If the sun is setting on your workout

If the sun is setting on your workout

COLUMN: We’ve had enough unlawful activity

It's going to be a long, hot summer, as RCMP crack down on late-night visits to surrey parks, writes Peace Arch News editor Lance Peverley.

I can almost hear our civic leaders discussing how easily they can protect us from ourselves, when it comes to Surrey parks.

As we reported Tuesday, RCMP and city bylaw officers are in mid-crackdown on breaches of civic bylaws that restrict how we may use our parks.

Our report led off by highlighting the daylight-only use of city parks (the breach of which is punishable by a $200 fine).

In case that last line is confusing, perhaps I should describe it more accurately as from sunrise to sunset.

Or, even more precisely, as Bylaw 13480 states: “No person shall enter, occupy or remain within a park between dusk of one day and dawn of the immediately following day.”

See, we’re protected – easily AND concisely.

After all, our leaders must be thinking, what possible use could a taxpayer have for entering, occupying or remaining in a park after dark?

Sure, one could argue that, under their rule, those of us who enjoy midnight strolls are out of luck; as are those who do shift work, and those who cut through parks at odd hours as part of their daily commutes.

And, of course, there are those who would argue that such public freedoms are exactly what our veterans fought for over the years.

But I think they’re in the minority now.

As is our Canadian way, we politely acquiesce that public order must come first.

And, seriously, are our officers really expected to wait for the criminal element to show up before they bust them?

Instead, as our leaders have done, why not create laws that toss a wider net, busting bylaw breakers, as well as building up the city coffers as a nice side benefit? (Prior to this summer’s blitz, an estimated $70,000 a year was collected in parks-related fines).

Another solution would be to patrol problem parks regularly and to respond to citizens’ complaints, should there be any serious threat to public safety.

But then, that isn’t the easy, concise solution, is it?

I’ll admit, cherry-picking one aspect of the parks bylaw is hardly fair (even if cherry-picking is not unlawful, yet). There were other no-nos that our report pointed out, such as flying motorized model airplanes and feeding fish and allowing your pet to swim – all punishable by civic fines.

But even with a meticulously worded slate of bylaws, these rules unto themselves hardly guarantee my safety.

Perhaps there are others that will help me sleep well – day or night.

For starters, why is just park use being singled out for nighttime bans? Why not other areas, such as roadways and sidewalks?

What business do any of us really have on the public thoroughfares anyway, after a certain hour?

More senior levels of government than this have certainly restricted our freedoms in recent years in the name of safety – freedoms of speech and privacy come immediately to mind.

So why shouldn’t our democratically elected members of council follow suit and restrict our movement at the most basic level?

Unlike south of our borders, where they fight infringements on what they consider American rights, we in the land of the north are much more prone to lying prone, while our leaders make new rules that make it easier to govern us.

And I wonder whether Surrey residents will take this latest crackdown lying down as well.

After all, so long as we get to spend our off-hours in one of the most beautiful places on the planet (during daylight, of course), we have so little we can complain about.

Lance Peverley is editor of the Peace Arch News.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Most Read