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

South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

EV charging stations, bike lockers, new park-and-ride stalls among solutions in Capital Region

BC Transit finishes wave of replacements with natural gas buses in Victoria

Average fleet age drops a few years with new buses added in 2020

New crop of hand-crafted heats popping up across Saanich

Community arts program promotes wellness, sends message of caring from people of all ages

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Most Read