The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on June 19, 1999 · 25
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 25

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 19, 1999
Page:
25
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,H0trfnW'1' Announcements: C5 Birds: Rare sparrow visits. C8 Section C Editor: Randy Boswell, 596-3507 Citythecitizen.southam.ca THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 1999 CITY -VV' ,;-v. 1 ILi. r VV V.-i'-K'-:f---v'' i ,-.1 Ml II I I I I I II ifj'' l.j y f:". I'd - "' : - - p? - ft " H li I JOHN MAJOR, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Barry Forbes of Forbes Concrete put up this warning sign outside his Kemptville-area business after one too many break-ins. Justice, the Barry Forbes way Three months ago, Barry Forbes went to a printer and had 25 signs made. He then posted the signs at his gravel pits, his equipment yard and his quarries. Then the Kemptville-area businessman hired a "private night watchman" to patrol his properties. An armed night watchman. Mr. Forbes says he hasn't had a theft problem since. "I was just fed up with all the petty theft and the break-and-enters and the vandalism," says Mr. Forbes. "There's nothing the cops can do to help you. Even if they catch someone, they never go to jaiL It's a joke, ,...., "I had to do something. I can't just stand here and be robbed blind." Mr. Forbes dressed in cowboy boots and dress slacks, barrel-chested and nicely tattooed gives new meaning to the word pithy. The signs Mr. Forbes had printed up are direct and to the point. They say, in bright red letters: "Trespassers will be shot on sight. By order of Barry Forbes." Not arrested, but shot. And not just shot, but shot on sight. "I absolutely mean it, too," says Mr. Forbes. "I'm not kidding about this. The watchman will shoot anyone that trespasses on my property. "He'll shoot them in the leg. We're not try ing to kill anyone here. But if you come onto my property trying to steal from me, you will be shot. I'm not putting up with this nonsense anymore." Mr. Forbes has operated a business on Ron Corbett Boundary Road, 10 kilometres east of Kemptville, for 25 years. For years he operated gravel pits and a concrete business, although for the last few years he's pretty much been in the used equipment business, buying and selling tractor-trailers, combines, back- hoes, graders', spreaders you name it. Over the years, Mr. Forbes says, thieves have stolen from him, in no particular order: steam cleaners, air wrenches, MIG welders, acetylene torches, backhoes and hydraulic jacks. ' ' " Once, thieves tore down his wire fence and .stole a car. Another time they backed a pickup truck to the front door of his office, busted through the doors and stole his safe threw it right into the back of the truck and were long gone by the time police arrived. The final straw was when thieves broke into his workshop and stole some of his tools. "They stole $25,000 worth of tools," says Mr. Forbes. "The worst part was, I pretty much knew who did it. But even then, the police said there was nothing they could do. They said they had no 'probable cause' to search the guy's house. Can you believe that?" That's when the "Trespassers will be shot on sight" signs went up. The signs are visible from Boundary Road and some of Mr. Forbes' neighbours are less than impressed. "It quite frankly scares me," says one neighbour. "Are we going to have gun fights on Boundary Road? I just don't think threatening to shoot someone is the Canadian way of solving a problem." The Ontario Provincial Police aren't exactly thrilled either. "These signs are obviously inappropriate and Mr. Forbes would be in substantial trouble if he ever did shoot someone," says Sgt. Peter Valiquette of the Kemptville OPP detachment "There is just no way you can shoot someone for trespassing on your property, even if the person is there to steal something from you." Sgt. Valiquette does not believe the shoot-on-sight signs are illegal, although if anyone complained about them, he would investigate and consult the Crown attorney's office. Perhaps Mr. Forbes is threatening someone? It's a bit of a grey area. Still, even if he were told the signs were illegal, Mr. Forbes says he would never take them down. "I haven't had anything stolen from me since I put those signs up," he says. "It's the best alarm system I've ever had." What if he were arrested for having the signs posted? "Then they can come and arrest me," he says. "I find it hard to believe that will happen, though. The cops have never been able to arrest anyone out here yet." Ron Corbett's column appears Saturdays and Wednesdays. He can be reached at 596-8813 or by e-mail at rcorbettthecitizen.southam.ca. Read previous Ron Corbett columns at www.ottawacitizen.com. Grieving mom 'overwhelmed' Thousands rush to sign organ donor cards to honour Sandrine Craig by Jeremy Barker Tens of thousands of people are signing organ donor cards in a swell of support for San-drine's Gift Campaign, named in honour of 11-year-old Sandrine Craig, who died in a tragic school bus crash last month. "It's ovemhelming, totally overwhelming," said Sandrine's mother, Diane Craig. "I didn't know that this would turn into such an outpouring of compassion. It gave her life a purpose." Sandrine's heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidney and corneas were donated to six people, including three children. The two-week campaign has been embraced by the city, with volunteers handing 7-sr rm w ynwuMtwiwuw U ''Si I f turns i-; , i if - .-ij! THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Diane Craig and daughter Sandrine. out donor cards in government and corporate offices and local businesses. They hope to have handed out 100,000 donor cards by the end of the weekend. The final push will see celebrities and volunteers staffing booths in shopping centres today, proclaimed Sandrine's Gift Day by the regional council Mrs. Craig said she is amazed at the re sponse the decision to donate Sandrine's organs, and the campaign, have received. "It was a very personal, private and emotional decision at the time that has now touched so many people," she said. "I had no idea how much this would help me with my grieving." The campaign asks people to sign the donor card and to let family members know of their desire to be an organ donor. A recent study from the standing committee on health reported that 96 per cent of families would honour the wishes of a loved one if they knew that was what they wanted. That drops to just over 50 per cent if the family member has not discussed organ donation with them. The organ donor cards come with Ontario driver's licences and often get overlooked, especially as they are no longer attached to the licence. Mrs. Craig said she was just like everyone else when she got hers in the mail. See MOM on page C2 Crime victim, 15, etermine to carry on Gatineau ice cream vendor back on route after robbery By Gary Dimmock A 15-year-old ice cream vendor in Gatineau is returning to his neighbourhood route after being grabbed by the throat and robbed at knifepoint. Victor Araujo, robbed of $40 in change, says he's hitting the streets again because he wants to save enough money to buy a new mountain bike and school supplies in the fall. Police have praised the youth for remaining calm during the attack, and later giving a detailed description that helped investigators identify two suspects, who were arrested within minutes of the theft. Claude Arsenault, 28, and Brian Doris, 26, are to appear in Hull court Monday on charges of armed robbery. "I find it hard to believe that they would do something like this to me. I'm just a kid trying to earn an honest dollar," the youth said yesterday as he resumed his rounds. With his 11-year-old brother Cesar in tow, Victor was just minutes from finishing his route Wednesday when a blue truck carrying two men pulled up beside him about 8:15 p.m. The truck stopped a few metres ahead and a man got out and started walking toward Victor and his little brother. Just one look at the tattooed man with a shaved head and several missing front teeth and Victor figured he was trouble. The man said he wanted a Cyclone a cherry, lemon and raspberry popsicle that sells for $1.25. Victor opened the cover of his refrigerated cart and reached inside. Suddenly, the man grabbed him by the throat, pointed a knife at his ribs and said: "Shut up and give me your money." The youth, initially terrified, calmed down once he sensed the armed robber, who was trembling, was even more nervous. Tmjustakid trying to earn an honest dollar.' Victor Araujo See CRIME on page C2 vOs - if 'h I Mil GARY DIMMOCK, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Victor Araujo, 15, kept his cool and called police with a description of the robbery suspects. Troubled taxi industry caught in a time warp IT The mayor of Ottawa stood in the press room at City Hall and promised to bring under control the out-of-control taxi industry in the capital. It was the early 6os and the speaker was Charlotte Whitton. Among those listening to her, and writing about the out-of-control taxi industry, was myself and a young radio reporter named Mike Duffy. This week, Mr. Duffy, now a nation- '11 f V c 1 WDIttMk MtMt'" Mfl Dave Brown Brown's Beat ally recognized political pundit, sounded like he had slipped back 40 years. He was upset at the taxi industry and said it was taking away his freedom of choice. As reported elsewhere in this newspaper this week, there was an at tempt to ban pre-arranged pickups at the Macdonald-Cartier Airport. Mr. Duffy, a frequent flyer, prefers to use private luxury cabs. But the convenience of being picked up at home, and again at the airport by a driver you know and depend on to have a clean car and friendly service upsets regular taxi drivers. The powerful taxi industry put pressure on Gloucester, which in March 1998 passed a bylaw decreeing that only taxis licensed to operate in Gloucester could pick up fares at the airport. The air terminal is inside Gloucester city limits. The airport authority and Gloucester put on hold enforcement of the new bylaw, trying to work out a deal that would keep everybody happy. In the taxi business, that's impossible. It runs on money, gasoline and unhappi- ness. Two weeks ago, Gloucester sent bylaw officers and police to the airport to warn operators of limousines and luxury cabs that ticketing would now start. The fine for an illegal pre-arranged pickup would be $290. Add to that the provincial "victims' surcharge" of $50, and it would cost $340 to pick up a $30 fare. The surcharge to fines has been added by the province to beef up the compensation fund for victims of crimes. The term "surcharge" is used, rather than "hidden tax," in the same way airports prefer "user fee" or "de parture tax" to "hidden tax." Tough enforcement blew away this week in the face of strong complaints from luxury car operators and the Ottawa Board of Trade. But the issue is a long way from settled. When asked to comment for this story, Paul Benoit, president of the airport authority, said the issue was already covered by the newspaper. But this was the expanded version, I told him, looking back 40 years and seeing no change. The taxi industry remains one of the great unsolved puzzles in the capital area. See BROWN on page C2 ( (

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