The City of Victoria is continues to discuss options for the location of the Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre. (File Photo)

Crystal Pool should serve city’s most vulnerable: North Park Neighbourhood Association

Victoria City Council looking at locations for pool at Thursday meeting

The Crystal Pool saga continues with City council again hearing from the North Park Neighbourhood Association (NPNA), which is keen on seeing the facility placed somewhere it is accessible to the city’s most vulnerable.

The NPNA will present at council’s June 13 Committee of the Whole meeting, following a new motion around applying “affordability and equity” in the Crystal Pool project.

A feature of the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan is “commitments to equity and affordability throughout the provision of city services, its operations and decision-making,” reads a report from councillors Marianne Alto and Sharmarke Dubow. “Application of equity and affordability policy analyses to the exploration of a future Crystal Pool facility provides an opportunity to test and evaluate such policies’ utility.”

A presentation from the NPNA last week asked council to consider placing the facility in the North Park or Hillside-Quadra areas.

“There are considerable and lasting implications of removing a significant public asset from northern neighbourhoods that already house disproportionately high community burdens and have disproportionately fewer community assets and benefits,” states the presentation. “Applying an equity lens would evaluate the existing location as vastly preferable to the Central Middle School for a significant investment in public recreation.”

Plans for constructing the pool and wellness facility in the southwest corner of Central Park – neighbouring the pool’s current location – are still on the table, as are the public parking lot across from Royal Athletic Park and the western portion of the field next to Central Middle School.

READ ALSO: Victoria Curling Club, arena parking lot considered for new Crystal Pool location

In 2017, council decided to explore options to replace the aging Crystal Pool facility, currently located in the 2000-block of Quadra Street.

Along with the creation of a schedule, budget and refined concept designs, the City has undertaken public consultation on the matter and in fall 2018 the public spoke back. A facility located at Central Park, the NPNA and Downtown Victoria Residents Association said, took away their green space.

They urged the City to consider parking lot spaces at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and Royal Athletic Park.

In early 2019 the City worked with RG Facilities, operators of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, to discuss the possibility of a new community recreation facility located in the parking lot next to the arena. However, the two groups “never came to a mutually acceptable arrangement.”

READ ALSO: Negotiations fail for Crystal Pool at Save-On-Food site

Motions to be considered Thursday night include directing staff to not build facilities in existing green space, “apply[ing] an equity lens” to investment decisions and inviting potential partners and neighbourhood representatives to collaborate on objectives, as well as embed inter-generational equity into corporate policy.

On Thursday evening, council will hear from NPNA and consider the equity motions. Updates on the project will be released following the June 13 meeting.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation looks to grow funding for memory garden

Foundation will start new campaign next month as it wraps up recruitment campaign

Survey says 27% of Victoria employers look to hire this quarter

Another 13 % of employers anticipate cutbacks

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Most Read