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Riot officers in downtown Vancouver June 15, 2011 during the Stanley Cup riot. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)
Riot officers in downtown Vancouver June 15, 2011 during the Stanley Cup riot. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Rod Mickleburgh

Canucks fans: Do you know your CLEOC? Add to ...

Contrary to popular belief, Vancouver did have a plan for last spring’s run to the Stanley Cup finals by the local Canuckleheads.

The plan may have been only three words long, but “Come on down!” was endorsed by all and sundry – city council, police, merchants, media and thousands of Slurpee-sated fans who massed downtown to watch left winger Tanner Glass on the big, outdoor screen. No one expected a riot when Mr. Glass failed to score.

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This year will be different. Already, the Canucks have done their part. Tanner is now freezing his Glass off in Winnipeg.

Now, after long deliberation, with the Stanley Cup parade a mere two and a half months distant, the city has finally unveiled its own anti-mayhem contribution.

Rioters, I want to say one word to you. Just one word. CLEOC.

Yes, the City Large Event Oversight Committee has your number, ready to shunt you off to a community centre ball hockey game at the least sign of trouble.

That’s not all. CLEOC has also assembled a truly terrifying team of other formidable acronyms to ensure that never again will anyone torch an SUV in front of the PO in broad daylight (PDT) with the VPD standing by.

These riot-prevention partners, listed on page 13 of the city’s plan, include BCAS, DVBIA, E-COMM, PNE, VCH, VFRS and VPD, with the added assistance of STAC, chaired by PNE CEO.

If those initials aren’t enough to scare the hoodies off the hoodlums, the next page warns that CLEOC’s “risk assessment framework” is based on best practices developed by FEMA in the USA.

So the next time Vision councillor Heather Deal exults, “We ROCK at this!” as she did a few hours before the first car went up in flames last June, be advised that Ms. Deal is actually referring to the most powerful weapon of all in the city’s acronym quiver: “Rioters Ordered to Cease Kerfuffles.”

No more LOL, man.

****

Polling can be a quirky business. Ask respondents whether they support abortion on demand, and they tend to say no. Ask them if they believe abortion is best left to a woman and her doctor, and they tend to say yes. Yet both essentially amount to the same thing: freedom of choice.

So it is with the emotional issue of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to carry Alberta crude oil across B.C. to the port of Kitimat, and thence by supertanker to markets in Asia.

A recent Mustel Group poll asked British Columbians if they generally supported the pipeline project. The question did not mention the need for oil supertankers. The result? A slight majority (50.1 per cent) came out in favour of the pipeline.

At about the same time, a number of environmental groups commissioned a poll on the same Gateway proposal from Justason Market Intelligence.

But this one asked respondents: “Do you support or oppose allowing crude oil supertankers through B.C.’s inside coastal waters?”

The outcome was dramatically different. Fully 66 per cent said they were against the presence of supertankers, compared with only 22 per cent who supported the plan.

Given these widely differing results, depending on the question, no wonder Gateway proponents tend to concentrate on the pipeline itself, and downplay the need for those great, big, huge, ungainly oil supertankers.

****

You probably didn’t know this, but March 11 was World Plumbing Day. Word finally leaked out in Vancouver this week, when Mayor Gregor Robertson belatedly read out the proclamation to flushed members of council. “I don’t want to hear any wisecracks,” he admonished drips in the audience. Right you are, mayor.

***

The feds’ tough-on-crime guy, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, was in town last week to join B.C.’s not-quite-so-tough-on-crime lady, Justice Minister Shirley Bond, for the inking of a new contract to keep the Mounties hitched to their horses in the province for the next 20 years.

Mr. Toews and his prominent white moustache were introduced by local Conservative MP Nina Grewal. In case we had forgotten, Ms. Grewal reminded the media and other assorted dignitaries on hand: “As justice critic for the official opposition, Vic won wide respect for his principled stand against same-sex marriage.”

Fellow Tory cabinet minister James Moore, who voted to support the governing Liberals’ same-sex marriage bill, was not present.

****

There was a Lib man named van Dongen,

Whose riding is near Mike de Jongen’s.

But he no longer likes Clark,

Feels she’s missing the mark,

And he now sings a different songen.

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