05:36:34 pm on
Monday 11 Dec 2017

A Big Wet Kiss
David Simmonds



Does organised crime in Ontario want to partner with the government.

They’ve finally concluded that enough is enough. Organized crime families are coming out of the shadows, fighting back and hiring lobbyists to protect their position in the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. “There’s been too much emphasis placed on the “crime” part of our client’s activities, and too little on the ‘organized’ part,” says registered lobbyist Jacob Roach, who is the principal of Roach and Associates in Ottawa, a firm he describes as a “one man shop.”


Mafia families form lobby group.

Roach has a client, the newly formed Organized Family Syndicates of Canada (OFSC). The association that brings together, at least for the task, the major players in the organized crime field in Canada. According to corporate records obtained by The Wellington Times, the president of OFSC is one Antonio Guaccamoli, of Milton, Ontario. An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) spokesperson would state only that Guaccamoli, otherwise known as “Tony Dip,” was “known to police”

Roach readily acknowledges Guaccamoli’s identity, but notes that Guaccamoli has never been convicted of a “major crime,” A press report back in the early 1980s linked Guaccamoli to the death of a purported rival whose dismembered body was found in a suitcase dredged up in Lake Ontario. No charges followed the gruesome discovery, as police could not satisfy Crown prosecutors that foul play was involved.

Roach insists that Canadians must not ignore what he calls superficiality. “The bedrock fact is that what has made the people I represent successful is a commitment to entrepreneurship, efficiency and family,” he says. “Plus, we put a high value on loyalty and honour. We have a tight command and control structure. We have effective enforcement mechanisms to ensure our goals are realised. I defy any government to say the same about its public service.


If weed is no longer illegal, how can the OFSC be criminal

Besides,” continues Roach, “if being involved in the marijuana business is no longer to be a crime, how can governments continue to refer to us as a criminal organization? We’re just organized, in the business, and eager to continue to do our part.”

What the OFSC is not particularly keen on is the prospect of a force out from the marijuana business, unceremoniously. “If this was any other line of business, you know there’d be a firestorm of opposition to the government taking over what has traditionally been a family business preserve,” says Roach. He would not rule out his client seeking compensation, noting that government action “violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Roach said litigation was likely to be a “last resort” because his client usually pursues other means of obtaining the results it seeks “quite effectively.”

The OFSC is putting forward an alternative model for government to consider. Rather than interpose as a broker, between producer and consumer, or enter into a public and private partnership, government should simply legalize marijuana and let the free market take care of the rest. “Marijuana is just another price-sensitive commodity,” states Roach.

Therefore, Roach “cannot rule out” that if government prices the commodity too high, it will remain in the business, even if that is unlawful. “Just like Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement broke laws upholding segregation, we are prepared to break the sole supplier rule and stay in the marijuana business to serve the public,” notes Roach.

Alternatively, the OFSC urges government to put as high a tax as it possibly can on the substance, on the assumption that government will price itself out of the market for pot, thereby leaving the field open for organized crime “Don’t call it organized crime,” insists Roach; “just say “OFSC members,” to continue to service the market.

The OFSC is putting out an olive branch. It is prepared, unconditionally and free of charge, to assist government in several ways. It offers to help identify Canadians who have invested assets offshore and persuade them, “using every means at our disposal,” to bring these assets back to Canada. It proposes imposing consequences, “appropriate to the gravity of the screw-up,” on those responsible for the design and implementation of the government’s rightly maligned “Phoenix” pay system. It also offers to share its organizational expertise with public service entities such as the RCMP, Corrections Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. “If Walt Disney can get into the consulting business, I don’t see why we shouldn’t,” says Roach. “It’s surely an offer they can’t refuse.”


PM Justin may be in line for a big wet kiss.

Roach concludes our interview by stating that if the government still wants to monopolise the marijuana business, his client, through the good offices of Mr Guaccamoli, will nevertheless insist on giving the prime minister “a big wet kiss.”

 

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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