In response to Robertson’s loonie lapse in The Province (Nov 4th) regarding Gregor Robertson (Vision Vancouver candidate for mayor) getting shook down for a wrong-zoned transit ticket:
Robertson was an NDP MLA in 2007 when he was caught riding two SkyTrain zones on a one-zone fare.
The avid cyclist told the transit police at the time it was an honest mistake, and one he rectified immediately by paying the extra dollar. He was still issued a $173 fine.
Robertson says he was going to use his Dec. 4 hearing on the ticket to argue the fine was grossly disproportionate to the offence.
He’s right, it’s an absurd fine for a negligible offense. The excessive force used by the Skytrain police thugs is much more shocking then a failure to pony up a loonie on the horrendously overpriced and under-served transit system. Henry David Thoreau resisted taxes on principal to make a point and ended up influencing cataclysmic change in the world with his acts of non-violent civil disobedience (see: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.). Overstatement? Sure but i feel we have a stronger obligation to resist absurd laws and dranconian punishments than we do to capitulate to regulations which are not in the public’s best interest. PS More Buses Now! and transit should be free or cheap – and if you don’t use the transit system, try it – you’ll learn it is expensive, and often confusing (especially for out of towners), inconvenient (especially in the ‘burbs) and uncomfortable (especially during rush hour). Mass transit is a huge part of making an urban centre livable and needs real support, not more cops and fines.
A kinda cheesy article from Canoe but the topic intrigues me so here it is, read more via the link. I *would* put a photo to a Amsterdam coffee shop here or maybe a big chunk of hash, but i am kinda busy right this minute but maybe later i’ll write some commentary and include a relevant photo but maybe not.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – A Dutch court has added a new item to the list of activities eligible for tax relief – drug running. Judges in the central city of Arnhem recently declared that a professional fisherman convicted of smuggling drugs could deduct the cost of buying and shipping hashish to the Netherlands from his income on his tax return, national daily De Telegraaf reported Tuesday.
The court ruled that because he had only been convicted of drug running and not trading in drugs he could deduct the cost of buying and transporting the drugs on his tax form. That cut his tax bill to euro1.8 ($2.4 million) – a saving of euro1.5 million ($2 million).
Under Dutch law, marijuana and hashish are illegal but police don’t fine smokers for possession of less than five grams (one-sixth of an ounce) or prosecute for possession of less than 30 grams (one ounce).
Authorities look the other way regarding the open sale of cannabis in designated “coffee shops.”But growers are subject to raids and prosecution, meaning the officially tolerated shop owners have no legal way to purchase their best-selling product.
The case isn’t the first time a court’s ruling on taxes has raised Dutch eyebrows. In 2005, judges in the northern city of Leeuwarden ruled that witches can write off the cost of schooling in witchcraft against their tax bills if it increases the likelihood of employment and personal income.
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My amigo Justin passed this along, useful for folks walking and tranisting in Vancouver.
Anyone who commutes may occasionally be passed by a vehicle that is spewing exhaust. This is a major contributor to smog and health concerns in the lower mainland. You can report these vehicles at 604.435.SMOG. Make sure to record the license plate number as well as where and when you saw the vehicle.