Lightning speed of Robertson's Riot Review opens it up to criticism

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Vancouver riot 3.jpg
Will the Furlong report will help to ensure political accountability for the riot?

After only a few weeks of being on the job, John Furlong and Douglas Keefe have now wrapped up their work reviewing the circumstances surrounding what has been dubbed ‘Robertson’s Riot.’ They were appointed by the premier to conduct an independent review into why the riot took place and what could be done to prevent another one from happening.

Their report is scheduled to be released today at 1 pm and you can expect one of two responses. Some will call it a whitewash and claim the whole process lacked any real public input and was too rushed. Others will say it is the final chapter in what was clearly an embarrassing and frightening night for many Vancouverites.

I must admit that I am a bit stunned at how quickly the ‘Robertson’s Riot’ review was drafted. When you consider that not a single person has been charged with a criminal offence, it seems odd we’re now officially dissecting who goofed up.

Despite the fact the report is being released on the eve of a long weekend, you can be rest assured that every media outlet and politician in Vancouver will be analyzing it in great detail.


There are likely no politicians more interested in what the report says than Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver caucus. That’s because with a civic election less than three months away, they have the most to lose if the report is in any way critical of the City of Vancouver.
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If Furlong’s report is to have any credibility, it will need to address the critical issue of why the Mayor’s office invited 150,000 people downtown without a proper crowd control plan in place. If it ignores the reality that decisions made that evening were driven by political considerations, the authors will have opened themselves to some legitimate criticism.

Although I’m not privy to what’s in the report, I do anticipate the Vancouver police will begin laying a number of riot related charges in the coming days. This will be part of a major PR offensive to help deflect attention away from what is contained in the report and onto the actual perpetrators themselves.

Despite the rushed nature of the riot review, I am still hopeful it will provide the public with a clear line of political accountability for who was responsible for the poor planning that led to the mayhem. If it merely speaks in generalities, it deserves to be just another government report that sits on a shelf and gathers dust. Then it would be up to the voters to decide who should be accountable on Nov. 19.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us at This column first appeared in 24 Hours Vancouver on Thursday, Sept 1, 2011.


From the Vancouver Charter

"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;"

From this morning's scandalous events-media was informed of the purpose and content of an in camera meeting in advance!!!

Only NPA hacks dub this Roberson's Riot. In reality, it is THE CANUCKS RIOT. It was by, for and of Canucks fans.

The mayor's office made the bone-headed move of inviting 100K+ people into one small area of the downtown core.

It was the mayor who DID NOT read the riot report that was written SPECIFICALLY to avoid another riot.

Be sure, this is Robertson's Riot.

@Brian. I am a Canucks fan. I could already see problems after game 3 downtown. I do not wear Vision corrected glasses as you do. It was obvious to myself and many other responsible fans that the crowd dynamics were getting out of control after game #3. That observation resulted in my family staying in our suburb and avoiding the scene downtown.

Maybe the open & accountable Vision crew will finally admit that mistakes were made and severe errors in judgement resulted in our city being taken sideways by a few over anxious hooligans. The 94 riot report is public and as such to have ignored the historical significance is akin to planting their heads in the sand.

Maybe they were sidetracked by a bike lane, chicken coop or urban wheat field (aka rat hotel).

Brian, no really man, did you know that you could misspell your name and it could turn out... Brain. But not in your case buddy!

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say no matter what the report says it's gregor's fault. Just a hunch.

"Robertson's Riot"?!? Doh, so much for lamenting the vilification of politicians in your editorial about Jack.

Just so I'm clear Brian, I'm calling you a hypocrite.

Attended the Sun's live chat immediately following the release of Robertson's Riot Report. It was quite remarkable how Geoff Meggs showed such an immense disregard for the truth. His responses were glib flippant and disingenuous. His performance resembled that of a freshman frat boy defending a kegger gone awry. He suggests there was no warning of problems leading to game 7 which is completely contradicted by the Robertson's Riot report and by the reports on the COV own website.

There was lots of warning. I watched it with my own eyes. More likely - nobody was listening.

Check out!

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