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

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read