After B.C.’s provincial health officer warned against indoor social gatherings for Halloween, it appears some revellers took that advice to heart – and their party outdoors.
Downtown Vancouver’s Granville Street was filled with revellers on Saturday evening, leading to a number of online posts by people expressing disbelief or frustration over the scene.
Hundreds of people appeared in videos and photos to congregate along the Granville Entertainment District, between Robson and Nelson streets. While some can be seen wearing masks, many others are not.
Const. Jason Doucette with Vancouver Police said officials won’t have a clear picture until Monday morning of the number of Halloween service calls across the city.
Doucette did note that the crowd downtown appeared “peaceful, but there were others who acted out and needed to be removed from the area by police.” He said as the evening continued, the number of Granville Street partiers grew, and officers from other parts of the city were brought in to assist.
“The VPD had extra officers deployed Halloween night along the Granville Entertainment District,” he said.
“We are disappointed that party goers did not listen to the advice of our public health officer and chose to gather in large crowds along the Granville Mall.”
What sucks about living in BC and hearing about the party on granville street is that our leadership doesn’t want to acct for the inevitable idiots in a pandemic. Where’s the contact tracing? Where’s the testing? At least minimize the collateral damage to the non-idiots @bcndp
— Ɖana (@BigHotSneeze) November 1, 2020
I’m in Surrey, I can’t even have my friends in my home (no safe six), kept my kids from trick or treating as added precaution but yet it’s okay if a thousand people drink and party on Granville street?
If we don’t get serious about Covid, our situation will never get better
— #WearAMask & Smile with Your Eyes (@CdnSkyDiva) November 1, 2020
Doucette said due to the nature of the crowd and “a number of factors on Halloween night, physically attempting to disperse the alcohol-fuelled crowd or issue tickets wasn’t appropriate.”
“Our response has to be reasonable and proportionate to what we’re faced with at the time,” he said. “Although there were a number of occasions where the police were met with hostility from the crowd, our officers maintained a professional and balanced approach.”
Doucette said there were a number of arrests for minor offences such as causing a disturbance. There were no injuries recorded.
Based off all the photos I’ve seen at people at house parties or large crowds on Granville Street a bunch of y’all were clowns for Halloween.
— Vicki Duong (@vickiduong) November 1, 2020