Quick action promised on Vancouver riot review

Vancouver's mayor and the B.C. government say they'll act swiftly on recommendations coming out of a report on the Stanley Cup riot.
Following the Stanley Cup riot, the city of Vancouver wants help paying for big public events in the future, the CBC's Kirk Williams reports 2:45

Vancouver's mayor and the B.C. government say they'll act swiftly on recommendations coming out of a report on the Stanley Cup riot.

The report, which says police were overwhelmed by a largely drunken crowd, makes 53 recommendations including better planning and training for large events and more efforts to seize alcohol from people on public transit.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says he's committed to putting all of the ideas into action in quick order.

He did not rule out holding similar large celebrations in the city in the future, but said other regions need to be involved.

"I do appreciate the suggestion that there is regional planning for big events like this, that we actually designate big events like this as regional events and we increase the amount of collaboration and coordination between the police forces," he said.

The city released its own report into the riot on the heels of the government-ordered review on Thursday. It calls for use of more closed-circuit surveillance cameras at big events and estimates the overall cost of the riot at $1.9 million.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Shirley Bond said the government is already implementing some of the recommendations and is reviewing a ban on transporting alcohol on public transit.

"I'm not going to commit to doing that today but I certainly am going to take the recommendation seriously and, I have asked the Liquor Control Board to look at what the implications of that recommendation are," she said.

The review also advised TransLink, the transit authority in Metro Vancouver, to develop a way to deal with alcohol use on or near its system.

Spokesperson Erin McConnell said changes were made for the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival, which took place about six weeks after the riot.

"What we did was looked at transit police working with jurisdictional police departments along our system to ensure that we were staffed at key stations on eastern points of the system, so outside of the downtown core."

McConnell said the issue of dealing with alcohol is going to be complicated because it needs to be dealt with on a legislative level not just by TransLink.

NDP critic Kathy Corrigan said the provincial government must work co-operatively with local authorities on the ideas and put up the money to get them implemented.

"Before the riot happened, Premier Clark was asked if she would commit resources, policing resources, in order to help the city of Vancouver.  And she said, 'No, that's a municipal responsibility,'" Corrigan said.

"So now with these recommendations talking about a regional approach and a provincial approach, I hope she's taking a different attitude."

Members of the public will have a chance to voice their thoughts on the riot at a Vancouver city council meeting next Tuesday.

With files from The Canadian Press