Is Suzanne Anton crazy? I don’t know for sure but her recent email to NPA supporters seems to lean that way as she beats the drum of riots and violence in order to further her weak political ambitions.
Anton’s email reads less like a campaign note and more like one of those crazy screeds from the Unibomber, full of paranoid rants and visions of a burning city gone to hell.
“A riot exploded on the streets of Vancouver.” “Dozens of shops were destroyed.” “Livelihoods were turned upside down.”
Slow down Councillor! Yes, a riot broke out when too many drunks – many of them young, middle class males from out of town – stoked on beer and testosterone went on a rampage.
Windows were broken, some cars burned and the city was left with a nasty black eye. It was a sports riot like we’ve seen in many cities across North America and Europe.
The riot was stupid. It was ugly. It was also a bit ridiculous. But it wasn’t the end of the city Anton as portrays.
There are many lessons to learn from this riot; number one being that Vancouver is like a lot of other North American cities, prone to unnecessary violence when drunk men and women gather in large numbers around sporting events.
But Anton doesn’t seem very interested in what really happened as she makes charge after charge that rarely make sense.
Anton compares the playoffs to the Olympics and complains that unlike the Olympics Council never got the chance to see the plan for the playoffs, forgetting that the police had six years to plan for the Olympics but only about six weeks to plan for the play-offs.
She complains that the Chair of the Police Board – the Mayor – didn’t know the number of officers that were deployed on the night of the riot. But the Mayor and Police Board shouldn’t know those numbers because, by law, they aren’t involved in the VPD’s operations.
She claims the police didn’t follow the recommendations from a report into the ’94 playoff riot, a claim that has already been discredited by the Police Commissioner.
After running through those charges Anton complains that the Mayor didn’t give her solution the time of day. Her solution is a city-initiated inquiry into the riots.
It’s as if Anton hasn’t read a newspaper for the past two weeks. Or maybe she has a riot-induced case of amnesia.
Because there already is a inquiry into the riots, initiated the day after by the Province and the City and co-chaired by John Furlong and Doug Keefe, the former deputy justice minister in Nova Scotia.
That’s the best Anton can do? Another inquiry that duplicates the work – and the cost – of the current inquiry?
Even as a piece of political gamesmanship that’s pretty lame
But then, when you think about it, lame is the word for Anton’s time on Council.