heritage cave he was about to bulldoze, the bluster became a roar. It's mine, I own it, and I'll blow it up if I want to, he bellowed. I'll send my hundred-man crew to rough up the chiefs and anyone else who complains. Only now, with the passing of time, can we grasp that his heartless bullying and vicious racism was hiding another call for help.
tree sit camp to block construction of an expensive highway interchange to service his resort. Imagine the arrogance! Well, they got what they deserved from the Joint Task Force SWAT Team. It took 300 officers from as far away as Mission, BC, but they succeeded in arresting three unarmed hippy pacifists who were asleep at the time.
After the camp was evicted in 2008, the city of Langford got to work on the Bear Mountain interchange, thanks to a $25 million loan from TD Bank, on behalf of Bear Mountain. Things were looking great. Len Barrie turned his attention to his first love, hockey. He bought the Tampa Bay Lightning and began to run it into the ground.
By then, the resort was losing money. Bear Mountain missed its initial payment for the interchange ($5 million.) The city's application for federal and provincial infrastructure grants was unsuccessful. (Those meddling kids!) Overpass construction ground to a halt.
Around this time, Len went gambling in Vegas and allegedly racked up millions in debt at the Bellagio Casino. The casino tried to collect, but the personal credit documents Len had used as guarantees proved to be worthless, according to news reports.
Then the bank started seizing Len's property. On January 27, 2012, Len and his family were evicted from their $14 million McMansion on top of Bear Mountain, a stone's throw from the partially-demolished native cave.
This spring, Barrie is scheduled to go on trial for criminal violations of the tax code from his Bear Mountain days.
Update: There are SIX criminal charges in total.
Here's the first two:
You think you have a rough life? If you have two nickels to rub together, you're richer than Len. So please give to our 2012 Charity Fundraising Appeal! Give now, and you'll receive a personal autographed copy of this photo:
|Photo montage by Bruce Dean|