Former VANOC head John Furlong will co-chair the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot review with former Nova Scotia deputy attorney general Doug Keefe, the B.C. government says.

"Both co-chairs bring different but complementary sets of skills and experience. The combination of an out-of-province perspective and local knowledge will help ensure the review will achieve its terms of reference by Aug. 31," said a statement released by the government Tuesday.


John Furlong addresses the media during a news conference in Vancouver, on May 18, 2010. He will now co-chair the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot review. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Furlong led the bid to bring the Olympics to Vancouver in 2010 and served as CEO of the organizing committee which ran the Games.

Keefe played a role in government responses to the Westray Mine disaster, the wrongful conviction of Donald Marshall and the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia. News of his appointment leaked out on Monday.

More than 50 businesses were damaged and looted in a spree by rioters and vandals following the Vancouver Canucks' seventh-game loss in the Stanley Cup final on June 15.

Rioters also burned 15 cars and confronted riot police in several locations during the three-hour-rampage. More than 120 people were arrested.

800 officers deployed, letter indicates

Key to the investigation will be how police officers were deployed to control the crowd of more than 150,000.

Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu has repeatedly refused to say how many police officers were on the streets for the Stanley Cup riot, even reportedly refusing to reveal the exact number to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Chu has citied operational safety as the reason he won't reveal the number. But that has not stopped the chief of the Delta police, Jim Cessford, from posting his own number online.

"Even with over 800 police officers deployed to the downtown core, they were easily outnumbered by the vast crowds," Cessford says in a statement on on the Delta police website.

A spokesperson for Delta police would not comment on the contents of the letter on Tuesday, but said Cessford is not recanting anything stated in the letter. It was written to show support for Chu and give some insight into the regional policing efforts.

Cessford also wrote that planning for the final round began early on and that it was agreed upon that no agency in the region would "stand down" until all the municipalities were safe. Police had to limit their response to the most serious situations in order to reduce the impact of rioting, he said.

Police showed great restraint and professionalism in dealing with the highly charged crowds, Cessford added.

With files from the Canadian Press