The NDP has a “love affair with criminals”, according to Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman. He made the statement in a November 4 news release after NDP MLAs criticized the Housing and Social Development Statutes Amendment Act, which, if passed, would deny welfare, disability benefits, and hardship allowances to people who have a warrant issued for their arrest under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or for any indictable offence.
In 1997, the NDP government introduced a regulation that prohibited giving welfare benefits to people fleeing warrants for indictable offences. Coleman cited this regulation to suggest that the Opposition was acting inconsistently. In the legislature in 1997, there was no mention of welfare benefits being denied to those with outstanding warrants under immigration legislation.
Coleman’s comment about the NDP came a couple of days after Burnaby-Lougheed Liberal MLA Harry Bloy claimed in the legislature that 2010 Games protesters were “terrorists” with a “limited intellect” after a number of people disrupted the Olympic torch relay in Victoria.
On October 30, a Victoria police spokesperson told the media that a protester threw marbles on the ground in the vicinity of police horses during the relay. However, Tamara Herman, a spokesperson for the group No2010 Victoria, later told the Victoria Times Colonist that it was not a member of her group who did this.
The Straight previously reported that the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit hasn’t ruled out the use of agents provocateurs.