A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)

#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

An idea that started off as chatter between passionate hockey fans on Twitter took to the Lower Mainland skies on Wednesday, April 21.

A plane flying a banner which read #firebenning lifted off from the Pitt Meadows airport, and circled around Vancouver, as well as its surrounding areas.

The message is in reference to some fans’ displeasure with the way general manager Jim Benning is running the Vancouver Canucks.

Niqhil Velji, who regularly Tweets about the team, lives in Pitt Meadows.

He took video of the take-off.

“We are huge Canucks fans who love the team, but we’re questioning the direction of management and ownership,” he said.

READ MORE: Pearson, Sutter each score 2 as Canucks dump Maple Leafs 6-3

READ MORE: Canucks to return to play Sunday versus Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

To express their concerns, a group member who goes by the Twitter handle UncleLaleet started a GoFundMe campaign to pay the $1,600 it costs to fly a banner over Metro Vancouver and surrounding areas for an hour.

“Canucks fans are demanding that the owners of the Vancouver Canucks fire Jim Benning and replace him with a management team that can build a Stanley Cup championship team immediately,” the fundraiser said.

“The city of Vancouver has supported this team for 50 years and we are not supporting this three ring circus any longer. #FireBenning.”

Support for the flying banner came quickly.

“I figured it was going to hit its quota,’ Velji said. “But I thought it was going to take a day or two.

“The fact it did it within hours was pretty incredible.”

Some thought the money could have been put to better use.

But Velji was quick to point out every additional dollar raised – after the sign was paid for – was donated to Canuck Place children’s hospice.

“Over $1,000 has already been donated to a children’s charity,” he said. “And more is coming in.”

The group’s antagonism towards Jim Benning isn’t personal, Velji insisted.

“If you look at columns from NHL writers who are analysing the performance of GMs, Jim Benning is a bottom five, or worse.” he said.

“He’s been the Canucks GM for seven years, and they have made the playoffs two times.”

While some fans of Benning argue he has done well with his draft picks in recent years, Velji noted he doesn’t think the GM will be capable of surrounding the young talent with the team mates they need to succeed.

“Canucks have a great young core, but it’s about adding the necessary pieces to supplement that core, he said, “And I know Jim Benning is not going to be able to do that.”


Is there more to the story? Email: ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Pitt Meadowsvancouver canucks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Accused drug trafficker to plead to federal, provincial charges in June

Matthew Straume said he’d missed his last court date because he was ill

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks sex crimes trial adjourned until summer

The trial was set to begin at the city courthouse Wednesday, May 5

Photo: Kathleen Saylors
Grand Forks city council votes down motion to support Penticton in paramountcy battle

Coun. Neil Krog insisted Penticton’s issue with Victoria is about city bylaws, not homelessness

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read