Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 8

Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Congratulations to Finalists—Riots in Vancouver

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to congratulate the Boston Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup. I also congratulate the Vancouver Canucks for having had a great season and for making it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.

Honourable senators, as the downtown streets flooded with spectators these past few months, all Vancouverites were reminded of the Olympics. I am sure my colleagues Senator St. Germain, Senator Campbell, Senator Raine, Senator Martin and Senator Neufeld will agree that the glory of the Olympic Games is something we will continue to bask in, as it was a time that will go down in our city’s history.

Unfortunately, the events that followed last night’s hockey game will also go down in our city’s history. These events, however, reflect poorly on our great city.

Yesterday, I received several phone calls from my five-year-old grandson Ayaan, who pleaded with me to come home and watch the game with the rest of my family. He tried to convince me that it was my responsibility to cheer for the Canucks as I am a senator who represents British Columbia.

My family watched the games outside the CBC building in Vancouver and I watched them here in Ottawa. After the hockey game, I spoke to Ayaan once again. He informed me that his mom was in tears because the Canucks had been defeated but that he could not understand why she could get so upset over a game. He told me that he had assured his mother that it is only a game and that there is always next year.

Unfortunately, shortly after I got off the phone, I quickly learned that my five-year-old grandson was wiser than many of the young men who took to the streets of downtown Vancouver last night. Most of the riots took place outside Ayaan’s daycare as well as Vancouver’s main post office. I watched as young men wreaked havoc, flipping over cars, setting fires and inflicting injury upon themselves and others. I could not understand what could bring these young men to be so destructive.

Honourable senators, recently I was caught in the middle of riots that were taking place in another country. Although I was petrified, I understood these young people were protesting to improve human rights in their country. This is why I find it utterly shameful to watch so many young people in my own city protesting over losing a hockey game.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the police officers, the firefighters, the paramedics and all the city workers for all their efforts to keep our city safe.

Honourable senators, this morning when Ayaan attends his daycare, he will have many questions as to why a game caused so much damage. Unfortunately, I have no answers.