Surrey was at it again this weekend, living up to the reputation that comes with being the fastest-growing city in western Canada.
No, we’re not talking about another shooting or home invasion. This time, those stereotypes can stay shut in the box of bad clichés.
Surrey really showed its true colours on Saturday as nearly 400,000 people descended on Newton to take part in the city’s largest multicultural event – the annual Vaisakhi parade, a Sikh religious celebration that welcomes people of every faith and from all walks of life.
Filled with fun, food and fellowship, Surrey’s Vaisakhi event is the largest outside of India.
This year, records were smashed as RCMP estimate about 375,000 people packed the streets, up from 300,000 last year.
And the number of police incidents? A big fat zero.
“This is probably the best one I’ve heard of, as far security,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann, adding the feat is extremely impressive for a crowd that size.
A little further north, thousands more also gathered without any problems at Surrey City Hall Plaza on April 23 during the Party for the Planet environmental extravaganza.
These two trouble-free events are perfect examples of the bad apple principle in action.
While not to minimize Surrey’s serious crime challenges – not least among them the more than 30 shootings that have occurred during the first four months of 2016 – it is true that a relatively small number of people are responsible for the majority of criminal activities.
The news cycle being what it is, this bad element often eclipses the overwhelming good being done each and every day by kind, generous, ordinary citizens.
Much more than fleeting “shots fired” headlines, this city is a youthful, growing, diverse, dynamic, affordable place in which to put down roots, prosper, and on occasion, live large.
This weekend, Surrey demonstrated to everyone what nearly half-a-million residents already know.