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

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Black bear tranquillized, being relocated by conservation officers

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Ladysmith resident Bonnie Cook lost the use of most of her basement and her backyard after experiencing a major water leak. (Cole Schisler photo)
Drip by drip: water line leaks lead to big repair bills for Ladysmith homeowners

Nearly all reported leaks occur on old copper lines that have been bent or manipulated

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent Scott Saywell at a May 6 press event showing off two new electric school buses. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district shows off electric buses

New buses anticipated to reduce 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from SD68 buses

An Ater-group Airon Slug identified during YES’s Bio-Blitz. (Yellow Point Ecological Society photo)
Yellow Point Ecological Society’s Bio-Blitz a big success

The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend… Continue reading

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read