‘Cash mob’ to descend on Chilliwack restaurants targeted by racist emails

Published: March 6, 2013


Cash mob

Dale Johnson (left) and Scott McVetty are the organizers of the Chilliwack Cash Mob. A cash mob which is like a flash mob but without the singing and dancing. Submitted photo

Two restaurants in Chilliwack that recently received racially tinged emails will get a response of a different sort Friday.

The Bay Leaf and the Shandhar Hut, which both serve South Asian food, are being targeted by a “cash mob,” which organizer Scott McVetty said is like the social media phenomenon flash mob “but without the singing and dancing.”

McVetty said Wednesday a cash mob combines the flash mob with a shop-local initiative to help business — all through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and at no cost.

“We organize a group of people and go to the same venue and promise to spend some money,” said McVetty, a realtor who has organized a few other cash mobs with his “partner in crime” Dale Johnson, a web designer.

To avoid long lineups, McVetty is urging participants to go to the two restaurants for lunch, dinner or takeout. Anyone participating will be eligible for door prizes donated by other businesses.

Lucky Gulati of the Bay Leaf is happy about the initiative.

“That thing [the racial comments] was bad,” he said. “The people, they are supporting us, so that is a good thing.”

McVetty and Johnson gave credit for the idea to Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz, who called the pair into her office for a discussion.

Gaetz said she was monitoring social media sites discussing the situation being faced by the two restaurants, which had been told in an anonymous email that Chilliwack doesn’t need “folk from India and Surrey to pollute this city.”

Gaetz noticed that people were “incensed” by the comment and they wanted to respond by doing something like going for lunch. She was already aware of the previous Chilliwack Cash Mob efforts.

McVetty and Johnson didn’t need much persuading.

“I said to her, ‘When negative things happen, people watch to see how you’re going to react,’” recalled McVetty. “Right now, Canada is watching Chilliwack to see how we’ll react.”

Just a day after proposing to visit the two restaurants, the number of Facebook “likes” on the Chilliwack Cash Mob went up by 200 from what had been a stable 420.

“I think we’re in a period of time where you just can’t go out and say whatever you want, do whatever you want,” said McVetty. “There’s freedom of speech, but there’s also decency.”

Gaetz said she was acting on what Chilliwack residents were expressing.

“The community just said, ‘Enough of this,’” said Gaetz. “We certainly want people to know we are open to everyone.

“We’re going to celebrate that by eating food. How can it get any better than that?”

Gaetz is planning to participate in the cash mob.

“You bet,” she said. “It’s a good excuse for a date!”

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth, the Chilliwack RCMP spokesman, was also supportive of the cash mob.

“I think it’s great the community is rallying around these people,” said Hollingsworth.

But the RCMP continue to investigate the emails, which were also sent to a taxi company. Police are urging the emails’ author to speak to them.


Tags: , , , , ,



Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »


B.C.’s LNG emissions’ law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied-natural-gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and…
Continue Reading »

N.B.’s new premier to oilpatch: support for Energy East has not wavered

By Lauren Krugel THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – New Brunswick’s new premier said Monday he’s looking to assure Alberta’s oilpatch that even though the government…
Continue Reading »


Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...


Most South Asians and Chinese in B.C. have faced discrimination based on ethnicity

A quarter reported experiencing moderate or significant amounts of discrimination DOUGLAS TODD VANCOUVER DESI  Stereotyping. Verbal harassment. Poor customer service. Workplace unfairness. Exclusion from dating….
Continue Reading »


False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »


Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »


Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »


Rekha’s TV presence has left tremendous impact: Indra Kumar

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai  – Veteran actress Rekha, who has kept her distance from the small screen, has duly followed the current tradition of…
Continue Reading »