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1992 – Salmi, 29, and Blight, 25 want to sell 120 lottery tickets at $10 each for one week of their services. According to the RCMP, the case has been referred over to Crown counsel, who will make a decision about whether to bring charges.

Vancouver Sun
May 2, 1992
Page A1 
Lotto prize is week’s labor
Katherine Monk

The worlds of Commercial Drive groovemeisters and Bay Street entrepreneurs have collided. But neither sphere need panic – the result is progressive, creative, probably not legal, and with any luck, a contribution to the GNP.

At least, that’s how Brian Salmi and Jeff Blight hope their idea of selling lottery tickets for one week of their labor will turn out.

“I want to work. I don’t want to collect welfare. But it’s not easy getting a job,” Salmi said from the plastic picnic table outside the Cafe du Soleil on Commercial Drive.

Salmi, 29, and Blight, 25 want to sell 120 lottery tickets at $10 each for one week of their services.

The winner will receive a gourmet meal cooked in his or her own home and whatever else needs doing – within reason, says their news release. Windows, dog-walking, babysitting, painting, oven-cleaning, and construction are all within reason, Blight and Salmi said.

“But you can be sure we’re not going to be doing anything like electrical wiring or surgery,” said Salmi, who was sporting a medieval fool’s cap.

And for anyone who wants to help out, but isn’t comfortable with the idea of having two complete strangers taking care of their pets or even coming into their home, Salmi and Blight have a solution: They will do work for the charity of your choice.

“Yeah, that’s right,” said Blight. “I’m the kind of person who’s never had to collect welfare, but I’m getting close to that point. I need to work. I don’t like the idea of getting paid not to do anything.”

Salmi and Blight said they’ve already sold a couple of tickets to their friends to cover the start-up costs – and this is where these Drive guys show their marketing savvy.

They sent out computer-generated faxes to all the media outlets in the city, they’ve set up a voice mail line (250-WORK), printed tickets and applications, created posters and sandwich boards, and rented a cellular phone for next Monday, when they’ll stand on the north side of the Lions Gate bridge with a banner advertising their lottery.

Vancouver Sun
May 6, 1992
C14
Work lotto duo make impression on park board chair Chiavario
Petti Fong

Most honked, some gave the thumbs up, but one commuter driving past the north side of the Lions Gate bridge rolled down his window and yelled “Get a job!”

Those were some of the responses to an attempt by Jeff Blight and Brian Salmi to earn themselves a job by selling lottery tickets for their services.

“I don’t know if he was serious or not,” said Salmi of the man who yelled at them to find work after spotting the huge banner they erected on the Lions Gate bridge causeway early Monday.

But he said a job is what he and Blight just might get after selling 100 tickets at $10 each. When they sell 120, they plan to hold a draw and the winner will have them as employees for a week.

The winner of the draw also gets a gourmet meal and a week of labor. Not bad, said Blight, for $10.

“It’s really a great deal. You could get your house painted or your garage cleaned for 10 bucks. Sure, it’s kind of a gamble,” he said.

It’s also kind of illegal.

“Right after we first started, we got a phone call, asking if we knew we’re not supposed to be holding a lottery,” Blight said.

According to the RCMP, the case has been referred over to Crown counsel, who will make a decision about whether to bring charges.

While displaying their banner in Stanley Park later Monday, Salmi and Blight were approached by a park board member.

“We both thought, ‘Uh oh, this is it.’ Then she asked us whether we knew that we weren’t supposed to be putting up posters in the park,” Salmi said.

“I had to let them know that they couldn’t just set up a display in the park without telling anyone,” board chairman Nancy Chiavario said.

“But I really went there to buy a ticket. There’s lot of filing to be done in the office that no one has gotten around to.”

Vancouver Sun
May 21, 1992
Page B1
Work plan hits legal obstacle

Two men who have been selling lottery tickets with their labor as the prize are going out of business for the time being because they fear they might face charges.

“We asked the RCMP about it and they advised us to cease and desist because the lottery is illegal,” said Brian Salmi, who operates Whole Lotto Work with Jeff Blight.

“We want to find out what will happen if people give the money in the form of a donation, but we can’t seem to get an answer.

“There’s got to be some way we can keep going, but it’s dead for now. Maybe we can talk to the premier or the attorney-general. I don’t know.

“Between us, we’ve got about $50 so we can’t afford a lawyer. We can’t keep going without some assurance we won’t face charges.

“As it stands now, they are going to force us to go on welfare.”

In the 3 1/2 weeks Salmi, 29, and Blight, 25, have been in business, they have sold $2,300 worth of tickets.

“About $1,000 went to expenses and we split the rest between us,” Salmi said.

The two plan to start a week’s work June 1 for a North Vancouver woman who won their first draw after 120 tickets at $10 each were sold.

“That’s unless somebody tells us it’s illegal to do the work,” Salmi said. “We want to meet all our obligations.”

Cpl. Ron Pivovar of the RCMP’s gaming and licensing division said B.C.’s crown counsel decides when to lay charges.

“We did our investigation and took the findings to the crown counsel. After that it’s up to them,” Pivovar said. He would not speculate on whether charges will be laid against Salmi and Blight.

Monty Carstairs, the regional crown counsel for commercial crime, would not comment on the case.

Salmi said public reaction to their business has been mixed.

“We’ve had a lot of solid support as well as all sorts of comments from people who don’t like what we are doing,” he said.

Calgary Herald
July 23, 1992
Horse round-up spurs outcry
Monica Zurowski 

The movement to save a herd of wild horses near Calgary is spreading across the country, as environmental and animal rights groups learn of its plight.

A proposal to round up an estimated 500 to 800 horses on Canadian Forces Base Suffield this fall, then send them to auction or slaughterhouses, has raised concern throughout Canada, says Michael Alvarez-Toye, spokesman for the Calgary Animal Rights Coalition.

“People are reacting with a large amount of revulsion. It`s a systematic round-up and slaughter of some 500 horses that don`t deserve this fate,” he says.

The Toronto-based organization Zoocheck is looking at the problem, as is the United States group Animal Protection International, says Alvarez-Toye.

And a new Vancouver-based group of environmentalists, called Earth Action, will announce today its own campaign to save the herd.

“We question whether it is necessary to round up the horses for environmental reasons,” says Earth Action spokesman Brian Salmi, reached in Vancouver.

Salmi and Alvarez-Toye say there haven`t been sufficient studies done on the herd, descendants of stock left by migrating farmers, to determine whether they hurt the environment.

CFB Suffield officials say the herd is damaging fragile land and taking forage from other native wildlife.

Alternatives to the round-up, such as opening up another area for the herd or stabilizing the population, haven`t been fully explored, says Salmi.

The key to the new Earth Action campaign is to put the issue in the political arena, says Salmi, noting that while people can`t influence the military, they can influence politicians.

Earth Action plans to conduct a door-to-door campaign for support in Vancouver, contact media outlets across Canada, and encourage a network of similar organizations around the world to condemn the round-up.

This is the first campaign launched by Earth Action, a new organization run by about 10 people who met while doing work for Greenpeace.

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