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

Just Posted

HMCS Corner Brook returned to Victoria’s waters for the first time since 2015 on June 10. (Courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)
WATCH: Navy surveillance submarine returning to Victoria waters

HMCS Corner Brook one of first submarines to receive new communications systems

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes following provincial reopening announcement

Recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

A new multi-family residential project at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street will feature nine below market-priced units aimed at middle-income, first-time homebuyers, through a partnership between BC Housing and the developer. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Middle-income first time homebuyers gain access to nine homes in Victoria

BC Housing partners with development community to create affordable purchases

Suspect found with tools, copper piping in Oak Bay commercial block

Police briefs include missing dinghy, speed stop turned impaired, wallet swiped from unlocked car

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read