Ministry of Lost Bikes
After years of apparent apathy about bike theft in the city of Toronto, in July 2008 city officials, authorities, and law enforcement officers took on a suddenly very keen and marked interest with the famous arrest of Igor Kenk. Not only only showing resolve in the simple dispensation of their duty to investigate bike theft, but in fact in orchestrating a full blown late night sting operation on Igor Kenk’s infamous Bike Clinic on Queen West. A well publicised operation that was covered in the media with supporting facts, figures, and background info that was produced in time for the first printings the very next day. This level of well produced exposure also indicated a keen interest in both the execution of this successful operation, and in the public perceptions that the issue of bike theft had been dealt a sever blow…The wheels of justice seemed to finally be moving!
Since that time though, Torontonians in general, and Cyclists in particular, had been waiting with waning anticipation for justice to be served. For visible signs of restitution, or at least some sort of karmic balance being applied in the unfolding of the infamous case of Igor Kenk vs The Crown…
Last month as Kenk was released from custody for time served, many citizen’s expressed contempt for the punishment that didn’t seem to fit the crime, so at least we can all be relieved that justice can be served in other ways. In this case, with announcements that out of total seizures, a remainder of almost 2000 forfeited bikes are to redistributed to people who are “in need” here in the Province of Ontario. Although it remains to be seen what the bureaucratic methods will be to assure that political Cronies or other Middlemen don’t extract too much margin out of the process, it is definitely the kind of positive top-spin that this entire matter has been needing, badly, for quite awhile in order for the entire case to sit better within the Public Perceptions.
What makes this possible is the Civil Remedies Act, wherein the Attorney General turns away from criminal prosecution, and turns to the civil courts to freeze, take possession of, and forfeit to the Crown any property determined to be an instrument of unlawful activity.
Out of almost 2200 unclaimed bikes that were forfeited by Kenk:
- 30 bikes and 1,000 bike parts and locks are going to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
- 40 bikes and helmets are going to the Toronto Foundation for Student Success Beyond 3:30 Program
- 250 bikes, locks and accessories are going to a community centre for aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay
- 50 bikes and pumps going to the First Nations community of North Spirit Lake
Spiro Papathanasakis, the executive director of the Cabbagetown Youth Centre states that the group will be using a big, empty basement of nearby St. James Town building to set up a bike assembly line. Finished bikes will be going right back into the community, Papathanasakis said.
Toronto Sun publisher Mike Power said he’s proud to partner with the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, and assuring that all the kids getting bikes also have helmets
Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley stated on Sunday. “Some of the bicycles and parts will be used to teach bicycle repair skills to at-risk youth and others will be delivered to a remote community where bikes are rare and most children would not experience the joy of having one.”
…a continuing saga
The Public has now seen it’s first case of Property seizures, that led to forfeitures, that led to misunderstandings about the actual crimes…and left us wanting more Justice…For ALL!
The thousands of bikes and parts forfeited by Kenk and donated by the Crown to serve a Public Good might not be enough to satisfy the Public’s sense of justice, but at least it’s a good start. Luckily there’s MUCH more to this story than we can receive from official sources…
The vilification of Igor the Terrible has been underway for years, and this is the first of many reasons why popular ideas assure that Justice may never be served…
The Law can leave us feeling like Justice isn’t always served…The saga of Igor Kenk as Toronto’s “most notorious bike thief” provides us with multiple views on how to cure this, and other the Ills of Society…