Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne issued a public apology at a recent council meeting, following a mistake he said he made on social media.
Coyne saw a Facebook post on a local issues page over the previous weekend, suggesting a child in the community had measles.
“A grandmother – she posted that her granddaughter had contracted the virus and was told to stay quarantined for a few days.”
Coyne has young children and said he was reacting as a concerned parent when he shared that post to local school parent Facebook pages.
He then reached out to the Similkameen Spotlight, and soon after removed his posts from the parent pages.
“I had not verified the posts before I shared them. My parental feelings just took over…I wasn’t thinking.”
The Spotlight contacted Interior Health through its after hours media line, and after several hours IH issued a statement saying Princeton had no confirmed or suspected cases of the measles.
“I need to apologize. Although I am a parent I have another role in the community.”
Coyne thanked the paper for playing a role in clearing up the misinformation.
“I stayed in contact with the media all day and when Interior Health got back to The Spotlight [they] quickly notified the community that everything was okay…It was late into the night before [they] were able to get confirmation.”
Coyne said the incident is a cautionary tale.
“I think it’s a good lesson not only for myself but also for the community. When we see something on line we need to check our facts before we share them.”
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