Hours before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and its subsequent aftermath of drunken mayhem and violence, a chirpy councillor Heather Deal appeared on CBC Radio One’s On The Coast to discuss the city’s plans for the evening, declaring with confidence that there were “contingency plans upon contingency plans upon contingency plans.”
CBC host Stephen Quinn mentioned that cops in Boston were warning the public to stay away from the downtown core, and asked Deal how Vancouver had shed its own no-funcity reputation.
“We’re a grown-up city now,” said Deal. “We know how to party downtown. We know how to close streets down. We know how to divert traffic, we know how to make sure we have enough city controls on the garbage and making sure we have enough space on the street for people to party. We rock at this.”¦ We’ve brought in a lot of people from around the region. Again, we’ve seen the crowds growing every single night. We’re over 100,000 now. We know how to deal with 100,000. If it’s 120,000 we’ll deal with 120,000. If they’re cranky, we’ll deal with cranky.”
Deal, who was described as one of the city’s Stanley Cup Playoff party planners, now sounds woefully naive: Vancouver may have grown up, but apparently it’s gone from being a testy, tantrum-prone toddler to a belligerent, hormonally charged teen without a curfew.
The icing on the cake comes at the end of the interview, when Deal refuses to discuss how the celebration—win or lose—would go down.
”The mayor isn’t talking much about the parade, because he’s afraid of jinxing things,” said Quinn, to which Deal retorted: “We don’t use the P-word, Stephen.”¦ We will have an appropriate celebration at the end of the series.”
“Will there be a celebration either way, win or lose?” pressed Quinn. “Yes, absolutely,” said Deal. “We’re so proud of the Canucks.”
An exasperated Quinn asked again: “I’m not asking for the secret of the Caramilk bar here. I’m just asking what’s the parade route?” Deal remained tight-lipped: “I actually don’t know, and we’re not talking about it. Because we will have a celebration, there’s no question of that. But I have no details to offer you. Sorry about that.”
At the time, it sounded like superstition. Now, in hindsight, her answer begs the question: how much did the city even plan for a loss?