Karmen McNamara wants the city to replace Crystal Pool as soon as possible. (File contributed/ Karmen McNamara)

Karmen McNamara wants the city to replace Crystal Pool as soon as possible. (File contributed/ Karmen McNamara)

Victoria council candidate brings forward Crystal Pool petition

Karmen McNamara wants the City of Victoria to prioritize replacing the pool with its original design

A Victoria resident and council candidate is bringing a petition to council asking for the immediate construction of a new Crystal Pool facility.

Karmen McNamara believes the city should go back to its originally-approved designs and location, which saw the new facility placed at the south west corner of Central Park. So far her petition has gathered nearly 900 signatures both online and in hard copy.

The original design was widely supported, McNamara argues, citing an 80 per cent approval rating in an earlier only city survey. However, a report put forward by the North Park Neighbourhood Association asking for the maintenance of greenspace in 2018 prompted the city to explore other locations and designs, a move that lost the city millions of dollars worth of funding and resulted in no new decisions.

“They investigated a number of different sites and came up empty-handed because there are no viable places in the City of Victoria,” McNamara said. “Now we’re spending roughly $100,000 per month maintaining the current Crystal Pool.”

ALSO READ: Former Team Canada athlete pens open letter to City of Victoria about Crystal Pool

According to a recent city staff report, from 2017 to 2018 operations costs at the pool increased by 17 per cent due to the aging infrastructure. City staff have also previously predicted that construction cost estimates will increase by approximately $500,000 per month for a new facility.

The financial cost is one thing, McNamara adds, but the social consequences are another. McNamara works as a staff manager for a person living with special needs who has ties to the Paralympics. Her client uses Crystal Pool every week to train, and has to access the facility by taking a steep backdoor ramp and ringing a doorbell so that he can be let into the accessible change room. The accessibility of the facility is terrible, she said, but it’s all that’s around. If the pool closes for maintenance there’s nowhere else to go within the city.

“People who are privileged can get into a car and drive to another facility, but if your financially or physically limited you can’t go anywhere else, it’s just not an option.”

ALSO READ: Victoria city staff start from square one on Crystal Pool project

McNamara has spoken to council last year on the issue, but hopes that this time with more voices behind hers her message will resonate.

“This pool is important for the entire community not because it’s necessarily a pool , but it’s a place where people can come together and have relationships,” she said. “If we put shovels in the ground tomorrow it will take three years to build… we cannot guarantee that the facility will be running for the next two years.”

McNamara will be speaking at council around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

city councilCity of VictoriaCrystal Pool

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food trucks will be allowed to operate in several Sooke parks beginning May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke’s food truck pilot project under scrutiny

Councillor questions impact food trucks will have on nearby restaurants

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
PHOTOS: Vehicle driven into Saanich Walmart removed after two trapped workers rescued

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Tons of bottles were donated during bottle drives in Sooke and Langford on March 27. The funds raised from the drives will help a local family stay with their daughter during her leukemia treatments in Vancouver. (Photos: Glendora Scarfone)
Sooke, Langford bottle drives help cover family’s costs of staying with daughter during cancer treatments

More than $11,900 raised to help Shae Hanilton’s family stay with her in Vancouver

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Most Read