Soviet-style political psychiatry practiced in Vancouver has been attracting attention internationally but I’d never heard it mentioned by a candidate in the civic election campaign.  Until Monday.  At an All Candidates meeting in the theater of Carnegie Center, Independent mayoral candidate Golok Buday (pictured above in black cap), said:

“Car 87 forces it’s drugs on you and forces you to go places based on arbitrary political reasons. And I think that should be acknowledged.”

Car 87 is a police car, carrying an armed police officer and a psychiatric nurse.  There is a stockpile of documented evidence that it is being used by the Vancouver School Board and other organizations to smear critics.  Politically vocal people against whom no evidence of wrongdoing can be found too often find Car 87 arriving at their homes to assess them for “apprehension” to a mental hospital. 

Photo: All Candidates Meeting at Carnegie Centre on Monday.  Vision candidate Andrea Reimer is second from the left, wearing a brown suit.

Vision Council candidate Andrea Reimer, who took Al Gore’s training program to become a presenter of his “An Inconvenient Truth” seminar, didn’t look up when Buday mentioned Car 87 civil liberties abuses.  But an inconvenient truth is that Reimer has been implicated in a cover-up involving fraud of Car 87 abuses while on Vancouver School Board in 2003. The alleged cover-up came after several adults had independently lodged complaints about a verbally and physically abusive teacher. VSB sent Car 87 to the home of the last complainant, identifying the fact that she had made “freedom of information requests” as the official reason. The only evidence they turned over to Car 87 to be used against her, though, was a document indicating that she intended to campaign about their mishandling of bullying complaints in a School Board election.  Police-School Liaison, Sergeant Garry Lester, admitted that the Vancouver School Board had pressured him to send Car 87 to the woman’s home even after he had emphasized to them that there was “nothing untoward” about her conduct. 

How did Reimer and her colleagues address this Car 87 visit arranged by the VSB under fraudulent pretenses?  With more fraud, says the victim. Reimer and her fellow elected School Board trustees arranged for an “in camera” review of the case, which they conveniently concealed from the victim.  They invited a primary offender in this case of criminal wrongdoing to brief them.  He re-offended.  He fabricated claims such as that the teacher didn’t actually work for the VSB when her abuses occurred.  This cover-up has contributed to the international boycott of VSB diplomas organized by Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry.

The use of in-camera meetings by elected officials in Vancouver to ensure secrecy was mentioned at the All Candidates meeting by mayoral candidate Betty Krawczyk (in top photo wearing yellow scarf) of the Work Less party. “When they have something important to do, they do it in camera.”. Krawczyk told the audience that she had moved to Canada from the U.S. because she was opposed to the Vietnam war. “Every year I’ve  been here, there’s less democracy”. 

Krawczyk was referring to what others had said earlier.  Nicholai, an audience member, had said, “When I arrived in Canada as a political refugee, the democracy I expected was not so much in place.”  Buday had added, “My father is a refugee from Hungary and he told me that Canada was less of a democracy than his family expected too.”  But by being the first politician in Vancouver to mention the use of Car 87 as a political tool, he has moved us a step toward more democracy. 

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