A 46-year-old B.C. man has been arrested for public incitement of hatred following a “disturbing” post on social media about a Vaisakhi parade in the Lower Mainland.
A Facebook account using the name Ryan McCabe said this about the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade on a Global BC story: “Imagine what one pressure cooker bomb could have done…missed opportunities suck.”
The man, according to Surrey RCMP, was arrested Wednesday afternoon (April 24). He is in custody and the investigation is ongoing, police said in a release sent Thursday morning (April 25).
In the days after the Vaisakhi parade, several people on Twitter shared screenshots of the post with Surrey RCMP.
One of the people was Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims, who said it was “very concerning.”
Police said the investigation began on Sunday – the day after the Surrey Vaisakhi parade.
“This investigation provides an opportunity for Surrey RCMP to encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with Canada’s laws on Hate Propaganda,” police said in the release.
On Wednesday, Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko told the Now-Leader that police had contacted the man and determined there wasn’t any danger and “no immediate threat to the public.”
“We received many people forwarding that to us over social media, contacting because of their concern with what they had read in that disturbing post,” Sturko said. “We’re taking the investigation very seriously. It is unlawful to incite hate and there are laws which prohibit spreading hateful messages over the internet and in public.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or contact Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.
Meanwhile, organizers of Surrey’s Vaisakhi parade estimated the event attracted more than 500,000 people, which they said is a new record. The procession featured 20 floats representing local Sikh schools, community groups and humanitarian organizations.
With files from Tom Zytaruk