Province, city reviewing riot aftermath

Solicitor General Shirley Bond's pre-game pleas to celebrate responsibly went out the window along with the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup hopes Wednesday night, leaving the city and the province to clean up and assess their crowd control strategy.

Rioters vandalize an unmarked police car in downtown Vancouver Wednesday night after the Canucks loss in the Stanley Cup final.

Solicitor General Shirley Bond’s pre-game plea to celebrate responsibly went out the window along with the Vancouver Canucks’ hopes for the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, leaving the city and the province to clean up and reassess their crowd control strategy.

At a tense news conference with fire officials Thursday, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said there will be multiple reviews of the response to the Stanley Cup riot of 2011, including the big question of whether the city should abandon the practice of encouraging thousands of people to gather downtown.

RCMP and Abbotsford Police reinforcements, sent in after post-game crowds turned violent, took three hours to stop extensive damage and looting in downtown stores. A strategy of “meet and greet” by police crowd control units with people watching on giant TV screens had little deterrent effect.

As the mayhem was covered on live television, Bond urged thousands of picture-snapping spectators to go home.

Lessons learned from the 1994 Stanley Cup riot helped get the situation under control in half the time as the events of 17 years ago, Chu said, and police were dealing with many more rioters and hangers-on.

Chu identified the key perpetrators as the same group of “anarchists and criminals” who disrupted the 2010 Olympics. They are opportunists, looking for big crowds to hide their activities, he said.

Police did not anticipate the full impact of wireless social media on crowds, invited to gather at downtown “live sites” to watch in the tradition of the 2010 Olympics. Huge crowds of drunken spectators with camera phones delayed police and fire crews from stopping the looting and burning.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson also identified “a small group of troublemakers” as the primary cause.

Premier Christy Clark told CKNW radio Thursday that the review has to focus on the social media factor, and use new technology to identify people caught in video and still images.

“We have to make sure that the hard-core group of troublemakers is punished,” Clark said.

Just Posted

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Volunteers begin work on memorial garden for former Metchosin counsellor

Garden a fitting tribute to Moralea Milne, a champion of Garry oak ecosystems

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read