Hours before the Vancouver riot, councillor Heather Deal was touting city's preparedness

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      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?



      Joseph Jones

      Jun 18, 2011 at 12:00am

      Is this a case study in the effect of lobster overconsumption on brain function?


      Jun 18, 2011 at 3:18am

      Next thing we need to do as a city is figure out who did the planning for this and start asking them questions. 10 of millions of dollars in damage and hundreds hurt. There will be no 'tight lipped' answers or they can resign office, and answer our questions under oath in front of an inquiry. Can't hide from this one!!!

      Mike Puttonen

      Jun 18, 2011 at 10:41am

      I like what you guys are doing with this story and the one where C.Smith uses Ms. Anton as a hand-puppet to make his point.

      The riot was a suburban "parents away" houseparty writ large. Suburban drunks gone wild, but downtown. I have no problem with the VPD getting it on. They are a fine force compared to most.

      But...since the Battle in Seattle...crowd control techniques have been replaced by para-military tactics used to quell insurrections. It's not policing, it is a type of warfare. It is also a sign that the political, bureaucratic and academic elite have, truly, lost all sense of what life is like on the ground.

      glen p robbins

      Jun 19, 2011 at 12:10pm

      Yes Mike P.

      Bill McCreery1

      Jun 22, 2011 at 10:37am

      It's clear from Cllrs. Deal, Meggs, and Mayor Robertsons' comments that they were in party mode, and did not, in fact, have contingency plans upon contingency plans upon contingency plans.” They had Plan 'A' (all goes well) and Plan 'B' (quiet things down), but there was no Plan 'C' (expect the unexpected).

      It is also clear from her comments that the Vision Councillors were involved in the ongoing planning for each game. They did not take this back to Council if circumstances changed as the 17 April report suggested they should. Therefore the Vision Councillors, not Council must take responsibility for insufficient planning, being Chief Cheerleaders instead of cooling their rhetoric, not ensuring there was adequate security to keep booze out of the fan zones, expanding the 2 fan zones so they linked at Granville and Georgia, and not closing the bars and liquor stores earlier.

      In so doing, the Mayor and his Vision Councillors must accept full responsibility for this unnecessary occurrence.

      james green

      Jun 23, 2011 at 12:46pm

      Now let's talk about leadership. If Robertson had any grasp of what being a leader is he would have issued the following statement at a press conference:

      We did not deal well with the planning and management of the crowd and for that I take full responsibility as the leader of this city.
      As your mayor the buck stops with me.
      I apologize for what went wrong, to all citizens and will strive to ensure we improve in the future.
      And he needs to feel this seriously because it is his job to be sure this city functions at its best at all times.
      Instead he is acting weak and spinning and telling stories to make himself look good and in fact he is looking bad.
      Grow up Gregor and become a leader not a spin doctor.

      glen p robbins

      Jul 3, 2011 at 9:26am

      At some point - people will look at our current political position and where they haven't already - realize it is every man and woman for themselves.