An interesting start to the summer

Gangster going to jail, province concerned about foreign attacks

It was an interesting start to the summer last week, as I’m sure you noticed if you keep up with the news. One of the most interesting tidbits stems from a story some people think is an urban legend.

Gangster in jail

The Supreme Court of Canada last week declined to hear the appeal of convicted murderer and gang leader Joshua Petrin, who was found guilty of first degree murder of a Saskatoon woman, Lorry Santos. The details of this murder have often been repeated, but I’ve found that some listeners refuse to believe it ever happened. It did.

Petrin was or is a member of an Edmonton organized crime group called the White Boy Posse, which in the past has been linked by police to the Hells Angels. It seems Petrin ordered WBP members to track down and murder a former gang member who was suspected of living in Saskatoon. Well Petrin should have given his hit-men better directions, as the morons couldn’t find the right house and chose Santos’ instead. They proceeded to murder her.

Petrin’s various defences included police accepting bribes, the attack was not planned, that no payment was ever given to the murders and the WBP did not benefit from the incident. Santos didn’t either, obviously.

Wisely, the Supreme Court chose not to hear Petrin’s appeal.

I have to be honest, it’s rather frightening that a group of gangsters could show up at your door and murder you simply because they wrote down the address incorrectly.

Foreign attacks

Alberta Premier Jason Kinney last week announced the formation of a commission to investigate if and/or how foreign special interest groups are funding attacks on Alberta’s oil and gas industry. The theory is that such attacks harm Alberta’s industry while aiding foreign industries.

I see nothing wrong with this. It’s obvious the Russian government was meddling in the last American presidential election through social media platforms like Facebook, and most of the U.S. was unaware it was going on.

Canada’s enthusiastic participation in things like the Paris Agreement, that offer little to no environment value with huge price tags for Canadian citizens, offer all the motivation foreign trolls need. Our federal government folds quickly, as evidenced by the current row with China over the extradition of a criminal suspect.

The internet world makes meddling and fraud easier than ever, and a close examination of the evidence can only help Alberta. This should have been done years ago.

Photo radar

Photo radar was in the news again. This time, it looks like the City of Edmonton is replacing photo radar vans and staff with automatic camera boxes that don’t require an operator.

The province last February announced a report that suggested municipalities were using photo radar as a cash cow, and not to improve safety or change driving habits. In June new rules including no photo radar by speed zones that change and on large multi-lane routes, unless a safety issue is proven, were to come into effect.

As far as I’m concerned, photo radar only has an effect in school or playground zones or in problematic intersections. If it’s located anywhere else, it’s a cash cow and municipalities should spend more time developing efficient budgets and less time making lawbreakers out of people who don’t deserve that tag.

Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the newspaper.

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