Mayor's big frat party was no win situation for Vancouver's finest

Post by Leo Knight in


GlobalTV's Brian Coxford reports on no accountability at City Hall welcomes 24 Hours columnist Leo Knight of the Prime Time Crime column.

The internal Vancouver Police Department report on the Game 7 riot is striking for a number of things - not the least of which is the thoroughness and the apparent transparency given the usual tight-lipped response from police agencies when their actions are questioned. Think of the Toronto Police Service in the wake of the G8/G20 events of 2010.

While the report states in an unequivocal manner, “There was no political or bureaucratic interference in VPD operations and deployment decisions,” it is also apparent the police felt pressure to pull off a big party hatched by the big brains at city hall.

The Live Site components were planned without involving the police until after the fact; the included timeline is proof of this.

On May 10: “City of Vancouver begins discussions with the Province regarding having a Live Site at Robson Square via email. The VPD was not included on this email chain at this point.”

On May 11: “City of Vancouver management states that they would like to have a Live Site at Robson Square despite the VPD not being likely to support the idea. City of Vancouver managers state that if the province provided security (read funding) it would not be an issue. EOPS (Emergency Operations & Planning Section) was copied on this email chain.”

There are other indicators that the city – in other words, the mayor’s office – was moving forward with the planning for this event over the objections of the police.

On May 26, “The VPD expresses concern with the crowd at the CBC Live Site. It is agreed that the VPD is to work with the Special Events Office (a department at city hall) on the logistical issues that arose at the CBC Live Site.”

Translation: Do what you’re told.

There is much more of this theme where the police raise an objection or ask for something and something else is “agreed” to in the meeting. Of particular note is the entry of May 30: “VPD EOPS notified through email from a City of Vancouver manager that bag checks to enter the Live site are not to be thorough.”

What? No bureaucratic interference?

There is much more, but suffice to say the police were ignored in the salient contributing factor to the riot: the Live Site events that attracted an estimated 155,000 people to the downtown area.

The report also states that the initial budget document and a second revised budget were submitted before consideration of the Live Site events.

The police inherited the mayor’s folly and were then ordered to live with it.

That much is clear in reading the report but more especially, when one reads between the lines.

- Post by Leo Knight ( Leo is a former police officer, security expert and host of He writes a weekly column in 24 Hours Vancouver every Wednesday.

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For another media commentator's take on the lack of accountability by the City and Mayor Robertson, listen here to CKNW's Neil McRae on whether the Canucks should be held responsible for the Stanley Cup riot (mp3).



Gregor mouths the right words. Does he really mean it? Who cares-in two months he'll be back on Dizzy's farm.

McCrae's so very wrong in his inimitable way. The reality is that a corporation that pulls millions in profits has a responsibility to it's public in the broadest sense. He's also unaware that one rock and roll group you've probably heard of-Led Zepellin-was blamed for it's fan's behaviour and permanently banned from performing in Vancouver.
The irony in all of this is that the Aquilini Group will soon be in front of City Council asking for major rezoning. What a marvelous confluence of ambitions that will be!

"Gregor mouths the right words. Does he really mean it? Who cares-in two months he'll be back on Dizzy's farm." The correct link is...

The problem with the analogy is that the problem occurred at a Led Zep concert. I think if the root had focused on Rogers Arena you could make the comparision. Again blaming the Aquilini's directly deflects responsibily from those who should wear it - namely those who invited the fans into a confined area and didnt read mood of the crowd.

Should the Aquilini's have offered to help financially - absolutely. It goes to your point on supporting your customers and it would be the moral and good citizen thing to do. However, to hold them accountable for a party designed and run by others would open up a pandoras box for corporate/personal liability.

No other community group city would have been given a Special Events Permit for the Live Site because of security and planning concerns. That should speak volumes.

If you read carefully, the VPD has said it all. Unfortunately, they are not in a position to yell it from the rooftops.

Perhaps not Julia.

But come November, they can remember how they were treated by this Mayor, City Manager and Council.

I watched the TV coverage on riot night and I don't recall if it was CTV or Global (I was flipping between the channels!) At about 7pm a police officer was asked about the crowd and it's precarious nature. His matter of fact response to 'what is going on and why' was 'GO ASK THE MAYOR'

We may never get anyone that has the courage to take responsibility but that does not mean we don't know the truth - just ask O.J.

Did you listen to the McCrae clip?

What gnaws at me, there were what 2 or so private person complaints about the way 'they' were treated - I put it down to stupidity of which there is sadly, no cure, yet you hear little about the 25 officers that were hurt including one that is still suffering from head trauma.

As an ex-spouse of an RCMP officer I can't even begin to tell you the stress we feel every time our spouses walk out the door and not knowing if they will come back. Probably why the divorce rate is so high. At the end of the day - just because they chose to do do a job to protect us - which is now more 'to babysit' us, their lives are not any less important than any other persons.

And, it totally pisses me off when our Mayor, who Gary Mason at the Globe has now taken arms with and stated well, he is young and on a learning curve, throws the VPD, RCMP and all 911 responders collectively under the bus.

And for Chief Jim Chu - I had a lot of respect for you during the 'gang war' shootings and now, I shake my head.

You have sold out your own people - I mean, WTF. If you can't stand up for your own people, than I do not trust you to stand up for the rest of us 'little people'.

No surprise here. Robertson, Joel Solomon's proxy, blames the riot on "youth" and "people from outside Vancouver". Vancouver, the home of saints surrounded by evil, scheming troglodites. Reality - limit all future open events to 300-person Bingo tents at the PNE.

What I find interesting is that the DBIA is voicing concern with regard to the cumpcoming Greycup and the fact that they have been kept out of the loop thus far.

Did the Mayor and City Manager not learn anything from this last fiasco and the reports???

Shakes head in total disbelief.

No. Not a big fan of his. I was more responding to your post.

"The report comes down hard on alcohol and the youthful age of the rioters consuming it. Some may have been binge drinking. The city's chief medical health officer suggesting B.C. has a drinking problem. Consumption is the highest in Canada, up 16% in the last 10 years. 45% of men aged 20 to 34 - the age of many of the rioters - binge drink at least once a month."

Like I said in your first post on the riots, many of these kids are the homeless of the future, here in Vancouver. It's time to WAKE UP to the reality of drugs, Vancouver. This is serious business. The future of Vancouver is bleak.

Some may have been binge drinking??

What an euphemisim for 'party hearty'

Not just alcohol but MDMA ,etc.

or why did the downtown bar owners have their servers continue to serve drunk patrons... that is also illegal..


chris (one of many)

:-) exactly

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