A full house turned out in St. James on Friday to say farewell to Brian Smiley. From all walks of life and his endeavours, but especially we heard about family and friends from the lake. Marty briefly describes the celebration of our old chum in Part 1 of Episode 49.

8:02 Part 2- The headlines have been blaring for a month about confrontations at a West End supermarket fending off shoplifters.

An April 28th incident where a woman swung, missed and got punched by an employee was followed by CBC making excuses for the thieves, and other kinds of ‘warriors’ making direct threats towards Food Fare for confronting them.

Marty Gold explains that the subsequent CBC report criticizing confrontations as “normalizing something that’s not normal” had it backwards. What’s become normalized in Winnipeg is stealing from retailers, and that’s what has to be addressed.

What’s not normal. is labeling what’s going on as “petty shoplifting by individuals who are poor, struggling, maybe dealing with substance abuse issues, unhoused or underhoused.” That’s narrative, not reality. And it drove antagonism that bad actors took to heart.

This week’s Free Press story provided the details of the escalating intimidation at the Portage and Arlington store that has included staged Candid Camera style thefts to instigate bad publicity and litigation, a jumping in a parking lot, and a premeditated revenge raid with brass knuckles and batons by a gang of 5.

Every incident thus far has had a common denominator- invoking the ‘victim’ of the April 28th rhubarb by aboriginal crusaders.

Hear how on May 3rd, self-described “angry Indians” demanded the firing of the now-suspended employee involved in the April incident. The demands were accompanied with threats to the store’s operations and a declaration about native sovereignty over the property (“our land”).

We questioned how these tactics would be reported if “white people” did this to an immigrant family grocer.

23.00 – “You can’t touch us”, taunted a group of 4 attackers on May 14, when they scoped out the joint with a shoplifting excursion around 5 pm and got thrown out.

What message does it send when the 17 year old isn’t sent off the streets for a single day? He brandished brass knuckles leading a mob with weapons, attacked and hospitalized 3 grocery store clerks, gets a scolding from a cop, and is sent off with a court date. Who does that protect?

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26:16 – “We never know what to expect.”

Food Fare told about the dollar value of stolen goods they retrieve every month before it’s walked out their door, and shoplifting at that store has “quadrupled.” Armed with phone cameras, it’s a set-up to engineer criminal, civil, or human rights complaints against the store- ie Lawfare.

Faced with a lawless mob – armed goons – intimidating a supermarket and 4 of them still on the loose, Police Chief Danny Smyth shows no concern. Neither does Wab Kinew, Scott Gillingham, or other political leaders.

If the mob were from another segment of society, would politicians call out the intimidation, violence and hate? Are they waiting until another grocery owner gets muscled?

38:38 Part 3 – A fast wrap-up with a peek at an upcoming interview. We’re rolling on towards Season 5!


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