Baldwin addresses Peace Arch Hospital water-supply rumour

Fraser Health confirms PAH has not asked to join GVRD’s water supply

Fraser Health has confirmed that rumours discussed at White Rock City Hall last week are not true.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin told council Nov. 20 that he heard on the “rumour-net” that Peace Arch Hospital had asked to join Greater Vancouver Regional District’s water supply directly, rather than have it supplied through the city’s system that acquires it through the Sunnyside Uplands Aquifer.

The comment was made after White Rock utilities manager Saad Jasim presented the city’s 2017 Water Master Plan to council.

After his comment, Baldwin told council he reached out to Peace Arch Hospital and Fraser Health and can “safely say” that’s not the case.

Jasim told council that he had also heard the rumour.

“The bottom line is that I think there was a report that’s saying that Metro Vancouver will supply the hospital on emergency only, if needed. We haven’t seen the request from the hospital itself,” Jasim told council.

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma told Peace Arch News Tuesday that Peace Arch Hospital has not asked to join the regional district’s water supply.

“I talked to the drinking-water team, and the team at Peace Arch. Nobody is aware of any of that, of connecting to Metro Vancouver…” Juma said. “There’s lots of discussions, as you know, post-fire and stuff. But none that talked about hooking up to Metro Vancouver.”

Juma was referring to the Five Corners fire in May 2016. The Ocean Ridge condominium complex fire left nearly 100 people homeless and the city’s water reserves were depleted by firefighting efforts.

Water pressure dropped throughout the city, including at Peace Arch Hospital. Emails obtained by a resident through a freedom-of-information request confirmed that city manager Dan Bottrill emailed council on the afternoon of the fire and said: “PAH is reporting no water on the 4th, 5th, and 6th floor of the hospital.”

Police say the fire was deliberately set, but no arrests have been made.

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