Robertson's Riot: Has Gregor bitten off more than he can Chu?

Post by Mike Klassen in

47 comments

li-bc-110620-cp-robertson-riot
The endgame: axe police chief, damage Premier in one fell swoop (CP photo)

Has Gregor Robertson bitten off more than he can "Chu"? It's only a matter of time before whether we'll see if the Mayor gets what he wants – for Vancouver Chief of Police Jim Chu to take the fall for Robertson's mistakes. But Chu's respectibility within the force, and the sense in the general public that the Chief is a good leader dealt a lousy hand by his boss, makes it a risky proposition.

Since the dying moments of Game 7 when things took a serious turn for the worse, Robertson and his aides have been trying to turn a negative into a positive for the Mayor. So how could that happen?

Answer: by having all the blame focus on someone else – i.e. the Chief of Police, and secondarily the B.C. provincial government.

The first 24 hours after the conflict were classic emergency spin doctoring. Robertson, who sat comfortably in his $550 seat at Rogers Arena during Game 7, was whisked away to prep for the onslaught of media questions which would naturally arise as burned out cars smouldered and shattered glass was strewn around dozens of shops.

It was the work of a few 'anarchists,' was the Mayor's initial claim. It was convincing at first; who can forget the black-hooded goons from the Olympics? But, alas, it was not true. That it was a gigantic fib didn't prevent VPD Chief Jim Chu and Premier Christy Clark from repeating it for the next 48 hours. Clark, whose government had nothing at all to do with Gregor's playoff fan zones, was drawn in by the Mayor's handlers after the riot. As a result, the Premier and Solicitor General Shirley Bond unwittingly became a part of the narrative, and helped, at least temporarily, to defuse blame from Robertson himself.

The decision to hold outdoor parties in Vancouver during the Stanley Cup finals was hatched by Gregor Robertson. Staff at CityCaucus.com think it was a counter-response to my call for a Canucks celebration at Rogers Arena back on May 11th. Not a chance that the mayor would be upstaged by a call by his most vocal critic, right? If the CityCaucus boys want to fill an indoor venue with 15,000 Canucks fans, surely Mayor Gregor can top that by moving it outdoors and increasing the crowds ten-fold!

With no gathering place large enough to hold a large street party (Robson Square and David Lam Park – both sites used during the 2010 Games – are currently under construction), CBC Vancouver's offer of their Hamilton Street plaza and big outdoor video screen seemed like a good choice. So on a cool May 15th evening while Gregor Robertson sat watching Game One of the Western Conference final seated beside CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos at Rogers Arena, about three to four dozen young hockey fans sat in the rain on folded chairs in front of the broadcast studio.

What started innocently as a gathering of a few dozen folks would become a veritable war zone attended by tens of thousands only a month later.

So the outdoor venues didn't work. A bunch of stuff got broken and stolen. Why can't the Mayor take his lumps and why get rid of Chief Chu? To understand the answers requires a little understanding of how Vision has governed the city since December 2008.

Why throw Jim Chu under the bus?

In the two and a half years since they've taken office, Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver have left an indelible stamp on the City of Vancouver's bureaucracy. Dozens of respected senior managers in the prime of their careers have either left or have been fired thanks to Gregor Robertson's pogrom. The pressure to leave has been so overwhelming that it has forced at least one top senior manager to take extended stress leave. Another is suing the city for wrongful dismissal. Most have left without a fight.

In my opinion, it was that loss of hundreds of years of corporate memory that caught Vancouver flat-footed during the 2011 riot. No one in charge today either knew about the lessons of 1994 – documented by staff in detail – or apparently bothered to bring them up. All the more reason to heed NPA Mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton's recent call for an updated internal review.

I suspect the biggest problem Gregor Robertson has with Chief Jim Chu has nothing to do with the results of last week's Stanley Cup riot. Rather, it's the fact that Chu was hired by his predecessor, former Mayor Sam Sullivan. Chu is one of the few remaining senior managers (the other being Director of Planning Brent Toderian) who was appointed prior to the November 2008 election.

Not having the Vision Vancouver stamp of approval immediately puts a target on your back at Vision City Hall. In the atmosphere of paranoia created in that workplace, even saying you've ever talked to Sullivan could be a career-killer under Robertson's administration. If any of Chu's competitors have spent even a day up at Hollyhock, the Chief is as good as gone.

Gregor's culpability

It's been well over a week since the 2011 Stanley Cup riot. The shelf life for this story should have long since expired in the media. However, thanks to great work by reporters at the Globe and Mail, CTV, Vancouver Sun, The Province, CKNW and the Vancouver Courier over recent days, how the 2011 riot really happened is becoming clearer.

If there is a simple explanation for why downtown Vancouver was turned upside down after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, it was a failure of leadership and an eagerness to score political points by Mayor Gregor Robertson. Full stop. The Mayor wanted to have his big party pinned to his lapel going into the November election. The evidence for this is now overwhelming.

The Sun's Jeff Lee has a great analysis of the May 31st council meeting in his Saturday report Council weighed costs, spirit over security, manager says. Penny Ballem, seen in this video clip, talks about the imperative to "rachet down" security costs. Lee's report goes further to find the link between "fan zones" and becoming "the greenest city."

...it is clear the genesis of the street party idea came from a plan the newly elected Vision Vancouver council adopted back in 2009 to find new ways to encourage public use of streets and open spaces. That policy, devised by the new Greenest City Action Team, has led to periodic summer "carfree" days, more bike lanes and more street festivals.

But it has also presented the city with new and constant financial challenges as staff have to absorb costs within existing budgets. In the May 31 council meeting, Ballem said she had instructed all departments to find the money within existing budgets to pay for the Stanley Cup fan zones.

"My message to both police and to all the different parts of the city is we need to absorb as much as we can in our regular budgets," she said.

What Jeff Lee writes confirms what I stated in my post from last week "It's Robertson's Riot": the political goals for the fan zones were all Vision's. Vancouver under Vision had to be a city that is "fun," car free, and minus those blasted viaducts.

What happened next – the riot – has been documented by dozens. Globe and Mail B.C. reporter Wendy Stueck provides this short compelling video account of what she saw on the evening of the Stanley Cup riot at Hamilton & Georgia. Bad boys rolling over a car minutes after the NHL championship ended, firing off CO2 fire extinguishers like it was a backyard rock concert.

Then there is the work of Webster Award-winning commentator Gary Mason, whose 60-minute interview with Gregor Robertson on Thursday made the front page of the Globe and Mail weekend edition. The resulting article – ‘I didn’t know any details,’ Vancouver mayor says of police plan  – generated hundreds of caustic comments within hours of being posted online.

Mason writes:

Mr. Robertson’s extraordinary disclosures are not likely to make his post-riot life any easier. Not knowing the particulars of the police plan is one thing; not being able to control his police chief is another. Who’s running the city anyway?

It's a good question. Robertson's response to Mason – that he's been kept out of the loop by his police chief – strains credulity. Gregor is either utterly out of touch with one of the few staff who reports directly to him, or he is not telling the truth. It's as simple as that.

Mason's interview was described to me as a "game changer," or a milestone of Robertson's plummeting political brand. To me it's too soon to reach that conclusion, but I do feel something significant has changed on Vancouver's political landscape since the riot.

According to Mason's story, "[Robertson] had many conversations with [Chief Chu] in the days leading up to the Game 7 riot about police preparations." While Gregor had "many conversations" he admits having no details of any plan to deal with or prevent a riot. That simply doesn't make sense.

As a close observer of the political career of Gregor Robertson I've come to the conclusion that our mayor is incapable of accepting responsibility for his own actions. It may be a result of Robertson's privileged upbringing, but that's too convenient to explain it all. Whether it's his poor judgment around his Skytrain fare evasion, his hiding from view after the Pandora Street fire, or his finger-pointing related to the riot, Gregor Robertson continually acts as though he walks on water.

From where I come from on the east side, you break it you buy it. No so with Mr. Ohana Partners.

During his interview with Mason, Gregor attempts to make himself sound like the model of openness, while contrasting his chief of police as the opposite:

"It’s always helpful to be front and centre and responding … I’m hopeful [Chu is] more available in the days ahead"

No one I know would hold Gregor Robertson as an example of openness and accountabilty. Rather, he's the poster child for government stealth. On Saturday he was the honoured guest at a Musqueam citizenship ceremony, and supposed to give a speech to the assembled crowd. Gregor, however, Gregor was a no-show. Media standing by waiting for him to arrive were disappointed. His old habit of hiding from scrutiny exhibiting itself once again.

The City's role

What we know now is that the road map existed on holding big events and avoiding another Stanley Cup riot. One only had to ask the right questions beforehand. We also know that the Vancouver police department were only one piece in overall structure of an event run by the city which should have involved other departments such as social planning, communications and engineering.

With no leadership and no plan to string all the pieces together an inquiry needs to ask the following:

  • How many communications people on site during the Fan Zone events? What was their role and what were they doing to make sure public safety was a top priority?
  • How many social planning people on site? What was their plan before, during and after the celebrations?
  • How many engineering staff were deployed? What was their role in making sure that crowds and property were safe?
  • Were volunteers deployed by the in any significant capacity? What were their roles in coordinating the needs of the site? When I visited the Georgia Street site during game three it was obvious to me that there were too few toilet and garbage facilities and I tweeted it out. Why wasn't someone else taking note of these details?
  • What was the plan after the Games ended? You've got thousands of kids standing around. Do you tell them just to go home or give them something to do?

Gregor can dissemble and deflect blame to others all he wants. But in the end he's the boss of this multi-faceted operation and therefore the buck stops with the Mayor.

Why didn't we all see it coming?

On June 14th, the day before the riot I wrote "Which Vancouver will show up after Game 7?" Of course, no one wants to write in advance that there's going to be a riot, but it doesn't hurt to suggest you should be prepared for one. Looking back at my words then, I can see that I too was nervous about what might happen...

The question on the minds of many is what happens when the final buzzer sounds at Rogers Arena. Are we elated, or are we disappointed? Are we screaming with joy, or are we raging against fate?

Either way the dynamics could be very volatile, but I pray that Thursday's morning after emotions do not include disappointment at what we've done to our city and its reputation. To date, I like most others have been very proud of the way we've all conducted ourselves during this incredible celebration of sport, and of Vancouver's forty-one year connection to the NHL. I am confident that whatever happens on Wednesday, that good sense and civic pride will prevail.

In the end we got both the disappointment of the damage the riot caused, and an example of our civic pride when hundreds of volunteers showed up to pick up the pieces. If there had only been a real plan by the Mayor, he'd be sailing back into office on the winds of Canucks pride rather than heading into the rough seas he now faces.

- Post by Mike Klassen. Mike is a city council candidate for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA). If you're an elected official or candidate seeking a nomination and want to write about urban issues, please send your 450-500 word submission to CityCaucus@gmail.com.

Follow Mike on Twitter or on Facebook or visit his website at klassenforvancouver.com.

47 Comments

Our city is being run by 6yr. olds,I can only hope when we do have show and tell we can get some grown up answers.

I've just updated my previous post "True Picture Beginning to Emerge on Robertson's Riot" and added this new bullet. I thought it would be of interest here as well.

"Effective June 24th, both Penny Ballem and Chief of Police Jim Chu refuse to do any more media interviews regarding the riot. However, the Mayor sat down with Gary Mason from the Globe and Mail for a one hour interview. Robertson tells Mason “I didn’t know any details. That’s how the system is set up. … I have full confidence in the chief and the chief is responsible for that plan.” The Mayor goes on to say “I agree. I think collectively we underestimated the potential for trouble from the policing needs for Game 7, for the capacity of the live site, which got swamped that afternoon. I think the response on dealing with alcohol downtown that day, obviously there were some real issues there. There are a number of elements that clearly were not, where we were not prepared for what happened … we made mistakes in not preparing for that to happen. Therefore it got out of hand.” As for whether Robertson should accept any of the blame...he states “I do take responsibility … but that said, we do have to focus on those who committed criminal acts in terms of culpability.”

Daniel,so now they announce they are like the three monkeys see no evil,hear no evil,speak no evil,I tell you Mayor Riotson is more like SGT. Shultz,I see nothing,nothiiiiing.What we need is an investigation that includes emails and what conversations happened behind the scene,not some whitewash about what could have been done better,I think we already know that,everything!!

"I didnt know any of the details.Thats how the system is set up...I have full confidence in the chief and the chief is responsible for that plan" WOW what a coward,dosnt he know hes in charge of the chief,dosnt he know every friday and saturday night granville is a war zone,holy crap!!!

"What started innocently as a gathering of a few dozen folks would become a veritable war zone attended by tens of thousands only a month later."

You cannot have it both ways. If it is a war zone, the peace-time law is suspended---no riot act, no acts of parliament, no common law, nothing but the law of war. And that, by the way, is a very reasonable view of what happened: a Crowd was trapped inside of city-erected fences. A small minority began to engage in criminal behavior. The Police did not go in to maintain law and order, as they were outnumbered: they retreated, that is, the ceded the ground to the troublemakers.

Unable to maintain law and order, the RCMP first (so I have read), followed by the VPD, deploy chemical warfare against the entire crowd, much of which is likely confused, trapped, unsure of where to go. This constitutes an act of war, and at this point there is no more law, only arms: and anyone who wants to say it was a "veritable warzone" without acknowledging that within a war zone the normal law is suspended is being fairly fast and loose with language.

As far as military campaigns go, this one was decent: no casualties for either side. As a law enforcement operation, which it was not, however, it is a total and utter failure. The VPD policy manual, as far as I have been able to see, does not give any policy allowing for the deployment of CS gas.

"If there had only been a real plan by the Mayor, he'd be sailing back into office on the winds of Canucks pride rather than heading into the rough seas he now faces."

What sort of plan? One to deploy more officers than exist in the lower mainland? What this "riot" has exposed is the Dirty Little Secret of how the Corporate World runs itself---not on law, but on war: sure, there's the fiction of law when it's one or two people out of line, but if it is a hundred thousand or more, the response is gas warfare. And while I said there were no casualties in this military action, by that I mean fatalities. There were certainly noncombatants injured by the indiscriminate gassing of large sections of Granville.

So, the next time you go to the Bay, Sears, heck, even Blenz, remember how your enforcers make this dreamworld possible: Gas Warfare.

sad story so biased?

as a taxpayer the buck stops with the Police Chief, irregardless of the politics its the police chiefs job to keep the city safe and prepared under all circumstances.

politicians are not police experts, it was Chu's job to be preapred for all eventualities, especially since this was almost a repeat scenerio of 1994.

if there was no enough money he should have said something, failure to be adequately prepared ca not be blamed on politicians....

if this is true then Harper should fall for G8 and all other political leaders for similar items.

Chief Chu left himself out to be put out under the bus for being poorly prepared and not standing up to politcal interests....seems he is the type who does not want to dissapoint his political masters? that shows poor judgement.

In the end politicians dont run the police dept, the police chief does and this is his mess in the end.

"as a taxpayer the buck stops with the Police Chief, irregardless of the politics its the police chiefs job to keep the city safe and prepared under all circumstances."

Wrong. The buck stops at the mayor. He is the police chief's boss.

By the way, the correct word is regardless, not "irregardless".

Still waiting for prosecutions to start. Can't start my summer without some satisfaction.

The Mayor is not the Police Chief's boss. The reporting structure in Vancouver is not the same as a tv show like "Batman".

The Police Board is the Chief's boss. The Mayor is on the Board so he does have some influence on the Chief. But he can not order the Chief to do anything. The whole Police Board would have to give that order.

Mike & Daniel know the structure but have not explained it very clearly.

Christy Clark is not being very prudent hanging around Robertson. He should be avoided like the plague, especially by someone like the premier.

Mayor Pinocchio is on high alert to make someone else wear this and Christy Clark would be great candidate if he cant pin it on his police chief.

Maybe she can be blamed for getting some sound clips before the riot but the responsibility for policing stops at the Mayors desk.

Edgar, do you know who the only person is in the City that has the authority to discipline the Chief of Police? It's the Mayor and Chair of the Police Board.

So if you don't think the Mayor has a special relationship with the Chief...think again.

On the contrary greg.
They are both plagued. So it's a good match. The question is who is the first to depart. For good.
Till then, they should be kept in quarantine. In my very serious opinion.

I said over a week ago that it was only a matter of time before Gregor threw chu under the bus...and sure enough he did.

For our mayor, who is on the VPD board to not only say he knew nothing of the plan beforehand but that he still hasn't gotten any answers since, screams absolute incompetence. This riot cost our city an estimated 1 billion dollars in tourism, investment, etc...far more than our pathetic mayor has drawn to our province while in office.

Gregor and his cult of imbeciles need to go...we need leadership

Taxpayer,the city controls the pursestrings of the VPD,I think that speaks volumes.

For years there have been arguments about whether the Mayor of a City should be the Chair of the Police Board.
Will there be a conflict of interest when the Mayor of a City (that pays the police wages)ends up in a tussle with the police?

How to work this out?
I don't know.

Police boards could make every recommendation possible but the City pays the wages.

COMPLICATED.

Chris the mayor and police board as representatives of the voters must have control of the police or it is conceivable we could end up in a police state.I know it may seem impossible to us,but it has happened time and again in modern history.Checks and balances must be kept in place.

I have no problem with the Mayor AND police board being in charge of the police.

I have a problem when it appears that Mayors end up having the ultimate say..
This goes back a long time.

Most of us in Vancouver have no idea what a police state looks like.

I've seen them.

Chris I agree,the mayor should not interfere in operational matters or execution of their duties,but in the organization of events they should work in lockstep.The mayor should make himself fully involved in planning and respect the chiefs opinions.If funding is a problem then this should have been considered before the mayor went to the podium with his open invitations.

Chris your right people here have no idea what a police state is,by the same token they have no idea how quickly it can happen ie:false flag operations,invented bogy men,we could wake up in the morning to a total new world.I hate to say it but the total incompetance with which this whole thing was carried out really bothers me.

You are very correct gman - some people have zero idea what a true police state is.

Travel to Russia and find out.

You do not speak out in public against anything that is government.

And you are wary of who you speak to in private on the matter.

And don't even get me started on how they treat children born with mental or physical disabilities. Most are not kept by the parents, they are deemed 'defective' and are turned over to the state. It is horrible and it makes me wonder how Russia can in good conscience host the Paralympic Games in 2014.

Incompetence,naivete,drowning in bureaucracy mistakes, egos, on and on and on.

what caused it? Who knows.

I simply want to know that it won't happen again.

And let's not confuse policing with militarism.

"And let's not confuse policing with militarism."

Yes, let's have a Propaganda term for "our military", call them police! How brilliant, none of the dupes-for-the-corporate-state will ever realize that the tax monies extorted from them are used to pay a mercenary army!

Mayor Moonbeam was doing another feel good photo op on CTV tonight. Dressed in full soccer regalia, he played a game for the camera. He looked so sexy. So hot. Almost made me forget how much of an ignoramis he is.

Chris I agree,I never want to see it happen again.Although I never used the word militarism we must remember its just a word that means different things to different people.What concerns me is that governments throughout history use these incidents to invade our rights,whether from fear,incompitance or other reasons.We have to keep our government in check.Remember the first thing that came out of their mouths was "Its the ANARCHISTS" and ask yourself how you feel about the TSA.I really dont want to sound conspiratorial.Funny,I almost feel more comfortable in a third world country,at least I know if I pay the baksheesh everything is taken care of...sad.

Mayor Moonbeam was doing another feel good photo op on CTV tonight. Dressed in full soccer regalia, he played a game for the camera. He looked so sexy. So hot. Almost made me forget how much of an ignoramis he is.
----------------------

What next. Is he going to dress up as a cop to show how close he is to the beat cop?

I wouldn't put it past him if he sees his popularity in the dumper.

The Thought of The Night

'Turpy, yours...must be the Natural Blonde commentary of the Month!'

Few things.

'Dressed in full soccer regalia'
You don't use 'soccer' and 'regalia' in the same sentence. They couldn't be more different in meaning. If you've said,Polo...Opa!

'He played a game for the camera.'
No, no, no...he played for...his benefit. Opa!

'He looked so sexy.'
You either need to wear glasses or you were in heat, darling.
One or the other. Opa!

'So hot.'
Yeah, 20 degrees Celsius in the shade, almost 30 degrees next to the BBQ stand, felt like 40 after a couple of beers. So, in your case, what was it? Opa!

'Almost made me forget how much of an ignoramis he is.'
Don't worry. Forgetting things is normal, just make sure to get laid this coming week! That,if you don't keep forgetting things! Opa!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy. Opa!

PS.
Mike,
Your title...
'Has Gregor bitten off more than he can Chu?'
I loved it!
Also...
I missed his Horrorship by half an hour, I had my walk on Broadway for the Greek Day too. A plate of Souvlaki, a piece of galaktoboureko and Rembetika music. Perfect.
Thank God I didn't see his mug, 'cause he would have obliterated my appetite. I also heard he was Booed. But you won't read about this in the MSM.
This is from me to you...hush, hush on the QT.
Opa!

Thanks, Glissy. Opa!

Didn't hear boos. I always clap politely for Hizonner. Always respect the office, I say.

Greek Day was as great as I remember it in the old days. Such a great FAMILY event. Precisely what we should have gone for in downtown Vancouver over the last month. You can't say we didn't tell you so.

http://www.citycaucus.com/2011/05/rogers-arena-away-game-plan-must-focus-on-families

Greek Days was a fiasco years ago.
It got canceled because of outrageous behaviour from participants.
I remember sitting in a restaurant and brawls breaking out around us.

I give credit to the Hellenic society for bringing it back and running it with care, and proper planning.

It has had a better feel since it came back.

Mind you, I'm never there at night (so I don't know what it's like later.)

Planning goes a long way in making things enjoyable for all.

there is a new Business Association in that area of Broadway. I think you will see a much stronger cohesive Greek Days in years to come. It is an amazing event when you consider most of it is done by volunteers.

Great food, great weather - how can you lose.

It will be curious what the economic spin off was for the local businesses beyond the food vendors. That is the sticky wicket that I always look for.

I spoke to some of the store fronts that had a sidewalk sale of sorts and they seemed happy. Whether it translates to more bodies walking into their shops after the fact will be interesting.

I noticed a lot more independant vendors, vendors that offer unique items were on board this year.

I asked several if they would be a Kits days next month and none were even aware there was an event next month. (same with Commercial and Main last week)

It was a good day, but the two things that stood out - the extreme line-ups for food, one of the Greek trucks had to have had at least 100 people standing in line and, second, why do people insist on bringing little dogs to packed places. The poor things must get stepped on over and over.

For cyring out loud, I had people step on my feet as well as ram into the back of my legs with baby buggies. It is somewhat unavoidable.

'The Mayor is not the Police Chief's boss. The reporting structure in Vancouver is not the same as a tv show like "Batman".'

Maybe if it was, this city would run better than it is now.

As a downtown business owner, I have to ask what the heck the BIA has been doing the last month or so? I pay all these dues to them and they didn't raise a single concern to city hall about the poor planning leading up to the canucks riot.

Where is Mr. Gauthier now? He's standing side by side with the guy that brought us the riot in the first place.

Enough photo ops with Robertson already and let's kick some butt. I don't pay all these taxes only to have the BIA start We Love Vancouver campaigns and try to paper over what happened. I'm sure this will come up as a topic at the next AGM. maybe the BIA doesn't want us to remember the riot either?

Guathier should be trying to get us some compensation from the city for losses. How about a break on our taxes this year?

They should be asking tough questions of city hall and their planning staff. It's unfortunate the BIA never did that BEFORE the riot. Maybe then we could have mitigated some of the damage. I think the BIA dropped the ball and a few of us might want to ask why.

The Thought of The Day

'He looketh at His People, and then he looketh up at His Father, and waved at His Brothers and Sisters, then he turned around, and before parting the Red Sea of Followers, He said:
'Now, go and screw the COPE vote My Children, bring me a Coalition Knish. I'll be at the Greek Festival and maybe later on I'll hit a leather ball with my Golden Sandal.'

But enough about Gregor Robertson addressing his Vision COPEers after getting a paternal nod from The Solomon.

Mike, nobody booed? Must have been too noisy then.
Respect for the office? Common, that was a joke right?
What office?
The guy and his staff are solely responsible for the destruction of a sizable part of our city's downtown, he lied about it, he tried to cover it up and now he tries to deflect the responsibility on others. No Respect.
Maybe Roger Dangerfield's kind of No Respect:
' With my dog I don't get No Respect. He keeps barking at the front door. He don't want to go out. He wants me to leave.'
My point exactly!

Anyhoo.
I heard that the COPE meeting went well. They are now officially in a menage a troix... if you count the bed bugs in.
Gregor!? Yeah, he keeps talkin' to the Undecided Vancouver Voters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOh-rpvjYg&feature=related

'I think it's great we live in a town where you can ask questions, because without questions we just have answers, and an answer without a question is just a statement.'...
What town is he talking about? Oh, yeah...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Global news just pointed out that at tomorrow's council meeting, growing wheat in your front yard is on the agenda yet the Stanely Cup riot, is not.

As posted on Alex Tsakumis' blog:

“Alex, I am one of the cops who was there at Game Seven and I have been following your excellent reporting since a friend in the RCMP sent me your link. I was standing across from Penny Ballem during Game 7. After the 2nd period ended, there was a group of idiots climbing on top of the porta johns. I watched Penny Ballem approach a Constable and demand that he must ‘get going’ and stop them. She complained that the city would have to pay for any damage and why was he not moving and doing as she demanded. The Sgt. tells her that they have much greater concerns brewing and she left his side in a big huff. She then managed to get a radio–not a police radio, and broadcasts that the whole situation is out of control. A record of this must be available for review from ecomm. Everyone heard her yelling. The only other radios in sync that night available to her I think were fire radios. And there was one other city official down with us but none of them had access to police radios. It had to have been a fire radio. She was clearly violating a number of protocols by yelling at us and standing in plain sight of me when she was doing it to the Sgt. The Sgt and others all just looked at each other in shock. I’ve been a cop for over twenty years and I have never seen anything like that. By the way, thanks for reporting all our information. I like the Chief very much, but he has really let the dept down in a big way. The mayor and Penny Ballem should wear this. The whole dept knows we were told no more money for the cup run. Jim shouldn’t be covering for these people. Our budgets are down and morale is so down as a result of the Chief’s comments. One of us could have died that night. What would Ballem be saying if that happened? Keep up the good work. You know I can’t go on the record, sorry. I hope your friends in the media will not let up on Ballem and the Mayor. Good luck Alex.”

Priorities,Max, priorities.

What's a little riot, when there's wheat to grind?

At the end of the day Chris:

Both the wheat and the Vancouver citizens are getting the shaft by this Mayor and Vision council.

So why bother with a 'review' of what happened if it is not all inclusive:

Internal review into Stanley Cup riot
VANCOUVER/CKNW AM 980
6/27/2011

A City of Vancouver internal review into the Stanley Cup riot has begun.

City Manager Penny Ballem will provide council tomorrow with an update on the review; how long it will take, what it will involve.

The review will not include efforts by Vancouver Police the night of the riot.

The police department refuses to say how many officers it had on the street the night of the riot, and Police Chief Jim Chu has been refusing to speak to the media.

It appears the police department is NOT willing to participate in an Internal review.

Maybe they don't want the finger pointed solely at them?

To paraphrase Glissando:

Life in Vancouver is interesting. It keeps us broken.


Can you blame them.

Right from the get go, Robertson was pointing the finger their way.

Chi has obviously been told to clam up.

Seem there was a late change to tomorrows agenda and the 'riot' is now on.

Public pressure.

Gerry, congratualtions on throwing your hat into the ring!

Precisely to the point. Robertson is the Chair of the VPD Board by virtue of the Police Act and as Chair casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie among Board members. Robertson has full authority to call Chu before the Board and demand answers but he declines to do so. He is also being quite disingenuous ( a polite way of saying lying) about any prior knowledge of police staffing plans for the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was present at the VPD Board meeting on March 16, 2011 when the police staffing report was discussed at an in camera session. ( see item #2 on the in camera agenda). Was he not paying attention? Was he sleeping? He speaks of not being involved as board chair in the “day to day” operations of the police. While that is correct, I seriously question the wisdom and judgement of a Mayor who considers the safety and security of the downtown core a day to day issue when he has invited 100,000 people to party downtown on a one time occasion. That is not “day to day”. That, at a minimum is an special annual event that demands the VPD Board Chairs attention on policing issues and the Mayors attention on the overall safety and security of the city its citizens and the thousands of guest who accepted the Mayors invitation. As to the precise numbers? 354, 567,356??? Doesn’t matter. Robertson admitted he did not have enough to deal with situation. He should have paid attention in March, April and May in the planning and budgeting process. In the Gary Mason interview he claims that numbers are an operational matter left to the chief yet in 2010 the numbers were presented to him as Board chair detailing the number of officers, the cost per hour, the type of deployment, the length of the assigned shift. He claims that was a mistake. It was a mistake to reveal to the public ??? or for the Chief to reveal to the Board?? Can this man string two cogent thoughts together? Chu needed more budget dollars. That is the role of the VPD Board to deal with budgetary issues, to permit a variance to cope with what was a significant security undertaking. That is what the Chairperson of a Board is employed to do. Robertson failed miserably.

Thanks.Let's rock this boat.


Here's the big lie and the reason the intellectually and emotionally challenged in our society reacted badly when faced with the defeat of their heroes:

Professionally hockey, a rather stupid game played by millionaires who chase a rubber puck around an ice rink, is something about which adults should become emotionally involved.

That's the big lie that the money-makers, supported by the media and politicians, continue to foist on the intellectually-challenged members of our society who are easily brainwashed.

The truth is that which team wins the Stanley Cup has no more meaning or importance than which team wins when the teams are made up of kids playing on a frozen pond in the woods.

It just doesn't matter, folks.

So I think the people with working brains in media and government owe the "fans" who became the "rioters" an apology for not telling them that professional hockey is way over hyped and it just doesn't matter who wins.

How bright can you be if you can get worked up into a frenzy by a hockey game and commit criminal acts which you would never consider in your normal state of mind?

These "fans" need direction and leadership, not more invitations to a big stupid party about NOTHING of any real importance.

The fact that the rioters were willing to commit criminal acts while on camera should be the most obvious clue that they believed their behaviour was warranted (after all their team lost) and would be understood and accepted by society.

In order to prevent this from happening in the future we don't need more cops, who did a fantastic job by the way. Noone was killed. We need leaders to step up and educate the intellectually challenged that it doesn't really matter which team of millionaires wins.

We educate smokers against smoking and drinkers against drinking and driving so why not educate hockey fans that it just doesn't matter who wins the Stanley Cup.

It's only a game.

Intelligent people only protest important events such as their own government being willing to murder them instead of instituting reforms as is the case today in places such as Lybia and Syria, not to mention perhaps half of the world. Think Tiananmen Square.

The Vancouver riot should be a lesson in the danger of over-hyping a non-event so that the coffers of owners and finanicially-invested can be replenished.

Remember folks, hockey's just a game. It doesn't really matter who wins.

The police acted absolutely perfectly, by the way. For them to get into a brawl with a hundred thousand stupid, brainwashed "fans" would have resulted in deaths and a far greater number of serious injuries.

I've been listening to council via the web all morning. No discussion of riot. But they are talking about a new green program to grow wheat on people's front lawns. Dumb.

Gregor Robertson encouraged a drunken mob to go downtown and wasted tax payers' money for a view of a hockey game from wide screen TV. That idiot should be impeached.

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