Rumours and Misperceptions
Rumours and Misperceptions - Eliminating Misinformation
The City of White Rock regularly receives phone calls and inquiries asking if certain information circulating is true. The Rumours and Misperceptions page will address inaccurate information circulating in the community and media.
Community members are encouraged to check back often as new facts and topics will be added on a regular basis.
If you hear rumours in the community that you believe should be corrected please contact the City at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to fact check the potential rumour we do require some information and sources. Below are some helpful tips on how you can help us “set the record straight”.
Tips for submitting a potential rumour:
- Social Media Post: Screenshot(s) of the post in question or provide the link to it
- Media: Links to media articles, editorials, Letters to the Editor
- Broadcasts: Date and time of broadcast along with the station
The City is aware of misinformation circulating about high rises on Marine Drive and the Economic Investment Committee. The City would like to clear up the misinformation that we are aware of.
Rumour: The Economic Investment Committee has approved changes to allow for high-rises on Marine Drive.
Fact Check: False.
The Official Community Plan (OCP), which was adopted in 2017, designates properties along Marine Drive as the ‘Waterfront Village’ land use. This land use limits building heights to 4 storeys or less. A 4-storey building is not classified as high rise development. High-rise buildings are typically 8 to 10 storeys and higher.
The discussion in the Economic Investment Committee which was related to this topic was an update on the status of the forthcoming Zoning Bylaw review. The Zoning Bylaw Review project will look to update the commercial zones on Marine Drive, and throughout the city, to be consistent with the OCP.
Again, the update to the Zoning Bylaw is necessary to make it compliant with the new OCP and limits building heights to 4 storeys or less for buildings on Marine Drive.
|Rumour: The Economic Investment Committee has the authority to change zoning and make decisions about land use and zoning (such as density and building height) without the approval of Council.|
Fact Check: False.
The purpose of the Economic Investment Committee is to advise City Council and staff regarding matters referred to the Committee by Council regarding economic investment in the City. The Committee may make representation to Council on economic development matters, but the committee cannot approve zoning amendments.
The Economic Investment Committee can submit recommendations to City Council. These recommendations would appear on the agenda of a Regular Council meeting and could be voted on by City Council. Only Council can consider and approve or deny land use and zoning changes, including changes to building height.
You can read the Terms of Reference for the Economic Investment Committee.
Rumour: There is a presence of glyphosate in White Rock water.
Background: In August 2017, the City was made aware of a resident who claimed that they had tested water in White Rock and found the presence of glyphosate through a home testing kit ordered over the internet.
Furthermore, this individual has appeared on an online podcast to further spread his claims that glyphosate is in the water.
The White Rock Safe Water Alliance group has also made claims that glyphosate is in White Rock Water on their blog at https://whiterocksafewateralliance.com/2017/09/10/glyphosate-in-white-rock-drinking-water/
Fact Check: False. There is no glyphosate in White Rock water.
The City conducted tests for glyphosate through Exova and found that there was no glyphosate in the water. All tests concluded that glyphosate was undetectable in White Rock Water.
The water was tested prior to the addition of secondary disinfectant to avoid any possibility of oxidation of the alleged contaminate.
An excerpt from the tests:
Exova follows the US EPA Sampling Procedures, and Chain of Custody of Samples and Data. Canadian labs follow the US EPA methods as this is the International Standard. For example, the World Health Organization follows the US EPA methods.
The US EPA emphasizes the following:
Sampling Procedures **:
The purpose of sampling is to collect representative portions from a suspected contaminated site.
Sample collection is critical to determining the presence, type, concentration, and extent of environmental contamination by hazardous substances; thus, it is a crucial part of every sampling and environmental testing effort. Sampling procedures must be consistently followed to mitigate risk of error and the expense of re-sampling.
Failure to follow proper sampling and shipping procedures could result in samples that are contaminated, in broken containers, mislabeled, lost during shipping, or unusable because of a missed holding time. If procedures are inconsistently or improperly followed, any resultant analytical data may be inaccurate and may not be legally defensible.
Maintain Chain of Custody of Samples and Data
Acquiring accurate and legally defensible data is the CLP’s primary objective; therefore, the sampler must collect samples according to strict sampling procedures, plans, and guidelines.
EPA and many other Federal agencies use data resulting from analytical testing of samples to:
Rumour: The City is hiding how much it paid for the water utility
|Rumour: The City is not doing anything to address the water discolouration and quality.|
For a quick glance, here are some of the milestones that have been achieved since the City acquired the water utility: (Click to enlarge)
Most recently, in April of 2017, the City changed its secondary disinfectant to monochloramine as chlorine was reacting with the naturally occurring manganese causing taste, cloudiness, colour, and odour issues. While the water is safe, to control these aesthetic issues it was necessary to switch to monochloramine as the secondary disinfectant.
We do know that some people are still experiencing occasional discolouration, but we are hopeful that as the new secondary disinfectant makes its way through the system, this matter will be resolved.
Did you know that nearly 100 million North Americans have been drinking water treated with monochloramine for over 70 years? Perhaps you have even vacationed at a city that uses monochloramine as a secondary disinfection. Check out the map on this page for more information.
|Rumour: The City is not communicating or engaging with the public about water in White Rock.|
Since acquiring the water utility from EPCOR, the City has provided an unprecedented level of information to the public through public meetings, marketing and communication campaigns, and on the City’s website under the My Water page, which includes links to the following areas:
The City provides updates to Council and the public on the status of the City’s water quality and infrastructure through additional Corporate Reports that are published on the City’s website. For example, there is a Corporate Report on “Public Awareness Regarding City’s Water Related Activities” which provides links, screenshots of the marketing communication activities the City undertook to inform and educate the public on its research partnership, chlorination, and Open House. Regular Council Meetings are also live streamed and available on demand.
The City has held multiple Open Houses and Community Forums on water in White Rock. All of the event materials from these open houses/community forums is available on our website.