Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim addresses absence of outdoor Canucks watch parties

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim's decision on Canucks playoff viewing parties

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim's recently explained the reasoning behind his decision not to host outdoor viewing parties for Canucks playoff games. Sim based his argument on Vancouver's history of riots, particularly in 1994 and 2011, as a primary concern.

“When you look at that report, you could have doubled the number of police officers (at the 2011 riot) and it wouldn’t have made a difference,” Sim told the press.

Sim informed the press that having a party is a great thing, but there are also safety concerns that should not be neglected. He mainly believes that there shouldn't be a risk to local businesses and the safety of people there.

“We are being thoughtful. … While having a party is great, we also have (to think about) local businesses (and) personal safety for all of the people there.”

Deviating from his campaign pledge to rebrand the city from a "no fun city" to a different one, Sim has since shifted his views.

“I don’t think you can just say, ‘Hey look, we want to have a party and let’s have fun,’ and not listen to the experts and the people who have history,” Sim said.

Sim stressed that the 2011 incident took place despite them taking precautions.

“I think we have the best police service on the planet, and a lot of the leadership members were there in 2011 on the front lines. I think it would be incredibly irresponsible to discount,” Sim said.

Other Canadian cities, including Toronto, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, regularly host such events during playoff seasons without incident.

Even The City of Delta and the City of Port Coquitlam hosted watch parties, Vancouver is the only exception.

Exploring the 2011 Vancouver Riots in Brief

On June 15, 2011, in downtown Vancouver, a riot erupted following the Boston Bruins' victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Trouble began before the game with breaches in barricades and fights escalating into rioting, looting, and arson after the game's conclusion. Spectators threw objects, set fires, and vandalized property.

Police intervened with warnings and smoke bombs, making around 100 arrests primarily for breach of peace. Hospitals treated nearly 150 people for riot-related injuries, including broken bones and tear gas exposure.

The mayor initially blamed a "small group of troublemakers" while the police chief identified instigators with protest experience, labeling them "criminals and anarchists" posing as fans. The riot caused significant damage and injuries, prompting a strong response from law enforcement and city officials to restore order.

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