselves and the stupid people - I get that, but should there not be some common sense applied to these laws? And since when should the RCMP  have the power to meet out road side justice - especially in BC? Have they fought for these laws to protect their own? In the case of BC it would not surprise me.(Yes I am being a smart Alec and a tad facetious - but last year alone there were some 6 or 7 RCMP officers charged with impaired driving and now this department whose reputation is in tatters is going to hand out road side justice like this?)

On another note it appears that Melinda - one of the media people that made up part of Bean'res crew feels that I took a personal conversation and not only misquoted her but did not fully or properly quote her. She was however present when I told a reporter in Digby that after everything I had heard about our US Visitors and dignitaries and their treatment not only was I writing about it but I would be happy to oblige with an interview - however she now feels she should not have been included in my comments and that - in her opinion - my "overly negative" blog post hurt the people of Digby and the volunteers. She also said that the organizers made good on all of their promises to Beanr'es crew and that Bean'res crew was totally satisfied with their accommodations at the Annapolis Barracks and that when the organizers moved her into more private quarters that she was happy with them.
Be that as it may - I am still offended for them even if they are not. 
Why? Well you see people the fact that these people were housed where they were - to me - shows an utter lack of regard for the work and effort these people made on behalf of the rally in Digby. The fact that the organizer felt that the barracks were satisfactory accommodations to begin with is morally and ethically wrong in MY OPINION. It shows a complete lack of regard for the value of the media and publicity that these celebrities and the contest winner provided.
The fact of the matter is that what Bean're and his crew contributed to the Digby Rally was INVALUABLE from a marketing perspective.
As a Canadian - as an event coordinator, I am personally appalled at how they were treated. Visitors to OUR COUNTRY....
that these people who came from thousands of miles away to help promote an event could be treated in such a way is just wrong and I still feel that the town of Digby and the province of Nova Scotia need to implore upon the organizer that people who promote you and who come to your event from thousands of miles away should be treated far, far better that that. (The CTC would NEVER support an event like this financially if that was the kind of accommodations that the media were being provided - I know first hand about the quality and calibre of accommodations that are expected to be provided for these people by the Canadian Tourism Commission and other provincial tourism departments.)
The fact that the organizer (so I am told) now recognizes that the barracks were maybe not the best choice is a small consolation. They should NEVER have been considered adequate to begin with  - but hey - what do I know - I am just a reporter with a big mouth...who is trying to sensationalize things for my own gain. I won't tell you who told me that....
PLEASE NOTE - the people of Digby - the volunteers and the business people along with the thousands of riders and the 40 or so vendors are NOT who I am upset with. The above mentioned all did everything they could to make the event fun or to have fun. There were hundreds of wonderful moments and tons of great people there. The organizers treatment of the VIP'S and Media along with the treatment of certain sponsors and the increased costs to vendors have NOTHING to do with the town, the volunteers or the riders and vendors.

As it is every day - I appreciate your feedback and honest dialogue - I may not always agree and maybe you won'tagree with me but I love to listen to different opinions and ideas as they do help me to become better at what I do.

In the news today:

In BC - The Port Alberni Toy Run a HUGE success in spite of bad weather on one side of Vancouver Island as was the 100 Mile House Toy Run

In Newfoundland the RCMP speak out on allegations of harassment

In Alberta - a 16 year old Cochrane Racer is heading to the US
And in New Brunswick the police think speed and alcohol were involved in the death of a NB motorcyclist.  

In Sturgis a 20 year old who was texting killed a biker...

I hope and pray that if you are riding today you will Ride defensively, ride your own ride - do NOT let peer pressure get the best of you...Ride like everyone around you is BLIND, has an UNSAFE load and IS out to get you and please - ride Proud not Loud - invest in a 140 DB Air horn instead! AND CHECK YOUR TIRES AGE - AND YOUR TIRE PRESSURES DAILY!!!!

Belt Drive Betty
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  1. I find it ridiculous for event coordinators to complain about someone voicing their its nature it's a personal, subjective thing and as such reflects the voice of the person who had the experience. Opinions are very often also based on ancillary information - if you see something crappy happening to someone else, even if it isn't happening to you, it can colour your overall view and contribute to a level of dissatisfaction. Sometimes there's good press, which is an opportunity for future promotion, and sometimes there's bad press, which should be viewed as an opportunity for future improvement. If promoters don't want to hear negative comments directed towards their events, then they should probably stick to hand-picking the attendees, which makes it that much easier to have their egos stroked.

    Having worked for many years within administration and promotion of the performing arts industry I've been on the receiving end of both good and bad press and eventually grew to realize that arguing with someone about their opinion is about as futile as it gets. In the end, you generally end up with even worse publicity despite any good intentions. Much better to accept that everyone has a different definition of 'acceptable' and take the opportunity to take your event up a notch next time.