[Citation Needed]
April 16, 2009 4:57 PM   Subscribe

According to Wikipedia, the town I'm about to move to has been "Rated as unfit for human habitation by the United Nations." Where can I find more information about this?

I'm moving to the Peace River, Alberta area next week (omg, sight unseen!).

Here's the link to the Wikipedia page: Grimshaw, Alberta.

I'm skeptical because there's no citation and part of me thinks some bored punk is just messing around with Wikipedia because he's tired of small-town life. I know it's really easy to edit.

But then I Google and come across stuff about tar sands and a nuclear reactor-- what's going on here? To me, "unfit for human habitation" brings to mind refugee shelters or low-income housing projects, not whole towns. The town's official website extolls its "Safe streets, clean air and perhaps the best water ever tasted" (of Doom!).

Am I a gullible moron? Or should I pack my biohazard suit?
posted by jschu to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you look at the edit history, you can see that the page has been vandalized before. Bored punk is my vote.
posted by autojack at 5:02 PM on April 16, 2009

Sounds like a troll to me, as you suspect. There's no actual nuclear reactor there yet either, as far as I can tell.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:05 PM on April 16, 2009

The article seems to be a frequent target of vandalism/jokes. This information was added in a revision on April 14, 2009, shortly after "a lot of liquor stores and high-school dropouts" was added as a bullet point in the demographics section. The revisions came from the same IP address, it looks like.
posted by dilettante at 5:06 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's where it was added.
posted by WCityMike at 5:08 PM on April 16, 2009

Yeah, look at the edit history for that IP address. Most of the changes attributed to it are what appears to be subtle vandalism to the Grimshaw page.
posted by indyz at 5:08 PM on April 16, 2009

That was written by an anonymous user at Their history of edits completely lacks any credibility and some of it is definite vandalism. Unfortunately this stuff flourishes because Wikipedia provides an environment that's extremely soft on vandalism -- I tried dealing with it a couple of years ago there and found it's a waste of time to do anything proactive except revert articles.
posted by crapmatic at 5:11 PM on April 16, 2009

Woah, Peace River. That's out there. It's no Fort McMurray AFAIK, but there are oil/tar sands in the area and you may see excavation and refining operations in the area. I doubt it's anywhere near town though as there's plenty of space to keep it out of sight.
posted by GuyZero at 5:32 PM on April 16, 2009

If you don't know anyone in the town, could you possibly call the nearest library, or the high school, with your concerns? Good luck.
posted by ragtimepiano at 5:37 PM on April 16, 2009

I have spent time up in Peace River country (some family lives/lived up in Spirit River). It can be a pretty place, if you look on google maps you can see that the area is a good mix of prairie and low mountains foot hills (to the West and South). You are very close to Dawson Creek, the start of the Alaskan Highway and some rugged terrain. The area is know for it's big game (Moose, caribou, deer, wolves, coyotes) and hunters. The water really IS pure and tasty but the area is VERY remote!! People are friendly but conservative. The towns are very safe, crime is rare. If there is anything else that you would like to know feel free to message me. Hope that helps.
posted by saradarlin at 5:50 PM on April 16, 2009

Aw, did one of y'all fix it? You're the best. My mind is at ease; I really have no room in my suitcase for a biohazard suit.

I had no idea about the edit history pages-- thanks for that.
posted by jschu at 5:54 PM on April 16, 2009

Peace country has always been beautiful -- if northern, and remote. I don't know to what extent the oil sands projects have fucked things up in recent years, but certainly not as badly as all that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on April 16, 2009

Native Albertan here, definitely nothing to be alarmed about
posted by canoehead at 7:18 PM on April 16, 2009

I travel to the region for work from time to time. It's a beautiful place, and, as I recall, the energy sector there is based on gas (still booming), not tar sands.

I would consider living there because: a) it's close to the Northern Rockies, which have all of the beauty of their southern counterparts with just a fraction of the tourists b) there's money to be made there. It has a young population with fewer of the goods and services we enjoy in the south.

I haven't lived through an entire winter there, and from what I understand, it's so cold people spend little time outside.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:39 PM on April 16, 2009

My mother loved the area and the people, 70 years ago. Congratulations on taking the plunge, have fun.
posted by Idcoytco at 9:03 AM on April 17, 2009

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