Alex Sangha: Stop the Surrey bashing already

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      Surrey has social problems and challenges like any growing metropolis. It has been the butt of jokes for decades. Time for that to change! Surrey is soon to be the largest city in B.C. and one of the best places in Canada to invest.

      It is interesting that people tarnish all of Surrey due to some of the social problems found largely in Whalley and perhaps Newton. People do not tarnish all of Vancouver due to some of the social problems found in the Downtown Eastside. There is no comparison between what is happening in Whalley and what is happening in the Downtown Eastside, and yet this societal discrimination exists against the people of Surrey by uninformed locals.

      As far as I am concerned, clean up your own house and your own city before bashing others. Have we forgotten that the Downtown Eastside is home to some of the poorest postal codes in the entire country, despite being located next to some of the richest?

      Some of the comments about Surrey in the news media and social media is bordering on “geographic hate speech”. There is even an official Facebook page designed to do nothing but make fun of and bash Surrey and the people of Surrey. This crosses a red line because the people of an entire city are impacted unfairly.

      Many people in Surrey are hard working families and just trying to get by. The last thing these families and their children need is your social stigma thrown at them.

      If Surrey was so bad there would not be over 1,000 new residents moving to Surrey every month and Surrey would not be one of the fastest growing and developing cities in the country.

      Just walk around the new Surrey City Centre and you will feel the pulse of an exuberant city in transition with the new City Hall, Civic Plaza, Surrey Central Library, SFU Surrey and Kwantlen moving into the new Marriot Hotel building, not to mention Central City Shopping Mall and Holland Park, as well as numerous new affordable residential high-rises climbing towards the sky. Furthermore, there are major companies and organizations such as the RCMP, Fraser Health, Coast Capital Savings, and Canada Revenue Agency all having major offices in the evolving downtown core.

      With that being said, why do Surrey bashers even exist? Do they feel more important and superior when they put down the people of an entire city, another place perhaps less well off than theirs, or maybe they get self-gratification by simply bashing someone else’s home town?

      Whatever the reason, I feel Surrey bashers risk having their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors towards Surrey adversely impact their life energy, vibe, and karma. Have you ever met a basher of any type that you liked? The only people they impress are themselves.

      Alex Sangha is a social worker and author who lives and works in Surrey. His third social discussion book is Catalyst.

      Comments

      15 Comments

      Duane

      Jan 30, 2015 at 2:11pm

      I've never heard the term "geographic hate speech" before. It's a gem, a new arrow in the quiver of politically correct vocabulary to shoot at people who are so insensitive as to let a Surrey joke past their lips. Thousands of towns and cities around the world are made fun of, this isn't something specifically local and may, or may not, be fully justified in some cases.

      But having said that, from now on I'll only make fun of Haney. I'm quite concerned about my life energy, vibe, and karma.

      quit crying

      Jan 30, 2015 at 3:07pm

      what a stupid piece. and the stories I could tell you about Surrey, past and present.

      Amen!

      Jan 30, 2015 at 4:36pm

      Finally someone standing up for Surrey. All these haters are gonna hate! They get off on bashing. Screw them! Maybe their jealous that you can actually afford a nice house or place to live in Surrey.

      I live in Surrey

      Jan 30, 2015 at 7:47pm

      ... and its reputation is deserved.

      James Blatchford

      Jan 31, 2015 at 7:27am

      Duane: leave Haney alone or we'll get some Surrey punks....you know the rest.

      I agree

      Jan 31, 2015 at 10:14am

      I totally agree. Surrey is a victim of geographic hate speech. No one or most people dont bash the Downtown Eastside for its social problems. Even though the Downtown Eastside has more problems with drugs, prostitution, homelessness than Whalley ever had. No one stigmatizes all the people of Vancouver for what is happening in the Downtown Eastside. The opposite happens in Surrey. The people of Surrey and Whalley are constantly hated on. This is geographic hate speech as far as I am concerned.

      chris

      Jan 31, 2015 at 11:42am

      I live in surrey too and its reputation IS deserved

      Kimmy

      Jan 31, 2015 at 1:31pm

      It takes a village to raise a child . But this village is almost all corrupted. Good people are closing their doors to help others.

      Frau Katze

      Jan 31, 2015 at 7:37pm

      Surrey-bashing goes back decades. It was considered very déclassé in the 1970s by snotty Vancouver dwellers. I found it rather amusing that I would be considered a "redneck" just because it was only part of greater Vancouver where we could afford to buy. I lived there for about eights years (Newton) without problem. (I have since left for Victoria).

      I think it's great

      Feb 1, 2015 at 8:18pm

      That you are standing up proud for your home. You should be proud of where you live, however Surrey is super sketchy & I'm saying that as someone who has lived in various parts of the lower mainland for over 40 years. Be proud Surrey dude - but don't be delusional about how scary some parts of Surrey are!