Vancouver has become a black eye for Canada and Canadian sports…again.
Second June in a row that a Canadian city has been marred by violence. Last year it was the G20 in Toronto. This year it is the NHL in Vancouver.
In fact, this is Vancouver’s second riot spurred, allegedly, by a Stanley Cup Finals loss as they did the same after losing game seven to the New York Rangers back in 1994. Montreal has also had issues with hockey after their win in 1993.
Last year at the G20 in Toronto, it was anarchists whining for attention from the press. Legitimate protesters were the big losers as the violent types got all the press and then, when the police tamped down, they were accused of abuse…and some did abuse, no question, but not likely anywhere near the amount reported.
The hockey certainly spurred the Vancouver riots…but were they the cause?
There were no riots after Canada won hockey gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics…and the gold medal game was held in the same arena that the Canucks played in the other night.
There were no riots when other Canadian cities lost in the finals…Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa all enjoyed the ride which ended disappointed but with class.
Is it Vancouver?
There were no riots after the Winter Olympics, as mentioned…but there were threats of violence and protest from those that find balaclavas fashionable. There have also been no riots when the BC Lions, the local CFL team, have been to Grey Cup Championships.
The thing about Vancouver, compared to other Canadian cities, is the split in classes. There is a lot of money in Vancouver as it is the main import/export site for western Canada. On the other hand, due to being one of the warmest Canadian cities, Vancouver also has a very large population of homeless and those under the poverty level.
Perhaps the hockey…the pro hockey team that people feel more passion for than say the national team sent to the Olympics…is the relief valve. .a perfect storm of class and poverty issues combined with frustration at the passion for winning pro hockey’s biggest prize ripped away…and considering the Canucks led the series by two games early, this frustration could be cut with dull scissors.
Then again, if Canada loses that gold medal game in 2010, perhaps Vancouver is suffering through a third riot black eye.
Canada was once the peace keepers of the world. Generally, it is still a wonderful and safe country…definitely a beautiful country. In the grand scheme, these riots are getting more press because of how most are shocked it could have happened here than anything else.