01/30/2015 03:02 EST | Updated 04/01/2015 05:59 EDT

A Message To People Who Bash Surrey, B.C.


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.

Some of the comments about Surrey in the news media and social media border on "geographic hate speech." There is even a 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 there 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 hometown.

Whatever the reason, I feel Surrey bashers risk having their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviours 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 an award-winning social worker and author who lives and works in Surrey. His third social discussion book, "Catalyst," was a finalist in the current events and social change category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for 2014. He is also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for social work and community service. For more information check out his author blog at


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