Unsocial media causes tensions over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice. (Pixabay photo)

In Our Opinion: Pot calling the kettle black

Un-social media has lead to rising tensions in the City of Prince Rupert over the boil water notice

Unfiltered water, and city representatives, has led to a very unsocial media experience.

Now, almost six weeks into the boil water notice (at the time of our print deadline), the story of Prince Rupert’s shortfalls has reached the attention of Canadian Press. The story has been fed into news outlets across the country with Prince Rupert resident, Tom Kertes, as the only person interviewed. The rest of the quotes were taken from Facebook posts from the mayor, and the city’s website.

Kertes, who we met with last week, has launched a grassroots group called Community for Clean Water. His message for the city is to get off Facebook, and work with the community to develop a clean water preparedness plan. Not everyone has social media, and this shouldn’t be the only way to get information.

READ MORE: Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

At last week’s council meeting, the acting mayor told residents that Facebook won’t solve this, and a councillor called active online users ‘keyboard warriors’. These types of comments aren’t going to win council any points — especially when after this council meeting, the acting mayor had a heated back-and-forth public discussion through Facebook with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

READ MORE: City asks residents to write MLA, MP to help with water issues

For those who do follow the ongoing drama on social media, there isn’t anything valuable being shared here. It’s like watching a never-ending chess game.

To diffuse the situation, Mayor Lee Brain, from somewhere in Victoria, shared a video post on Jan. 17. But again, he chose to share his message through Facebook, not through The Northern View, the radio, or on the city website.

“I know people want to point a finger somewhere but there really isn’t,” he said. Then Brain called what happened between the Rice and acting mayor Niesh a situation of miscommunication.

There is no end to the miscommunication and it begins and ends with Facebook.

At the next council meeting, on Jan. 28, Community for Clean Water has requested to address council — in person — to share the vision for providing safe drinking water for all residents while the boil water notice is in effect.

Residents who were disappointed with the last council meeting can drop into next Monday’s meeting, which is the first committee of the whole for 2019, when the city hears recommendations from the public. A little old fashioned, but it’s a way to guarantee your opinion is heard and not scrolled over.



Send Newsroom email.
Like the The Northern View on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Speakers announced for TEDx talks in Prince Rupert Apr. 19

Seven speakers will present on topics ranging from aquaculture to medicine to Indigenous culture

Prince Rupert’s alternate school students find Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Pacific Coast School organized an international school trip for the first time

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert’s 2019 budget passed, $15K raise for mayor

City council members to receive 25 per cent of what the mayor makes

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Most Read