I was once again reminded about how fast time flies when I saw on the news last week that 365 days had passed since the Stanley Cup Riots of 2011.
While I wasn’t in Vancouver’s downtown core when the mayhem erupted, I was in town and could smell the smoke from across the Cambie Bridge – I planned my vacation with the hopes of seeing the Vancouver Canucks take it all and the loss to the Boston Bruins coupled with the rioters was iodine on a proverbial infected wound.
Another item of note from the riots also occurred last week as Emmanuel Alviar one of the rioters, who turned himself in and pleaded guilty, was sentenced to a month in jail, 16 months probation, 160 hours of community service and he must send apology letters to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Police Chief Jim Chu.
According to news reports, Alviar and his lawyer were expecting a conditional sentence – which would include no jail time – and was heard saying, “This is crazy!” when the sentence was handed down.
Some say the sentence was harsh, given that Alviar had no prior criminal record and turned himself in, but given how the Canadian and B.C. justice system sometimes doles out justice, it is a breath of fresh air.
All too often we hear about people charged with criminal acts who get off “too easy” with sentences that are deemed too light.
Yes Alviar had no prior criminal history and yes he turned himself in but consider his actions the night of the riots.
He wasn’t jaywalking or just standing around and watching as the vandalism and fires began.
According to reports, he rocked a car, kicked garbage at another car that was burning and smashed the windows of the Telus building with a stick.
It would be understandable if someone who had done less got off with a conditional sentence but Alviar was in the thick of the violence.
It could be that the judge wants to make an example of the resident of Surrey, B.C. or he wants to set precedence but either way, jail time for the rioter is just right.