Vancouver's "internal" riot reviews won't pass sniff test

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Another YouTube creation capturing the aftermath of "Robertson's Riot"

There are a lot of reviews going on right now regarding what some have dubbed as “Robertson’s Riot.”

On Tuesday the B.C. government announced that Douglas Keefe, a former Nova Scotia deputy justice minister, and John Furlong, former CEO of VANOC, were appointed as co-chairs for the provincial review into the Stanley Cup riot.

Not to be outdone, the City of Vancouver has confirmed it too is conducting several “internal” reviews regarding exactly what went wrong on June 15. That investigation will be headed up by Vancouver’s city manager and will involve staff from several city departments.

Unlike Premier Christy Clark, who ensured the provincial government’s review would be free of political interference, Mayor Gregor Robertson has yet to provide Vancouverites with that assurance. In fact, it appears the same staff who worked on the mayor’s hockey-fan zone may also end up conducting the internal review.

Needless to say, this whole process is not sitting well with NPA opposition leader Suzanne Anton. This week she made every attempt to grill the mayor regarding his role in the riot, but he was having none of it.

What was the mandate of the city’s internal review and why didn’t council approve it? What would be the cost of the review? These were the kinds of questions Anton wanted to pose to the mayor. Unfortunately, he simply shut off her microphone after five paltry minutes of questioning then moved on to the next item on the agenda.

Clearly frustrated with Robertson’s stonewalling, Anton then stormed out of the meeting with a full contingent of media in tow.

“The way in which this review is being conducted is exactly how the mayor’s fan zone was developed… behind closed doors,” Anton said Tuesday.

If Robertson wants the public to believe these “internal” reports are anything more than a simple whitewash, he needs to quickly re-examine his actions from this week. A good first step would be for him to remove the city manager as the head of review process itself. This would then ensure that all senior staff members are subject to the review.

The mayor’s initial attempt at shedding light on what caused the riot did not get off on the right foot. I suspect our only real hope of finding out what really happened rests in the hands of Keefe and Furlong, who will publicly report their findings later this summer.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us on Facebook at This post was originally published in 24 Hours Vancouver on Thursday, June 30th, 2011.



Let's face it, this is nothing but a sad attempt at an optics diversion.

Ballem is running this review, yet her ass is up to alligators in what happened before, during and after the riot.

And from what I've read (Reimer) people do not have to 'participate' into this review if they don't want to.

Now lets, see....when did the option to opt out happen last.....oh, yes, during the investigation into who leaked the Olympic financial documents.....

Max rolls her eyes.

"There are a lot of reviews going on right now regarding what some have dubbed as “Robertson’s Riot.”"

'Some'? lol!

The Thought of The Evening

"Arrogance, Thy Name is Robertson,
In French,you would be called 'Personne'.
Frailty, Thy name is Ballem,
Same trade, from Bangkok... to Harlem.
Misogynist, Thy Name is Meggs,
Rags to Riches,back to Rags.
Fawning,Thy Name is Chu,
A silent 'Cock-a-doodle-do'!
Dishonesty, Thy name is Clark,
The One and Only, Left behind by Noah's Ark.
Four months, Two weeks,Five days...
Count on it, 'Carambole' ever pays!"
(from Glissando's Sonnet No.XXI)


I've tried to sum up the whiff coming from the City Hall these days.
No need to wait for it, rest assured, the...

‘Gregor Riotson REPORT’

… will start with this personal message:

…and it will end with the usual Vision trademark:

……………………. /´¯/)
………………….,/¯ ..//
…………………/… ./ /
…………./´¯/’…’/´¯/ ¯`·¸
………./’/…/…./…/ …./¨¯\
……..(‘(…´(..´…… ,~/’…’)
………\…………… ..\/…./
……….”…\……… . _.·´
…………\………… ..(
…………..\………. …\

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

"Mayor's duties
208. The Mayor shall

To enforce law for government of city
(a) be vigilant and active at all times in causing the law for the government of the city to be duly enforced and obeyed;"

Admit your own fault, Gregor. It's good for the soul. Then step down.

Here's a completely non-partisan analysis of the situation.

PS The Province has shown an NPA bias since Suzanne was nominated (trust me, I read every edition) but this video underlines that GR really has blown it.

As reported on this blog in the review of John Ferguson's book,he is not a Robertson fan. This actually might get interesting. How closely Ballem was managing the event is illustrated by her constant onsite presence. What might save her job is section 208 of the Vancouver Charter...

Gregor is manifesting all the traits of a Serial Incompetent.

Great videos Gerry. Keep them coming. Any way you could post the full interview with Ballem? I'm sure Furlong and Keefe would like to use it as part of their review.

I believe you meant to say John Furlong`s book.

Somebody get a rope.

After Mayor Robertson's ham fisted putdown of Councillor Anton at Tuesday's Council meeting, an important question must be asked. Is Mayor Robertson arrogant or is he simply ignorant? Or both?

As reported in Wednesday’s Vancouver Sun, the Mayor “…repeatedly cut off [Councillor Anton’s] attempts to make political statements.” She, or any other Councillor, have every right to express themselves as they see fit, whether it be by making “… nuts and bolts” or “political” statements.

By ‘repeatedly cutting her off’ one must conclude by his conduct that he was either arrogantly abusing his authority as Chair of the Council meeting. Or, was he ignorant of accepted parliamentary practice, which requires the Chair of a meeting to step aside whenever he or she are central to the discussion at hand. By preventing Councilor Anton from speaking in Council yesterday Mayor Robertson was clearly in a conflict of interest position because she was attempting to ensure the City and Provincial enquiries would include the central responsibilities he and his office played in the orchestration of and the planning for the Fan Zones and the ensuing riot.

The Mayor has responsibilities as the Chair of the Police Board, and as well made himself the Chief Cheerleader of this event. It is, therefore, essential that what he said and did be included in the enquiries.

Thanks for the correction,p101. Sadly, John Ferguson is passed away, and I'm pretty sure his book "Thunder and Lightning" didn't cover the 2010 Olympics. I am equally certain that Mr. Furlong will not be shy to put his elbows up in the corners with Mr. Robertson.

I'll make sure they get it. The Ballem-in-hockey-jersey interview is virtually complete, except for I accidentally clipped "and that's what the Council wants" at the very end of it. I still have that.

Off to the Carnegie for neighbourhood meeting. ttys

This blog doesn't pass the sniff test.

you may want to pay a visit on Fabula's blog. Just went bonkers with what I read a few moments ago.
I know it looks innocent but to me Frances condones for not paying for Transit (everyone is doing it!!) while on vacation in Rome (just like our lovely Mayor did once in Vancouver) and then goes to admit that she was a young rioter once and that as far as she is concerned Rioting was...FUN! Yes, you read that right. Keeping in mind that the city is in the middle of a controversial fact finding after that June 15 disastrous day this sounds like big time Spin to me.

Glissando Remmy,
bless his heart,was there ahead of me and I tell you, he painted a pretty lucid image of what I think is is going on.
see for yourself.

I smell desperation in the Mayor's office.

What do you expect from a city that keeps trying to tell us how ""FUN"" it is.

The media is pandering to it.

As far as F.Bula is concerned, all I can say is:

24 is pretty old to be playing hide and seek.

To think my grandfather died for this country!


Let's face it Robertson is not that bright.

When he was an NDP MLA, he was described in one of the MSM papers (Province, I think) as being 'ineffective'.

Boooooring, this is getting tired now -- the people who are responsible for the riot are the people who looted, lit cars on fire, taunted police, threw bottles, smashed windows, etc. To try to say that someone else (Chu, Robertson, Ballem, etc.) is somehow "responsible" for the riot is absolutely daft. The idiots who rioted are responsible for their own actions.

Section 208, the Vancouver Charter says otherwise. Very clearly.

"Mayor's duties
208. The Mayor shall
To enforce law for government of city
(a) be vigilant and active at all times in causing the law for the government of the city to be duly enforced and obeyed;"

Admit your own fault, Gregor. It's good for the soul. Then step down.
Here's a completely non-partisan analysis of the situation.

This just in from CKNW:

Clark adviser rips Gregor Robertson


A top adviser to Premier Christy Clark has taken to the internet to blast Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for his handling of last month's riot.

In a column for, Gwyn Morgan writes, "It seems Robertson's administration would be prepared to once again risk the livelihood of local shop-owners, and our country’s international reputation, to host huge parties where only bar owners benefit."

Morgan goes on to say, "It was decisions made by the mayor and civic officials that created an anarchist's dream scenario of overwhelming numbers, booze and fan disappointment."

Morgan is a former Alberta energy executive, but now leads the premier's transition team.

Christy Clark and Gregor Robertson appeared together for a photo op the day after the riot.

The premier's office has yet to comment on Morgan's remarks.

Quick question Vancovuer Citizen:

Who invited 150,000 people down to live sites?

Live sites that started out small and then where taken to a next level?

I see the Vivisonistas are hard at work trying to take some of the heat off of Robertson and Ballem, you, Allen Garr, Frances Bula.....

It isn't going to work. 50 businessess suffered losses and just thank God, no one died.

If I can't hold a private event without insuring proper security is in place, then guess what, the Mayor can't take over the streets for his party without damn well making sure there were enough police on the ground.

There is only one way to ensure Gregor Robertson never plans another Game 7 hockey party downtown. On November 19th, hold him accountable for what he did, and kick him out of office.

@Max. I totally agree Bula and Garr are making their best attempt to keep their wonder boy afloat, but I don't think its enough. The Tide has turned on Solomon's 500 year plan for the world.


At one point in time, journalists had integrity, they worried about their reputations, their credibility and how people percieved them. They showed no bias.

Seems for many writers, that aspect of the job has gone straight out the window. What ever is the easy story or whatever sells seems to be the path for many.

As for Garr, (and as ber Robertson) his statement about what is wrong with growing 'wheat' for educational purposes...if it truly were for children's education, then why isn't this project being done at a school level. On the grounds of school yard where the entirety of the school can particiapte rather than in someones private yard?

The 'mini-wheat' fields for education purposes doesn't pass the sniff test either.

@ Gerry:

It's not like it is the first time this Mayor and VV council members have tossed the Charter out the window.

A murder takes place in Vancouver.
The murderer does not get caught.
The murderer kills again.
Again, the murderer is not caught.
Rinse, repeat.

So, Einstein, who is "responsible" for the string of murders?

Wake up.

It is a given that we, as individuals living within a society, are all responsible for our own actions - and inaction. The key concept that you failed to bring up is ACCOUNTABILITY, and it seems to be a common issue here in Vancouver. No one is willing to be held accountable, no matter what lofty position they hold or how much money they make.

They all run like scared little girls when the going gets tough. Sissies!

You do represent Vancouver citizens well, though, so good choice of nick. Apathy seems to rule the roost in this city.

Why is everyone giving the city leadership such a hard time? I am certain that they'll roll up their sleeves, do their investigation, and provide us with someone to blame. This brings me solace.

I took a boo at 1994 post-riot report - and while it was well written and full-to-bursting with excellent recommendations, it had one glaring omission: nowhere in the report did it recommend that the report actually be read. So, you can't hold the mayor's feet to the fire on that one - I for one blame the author.

The city's leadership is no more to blame than the rioters themselves. My heart goes out to those poor rioters. No one seems to understand the pressure they were under to join in the mob hysteria. They were as helpless as cordyceps infected zombie ants. They've been so unfairly victimized in the social media. I wonder if there's some charity site where I can donate to the cause of their defence.

And what's with that persnickety Councilor Anton - I think we can all agree that 5 minutes is more than enough time for her to yammer on with uncomfortable questions about the riot - I mean, it only caused a few hundred million dollars in damage. I wish she'd move on to more important topics like this Lawns to Loaves idea - which is very exciting! I have questions about that program though, like, can I trade in my riding lawnmower for some kind of credit against the purchase of a threshing combine?

Loved it.

I also just looked at a recommended read.

How to heal "post riot Vancouver"

Don't let it happen again!

The people that really need the help are the people who feared for their lives that night.
The people who got beaten up because they were trying to stop things.

The woman who with her staff hid in their store, etc, etc,
Store owners without riot insurance.

Vancouver will go on.
What about them?

Check out!

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