ERICA BULMAN, QMI AGENCY
Chief Jim Chu released an all-staff memo Tuesday, accusing “self-proclaimed riot expert” Bob Whitelaw of misrepresenting his expertise to the media.
Whitelaw, hired by the provincial police commission during its review of the 1994 Stanley Cup riot, has publicly criticized Vancouver Police Department's planning for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and its handling of the ensuing riot.
“Mr. Whitelaw lives and works in
The attack on Whitelaw comes as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and
Critics have said insufficient numbers of police were deployed and reinforcements arrived too late to stop the escalating violence.
On Tuesday, city manager Penny Ballem was accused of meddling in police tactical decisions in the command centre. Ballem admitted she was in the room that night but only communicated with city crews and didn’t direct police actions.
“This is really a red herring,” said Daniel Fontaine, former chief of staff to ex-Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan. “Releasing this lengthy letter is a sign they’re worried public opinion is turning on them.
“I think people will be cynical because of the timing of this attack.”
David Edgar, former chairman of the now-defunct B.C. Police Commission, said Whitelaw was hired as a “wordsmith” to assemble the 1994 report, and the Ottawa-based consultant’s claims he’d written the report and was an investigator “bordered on fraud.”
Whitelaw was surprised by Edgar's words, and provided QMI Agency a glowing thank-you letter he said Edgar wrote upon the review’s conclusion.
An independent reviewer, yet to be named, is due to examine the events that led to the riot, including police crowd control planning and alcohol availability. (From