I hope you realize that we are better than this.
I signed off from our Stanley Cup Game 7 liveblog after glancing at a burning vehicle on the CBC and went to bed not even considering for a moment that actions would escalate the way they did.
As a Canadian, I was horrified, shocked, disgusted, angry. But mostly, I felt sorry for the friends I know who live in that beautiful city. Because as embarrassed and upset as most Canadians were, those emotions paled compared to how British Columbians were feeling.
I was also upset at the blame being place on Vancouver’s police. Really, if you want to place the blame on anyone, how about starting with the neanderthals who actually created this mess.
Thursday morning should have been all about celebrating a team that hoisted the Cup for the first time in nearly 40 years. Instead, it was focused on violence, looting, and a provocative photo of a couple locked in an embrace on the ground while surrounded by riot police.
Forget that. Nothing makes me prouder as a Canadian, hockey fan and human being to see images like this. Sure, it speaks to the power of social media. But let’s give credit where credit is due: these are good souls who have stepped up to help a city heal.
We can draw lessons from these smiling faces in Canucks and Bruins sweaters, armed with plastic bags and latex gloves. We can also learn from British Columbians like Betty Fox, who carried on her son Terry’s legacy and raised important funds for cancer research through activities such as the annual Terry Fox Run held throughout Canada. Betty passed away on Friday after suffering from complications from diabetes and arthritis. Reports say she was in her early 70s.
Hurtful actions and tragedy can be overcome through simple acts of generosity and kindness. Canadians all knew of Betty and were touched and inspired by her commitment to carry on the fight against cancer in her son’s memory. We can also be proud of and be inspired by those faces on the streets of downtown Vancouver, whose names we may not know but whose actions speak louder than words.
This is what being Canadian is all about.