OPENING NOTES

A CASE OF RADAR LOVE

JOE CHIDLEY October 10 1994
OPENING NOTES

A CASE OF RADAR LOVE

JOE CHIDLEY October 10 1994

A CASE OF RADAR LOVE

Each day, drivers in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto have to dodge a silent nemesis—photo radar. Butin Montreal, where motorists have a reputation for speed, the robot cops have yet to be deployed. One former police officer believes he knows why. Pierre Laforest of Saint-Fidèle, Que., who retired as director of operations for the Montreal Police Force in 1972, told Maclean’s that the force considered photo radar in the early 1970s, when an experimental unit was installed on a street that had

become little more than a racetrack. But before a decision was made on whether to officially deploy the photo radar, the whole program came to a screeching halt. The problem: Laforest says that a “very, very senior government official was photographed speeding late at night

with his secretary sitting almost in his lap.” Within days, he says, the camera was removed. And by 1972, a new provincial law stipulated that an officer must hand a speeding ticket to a driver in person. Says Laforest: “That was not a coincidence—you can be sure of that.” Drivers in other provinces may wish for similar indiscretion at high levels.

SENT PACKING

When returns the this CBC week drama for series its third North season, of 60 a familiar character will be missing— Cpl. Eric Olsen of the RCMP. Played by Vancouver actor John Oliver, Olsen helped main-

tain law and order in Lynx River, the fictional community where the series is set. “The original premise of the show was the burnt-out Mountie goes up north,” says producer Peter Lauterman. “Through his eyes, we discovered this little community. Once the audience had followed the Mountie on that voyage, what became really interesting was the town itself. So we were writing, subconsciously, more about the town and less about the Mountie.” Oliver, however, is not so pleased about being relieved of his duties. In fact, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has launched a wrongful-dismissal grievance on his behalf. Mark

Vinet, Oliver’s manager and personal lawyer, says that the grievance will go to mediation in Toronto in the near future—determining whether or not the man will get his Mountie.

Edited by JOE CHIDLEY