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

Fishers prefer landscapes with large areas of connected forest, said the Forest Practices Board. (Loney Dickson photo)
Logging continuing to impact fisher habitat in B.C.

Forest Practices Board concludes investigation near Bobtail Mountain Provincial Park

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty advises Conservative leader Erin O’Toole on mental health and wellness. (House of Commons Photography)
Cariboo-Prince George MP calling for 1-year deadline to establish 3-digit suicide hotline

Todd Doherty’s motion calling for 9-8-8 as a national hotline passed unanimously in December

A fundraiser has been launched for local senior Mary Klassen after a fire destroyed her mobile home Friday, May 7. (Aman Parhar photo)
Fire destroys home at C.J.’s Trailer Park

Two other structures damaged by heat exposure

Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce moved to its new location on Stewart Street West earlier this month. (Michelle Roberge photo)
New space for Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce

Chamber moves to West Stewart Street

(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

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

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read