Petition asks mayor to halt NYE VAN event

Mere hours after the announcement of a city-backed New Year's Eve party scheduled to take place over a year away, a petition has popped up asking Mayor Gregor Robertson to cancel the event.

The petition, started by Kaine Delay, points to the 2011 Stanley Cup riot as the reason NYE VAN 2015, scheduled for December 31, 2014 should not go forward.

The text of the petition reads, "We have already seen what 300,000 suburban kids Fueled by alcohol and herd mentality can do to our city why dare we let this happen again??? Call off this free street party please. We don't need millions more in damages."

Thousands of hockey fans flooded the streets of Vancouver during the Vancouver Canucks' run to the cup in 2011, primarily in designated fan zones. The riot, which took place after the Canucks' 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on June 15, 2011, caused at least $5 million in damages to buildings in the downtown core and left at least 140 people injured.

Rioters smashed out the windows of a downtown Starbucks on June 15, 2011.
Stephen Hui

A press release for the family-friendly NYE VAN states the "free, public event...will include live music, multicultural programming and entertainment, and fireworks."

When asked about the possibility of more riot-style chaos at the announcement for the event this morning (December 12), Mayor Robertson assured reporters that the event would be "safe and successful”.

"We have a very sophisticated approach now with our big events and we’ve seen great success over the past several years hosting big events, from the [Celebration of Light] to the jazz fest downtown," said Robertson. "We’re seeing bigger celebrations than ever before in our streets, with no issues arising, so I think we’re well-prepared for this.”

The event is set to take place primarily at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver, and will include the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.

Would you attend a free city-sponsored New Year's Eve party?

Comments (8) Add New Comment
This is a stupid petition. Finally the city and Gregor are trying to put on events that make the city fun again. The riots are a terrible reason that we can't put on events in the city. Look at Celebration of Light (where upwards of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people attend nightly), Canada Day, etc - can we really not put on world class events anymore? Why are we letting one event ruin our name. It's time to put that in the past and let's move on. Stupid petitions like this are only going to continue to tarnish our reputation. I'm all in favour of this event and it's about damn time. Stupid NIMBYs need to realize that downtown is a destination that people want to come to. I'm sure the city is going to put enough funds and resources to ensure that it stays true to being a family-friendly event that anyone can attend.
Rating: +13
Kaine Delay might just be over-reacting
Celebration of lights, Canada Day, Pride, 420.. All major parties held downtown annually which don't have problems. Maybe, just maybe, this petition is being a touch alarmist.
Rating: +11
This basis of this petition is completely fallacious and is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
The 2010 Olympics and the annual Celebration of Light are two PRIME examples that this is doable without resulting in barbaric antics.
Among other thing, one of the biggest problems of the riot is that there was way too many people in a condensed area. But as pointed out in this NYE proposal, there will be events that are spread out.
People seriously need to be more critical of their thinking before making such careless remarks.

Long live NYE Party 2014!!!
Rating: +11
Maybe you could at least wait until the petition has more than 10 e-signatures before "reporting" on it.
Rating: +5
While I do agree that drunken mob mentality is one of the worst things on the planet, give me a break. Enough with the overwrought online petitions already. Valid points yes, but I'm sure this is a different idea...signing this garbage would also mean no more outdoor concerts, so I guess this guy's shitty band can continue playing in their dank clubs to twenty people. Next...
Rating: -1
Mark Bowen
There is no way the city and VPD would let another riot happen. Too much of a black eye last time. Made both look bad.

My bet is that next big time event, there are going to be cops out the yingyang and they ain't going to be taking kindly to any shenanigans.

I'm OK with that.
Rating: +2
Alan Layton
I can't blame some people from being concerned about a NYE party. Vancouver drinkers have shown time and time again in our cities history that they can't hold their liquor and are pretty crude by 'world class city' standards. This city started with a barrel of whiskey and a saloon ('Gassy' Jack Deighton) and Vancouver became a mecca for loggers boozing it up on the weekends. That's the reason why we need such a large police presence on Granville St on Friday and Saturday nights. The NYE celebrations were stopped over a decade ago because the crowds were so unruly. It's also the same reason why the original Greek Days were banned as well as the old Sea Festival Parade and even something as innocuous as the White Rock Sand Castle Contest. There were small riots at all of these events caused by Vancouverites who just do not know how to drink.

Sure they can put on successful events such as the fireworks and pride parade but the whole idea of NYE is to get drunk and party. However, I don't think there is going to be any problem with this one since it's held in a part of town that is open and has few bars and advertising it as a family friendly event will help considerably. If it were held at the VAG/Robson Sq I think it would be a different story due to it's proximity to Granville St and it's small space.
Rating: -2
Raymond H
I hope the cost to the city in overtime for police won't make them raise the parking meter rates again or make pay parking in effect 24 hours.
Rating: +1
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