The news is always bad

Living in Vancouver does have it’s ups and downs. Though usually, and I suppose it’s probably human nature, I’ve had a tendency to really pay attention to the downs.

In terms of news that is… The Lower mainland is bustling with stories of caring, fun, and young upstarts, but nothing catches the eye more than a shooting, stabbing, or mysterious dead body.

Surrey may have started the new year with excitement, but it wasn’t a ball that dropped. Late night sexual assaults, stabbings, afternoon shootings at a restaurant. I almost forgot to mention the crime spree that a 30 year old Delta man supposedly decided to go on.

It’s crazy to think about these things as the year starts. Though really, time isn’t at all imperative. It’s just that feeling of coming out of a winter break and noticing that the world has apparently still lost itself.

I don’t blame the media for pointing it out, you’re better off knowing than it being out of sight out of mind. You wouldn’t think that even the area I live in, surrounded by assisted living buildings for the elderly, would be home to it’s own share of domestic and drug related violence. I have been walking past a building for the past 3 weeks wondering if that’s blood on the window, and why haven’t they cleaned it off yet?

The Residents of Newton are right to finally take a stand, as they say they’ve been living in fear for quite some time. It’s my understanding that there is a lot of Drug/Gang related activity not just in Newton, but in all of Surrey. (But then again, what city doesn’t have that problem?)

I suppose it’s to be expected? Surrey boasts of a flourishing place that seems to be growing every day, destined to be that which is larger than Vancouver. The larger a city gets, the more crime you’re likely to see.

But obviously that really doesn’t need to be the case.

Surrey had 25 counts of Homicide in 2013, the last being Julie Paskell an involuntary victim to a random attack at a rec centre in the aforementioned Newton. It happened on the 29th of December, as she was picking up her son who was an acting ref a hockey tournament.

Feeling unsafe at any hours of the day, they finally rallied up in a gymnasium (filling it up so much space,  that hundreds of people had to be turned away). This is the important part: There is no greater thing for a people than the community that surrounds them. When you see nothing but undesirables and never any police, your feeling of safety has to come from somewhere.

Our strengths, are something I feel we usually forget. When you have 400+ people wanting something to be done, the answer lies within each other. It sounds like somebody asking for too much, but having that large of a voice is enough to tell danger to watch it’s back. When you all look out for each other, there’s nothing a thug can do to be a threat.

Newton will hold its next public meeting on Feb 15th, at the rec centre. Already it seems as the drive of the community is lifting it’s spirit. A drive that I hope continues to stay, even in the chance that the danger goes away. If you live a place that you love and you know how great of a place is can be…

Then safety isn’t a luxury, it’s an attitude.

UPDATE: This is the kind of thing I’m talking about.


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