EDITORIAL: A need for communication

There’s something to be said for officials keeping people in the loop.

There’s something to be said for officials keeping people in the loop.

Accurate information can go a long ways in helping people understand decisions or situations; it allows them to be part of a conversation, rather than simply witnesses to it.

In the most serious cases, information offered en masse keeps the masses safe; in others, it merely negates the need for inquiry after inquiry to officials.

In short, timely release of information can help keep the peace.

Cities are among organizations that would be well-advised to take the practice to heart.

Like most everyone – individuals and groups alike – city officials usually are quick to trumpet good news, be it recognition for a worthwhile cause or a grant they’ve awarded or received with our tax dollars. But when it comes to touchier subjects – whether that touchiness is perceived or actual – it appears a wall of sorts can be erected around city hall.

Last week’s announcement of an Aug. 20 pit bull attack that left a White Rock senior with serious injuries to her hand is a case in point.

Beyond distributing a news release on the evening of Aug. 29 – more than a week after the incident occurred – stating the attack took place during a morning walk, that bylaw officers deemed the pit bull “aggressive” and that the city is “considering taking serious action against the owner of the pit bull, as well as the dog itself,” no further information has been shared by the city, not even the breed of the victim’s dog, which also suffered significant injuries in the attack.

While this gap has been justified as a means of protecting privacy – at the victim’s request – the City of White Rock has taken it further than necessary, to the consternation of other residents.

At the very least, the area of the city where it occurred should be shared – was it on White Rock’s east side? West side? In the Town Centre? By the beach? Near a playground or school?

What few additional details have come to light have been courtesy Coun. Lynne Sinclair, who, when asked, told Peace Arch News the dog has been ordered muzzled when out in public.

It is some comfort, but not enough. Residents want to know if the pit bull in question is one that lives in their neighbourhood or one that their families may encounter on their walks. They want to know more to keep their loved ones safe.

If that information potentially leads others to identifying the victim – or indeed the owner of the pit bull – it’s a small price to pay for others’ peace of mind.


Just Posted

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)
Catalytic converter thefts continue to plague Delta

Police say the thefts are on the rise across the city, with seven incidents on Thursday, June 17

‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read