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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

B.C. Rugby announced its return to play plan July 7

Surrey Mounties seize shotgun, ammo, after officers shot at with BB gun in Newton

Police say they were on foot patrol in the 6400-block of King George Boulevard when someone fired at them with a BB gun

Councillor Doug Elford Surrey’s acting mayor during McCallum’s “health concern” absence

Mayor issued a statement Tuesday night saying he’ll be back on the job by Monday

Police ask for help finding driver after hit-and-run hurts 18-year-old pedestrian

Featured as Crime Stoppers ‘Crime of the Week,’ crash happened in 7400 block of 140th Street on June 5

‘That night was so much fun’: Surrey-raised comedian in ‘New Wave of Standup’ series

Comedy clubs are still a no-go for Matty Vu, who grew up in Whalley

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Rural Chilliwack residents asked to stay indoors, lock doors amid heavy police presence

Heavy police presence in rural Chilliwack neighbourhood as RCMP contend with ‘serious situation’

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

VIDEO: Plane that reportedly crashed into Fraser River was from Delta flight school, Transportation Safety Board confirms

Cessna was flying over the river near Maple Ridge and Langley when it disappeared from radar

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read