Stanley Cup Vancouver Riots and Surrey
Surrey, Vancouver, July 12, 2011
Vancouver is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The international exposure during Expo in 1986 and the Winter Olympics last year have given this city a great positive image. All of this made it as one of the most desirable places to live in. In a sense, Metro Vancouver is very unique. This may be one of the rare places on the face of the earth where a person can ski on the North Shore Mountains, play golf on its plains and swim in the Pacific Ocean on the same day. Such uniqueness has made this area as one of the most popular places for immigrants and visitors alike.
This city’s peaceful and clean image took a big hit on June 15. Wins and losses in sports are an integral part of any sport. You win some you lose some. However, the way a bunch of hooligans and miscreants acted in the aftermath of Canucks loss to Boston in game 7 on June 15 is beyond reason. There is no doubt that the hype around game 7 and the expectations of Canucks were very high. Consequently, there were a lot of disappointed fans on the night of the game. All of us were hoping that this time around the Canucks would bring home the Stanley cup. However, the way some of the goons in downtown Vancouver acted after the game was a disgrace. They did a lot of damage to this city’s and British Columbia’s image worldwide.
The way these antisocial elements went about in burning cars, breaking windows, looting stores and scaring innocent bystanders was not only shameful but also disgusting. Fortunately no lives were lost. However the damage done to Vancouver’s image worldwide is going to take time to be restored. On top of that, this misadventure and a follow-up review are going to cost millions of dollars. Making these hooligans face the consequences of their behaviour is going to stretch our limited police and judicial resources further.
The same evening, just across the Fraser, a large number of South Asians and members of other communities from Surrey and the surrounding areas set an excellent example. The huge gatherings at 72 Ave. and Scott Road as well as City Centre were not only well behaved but also exemplary in their behaviour. Naturally, like every one else, they were also very disappointed with the Canucks loss. Rather than putting on the boorish behaviour of some of the hooligans in downtown Vancouver, they went home quietly and peacefully. They kept their emotions in check and acted in a very commendable and mature manner.
The troublemakers in downtown Vancouver need to take a lesson from the participants in Surrey. This indeed is a great credit not only to the South Asian community but also to members of other communities in Surrey. This goes to show that our youth and the community as a whole have achieved a commendable sense of maturity. Well done and congratulations, Surrey!
Balwant Sanghera (Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist)