City of White Rock retools ‘rumours’ webpage

City of White Rock retools ‘rumours’ webpage

Mayor says Rumours and Misperceptions webpage was not ‘healthy for anybody’

The City of White Rock’s “rumours and misperceptions” webpage is no more.

The city began inviting the public to report “rumours” to its webpage – Rumours and Misperceptions: Eliminating Misinformation – last year.

According to the city, the page was established to address “inaccurate information circulating in the community and the media” with facts and topics added on a regular basis.

However, following the Oct. 20 civic election, the page has been re-titled “Questions & Answers,” although most of the content seems to have remained the same.

City communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi told Peace Arch News Wednesday via email that “the change is in keeping with the new Council’s direction.”

White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker told PAN that the change was part of the new council’s approach to increase transparency at city hall.

“We decided that instead of rumours and innuendos – we don’t think that’s particularly healthy for anybody – let’s talk about questions and answers. Let’s talk about what’s really happening in our community,” Walker said Wednesday.

Walker said the rumours and misperceptions webpage was “one of the frustrations” his Democracy Direct candidates had leading up to the Oct. 20 election, and that they had “the desire to stay as far away from those as we possibly can.”

He said the new council is working through its list of objectives “slowly but surely” and “we just want to make sure that when we do it, we do it right the first time.”

“There’s a bit more work but we’re well on our way to working through the transparency piece,” Walker said.

One month after the Rumours and Misperceptions webpage was launched last year, City CAO Dan Bottrill said the page was receiving “positive attention” and that it was serving its purpose.

Two months later, PAN received the results of a freedom-of-information request asking for all emails received from the factcheck@whiterockcity.ca email address.

While some of the reports were serious inquiries, others appeared to be satirical in nature.

“Dear City Myth Busters,” one email, accompanied by a cartoon image from the Netflix original series Bojack Horseman, begins.

“Thank you for setting up this site. I have many myths that I wanted to have professionally investigated and this seems to be a fantastic use of my tax dollars. My first rumour you can dispel is that Mayor Wayne Baldwin, is actually two children in a coat. I have attached the image that is circulating to support this rumor.”

The rumour was not accompanied with a response or posted to the city’s website.

Bottrill told PAN that the city would not respond to “silly and frivolous” rumours.

The new Questions & Answers page features three questions, which are the same featured when the webpage was titled Rumours and Misperceptions.

Among others, the questions asked on the page inquire about a presence of glyphosate in White rock water; if the city is allowing highrises on Marine Drive; and asking if the city is hiding how much it paid for the water utility.

The city answers each question on the webpage, saying that there’s no glyphosate in White Rock water; the city is not allowing highrises on Marine Drive; and the city paid $13.4 million for the water utility from Epcor.

FOI – Fact check by on Scribd

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Surrey Minor Football players in action. The club is among Surrey-area recipients of the B.C. government’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (File photo)
COVID ‘relief’ funding for some sports groups in Surrey, White Rock, Delta

‘Without financial support, these clubs are at risk of closure,’ says B.C. government

Construction on the main foyer at the soon-to-be opened Clayton Community Centre. (Photo courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design)
Clayton Community Centre opening delayed again

City says Provincial Health Order reason for latest delay

Protesters gather on Surrey residential street. (File photo, submitted)
UPDATE: Besieged Surrey neighbourhood liberated from marathon protest

Residents glad protesters have moved on but worried they might return

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Most Read