The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tales from the Leather Set: Krista loses a ring, Bandidos gain a chapter

Say it ain't so....

Shriek, The Black Rod's society reporter, tells us a certain fairytale marriage has hit the shoals.

It's a dark day indeed for all little girls still dreaming of frog princes, castle weddings and jackets of the finest black leather.

The word from the East is that the lovely and talented CBC national reporter Krista Erickson has been a social butterfly lately, sans wedding ring and definitely sans husband. The whereabouts of the aforesaid hubby, Mr. Krista Bob Morrision, are unknown at press time.

The Missus, meanwhile, was in full Krista-mode at a recent garden party given by the Speaker of the House in Ottawa, according to Frank magazine. Standing at the entrance with your camera and having your picture taken with Ministers and MPs is a smart move for a newbie trying to get one up on the pack of tired Parliamentary hacks.

Being carried around on the shoulder of Pink Scott Brison so that guests get a good look at your derriere is another way of being remembered.

But whispering naughty banter to a widowed MP is pure Frank fodder.

How we all remember brighter days, when love was in full bloom. Was it only last summer that Krista, then the host of the CBC's Winnipeg supper show, left for Scotland with her newly-divorced beau to be married at the super-swanky ultra-exclusive Skibo Castle. Madonna got married there. Ashley Judd got married there. Bill Clinton stayed there--although with whom we're not certain.

We don't even want to speculate how much the wedding cost, although we're sure it was a lot less than Madonna spent ($219,000 to rent the entire 47-room castle for her guests, $293,000 for the champagne.) If the lovebirds manage to patch things up, good for them. If they don't, we want our wedding present back.


And speaking of way back when...

The recent story about a Hells Angel gang member being stabbed on "trendy Corydon Avenue" perked our interest.

Winnipeg Free Press reporter Bruce Owen pieced together a tale based on unidentified, anonymous, suitably-mysterious "sources" who told him gang member Corey "Tiny" McInnes was stabbed at the NV nightclub, 720 Corydon Ave., early Sunday morning. His attacker, said Mr. Source, was, in turn, chased down by "gang associates" who gave him a good beating aroud Cockburn Street.

If what we're told is true, this incident may actually be more significant than it appears at first glance.

A week or two before Tiny got the blade, The Black Rod learned on good authority that---THEY'RE BAAAACK. The Bandidos motorcycle gang, to be specific.

They're back and they're 17 strong, making them bigger than the established Hells Angels. And they were entertaining what might, in hindsight, have been their sponsors, almost two dozen members of the Rock Machine.

See, we said we were going way back.

The Rock Machine was Quebec's No. 2 gang in the Nineties, homegrown and second only to Les Hells. The two units fought a turf war for years, leaving more than 150 people dead, including two prison guards and an 11-year-old boy who was killed when a car bomb exploded outside a biker hangout.

Not so long ago, 2001 to be exact, the Rock Machine flipped and joined the Bandidos Nation.

The Bandidos had a probationary chapter in Winnipeg since 2004 under the sponsorship of the Ontario Bandidos. Then came that unfortunate incident last April where eight members of the Ontario chapter were murdered. And three members of the Winnipeg chapter were charged with their murders. Messy.

Everyone thought that that was the end of the Bandidos in Ontario, and certainly in Winnipeg.

"There's three guys left out west," said Yves Lavigne, a chronicler of the Hells Angels and other gangs in Canada, last April. "If they were smart, they would burn their colours, head out to the mountains and become cowboys. Because it's a lot safer riding a horse for them than riding a Harley."

But, obviously, they didn't take his advice.

A Bandidos website noted in mid-January:
Nuevas incorporaciones a BANDIDOS NATION.
´No Surrender Crew´

We're pretty sure 'Manitomba' was a misspelling, rather than a reflection of our reputation as the Murder Capital of Canada.

The reference to the No Surrender Crew is interesting. That's the nickname the Ontario chapter went by before it was wiped out.

With their official sponsors out of the picture, the Winnipeg chapter, the rump that was left, was in limbo.

But what if a Quebec chapter of the Rock Machine filled the role of sponsor.
Presto, back in business.

The Black Rod is told the Hells Angels in Winnipeg are considered a spent force with most of its members either going into jail, just out of jail, or charged and facing jail. They can barely keep the minimum number of members on the street necessary to keep their charter.

Nature hates a vacuum, and crime hates it worse. So the Bandidos are moving in.

The midnight incident on "trendy" Corydon might have been an example of what to expect over the summer.

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