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ABC Kits Pool motion doesn't hold water, says TEAM for a Livable Vancouver

VANCOUVER, June 24, 2024 -  An ABC motion to “reimagine and replace” Kitsilano Pool goes before City Council on Wednesday.

 

This comes after the City recently announced that the pool won’t be open this summer due to a persistent leakage problem.

 

Ken Sim and his ABC council blame the Park Board for the Kits Pool debacle. But that explanation doesn’t hold water.  As former Park Board chairperson Aaron Jasper told CTV News, “The City of Vancouver has been in charge of maintaining all of our recreational infrastructure for the last 10 years.” 

 

Is the pool closure due to incompetence? How about deliberate neglect?

 

The Park Board had decades of experience operating the city’s recreational facilities. It 

employed people who had the expertise needed to maintain them. But that was then. As former Park Board spokesperson Terri Clark points out, early in the Vision Vancouver administration the City’s building maintenance system took over park facilities they had no experience in maintaining.

 

Under the City’s watch, we’ve seen multiyear, delayed incompetent fixes like the Kits Pool screw-up. People in Mount Pleasant have been waiting for a replacement outdoor swimming pool for years. And the Vancouver Aquatic Centre is in a shameful state of disrepair.

 

Instead of properly maintaining Vancouver’s public recreational assets, Ken Sim and ABC want their well-heeled friends in the corporate sector to run the show.

 

Calling on corporations and philanthropists to raise money isn't the answer. Solid long-term management means getting into the deep end through diligence and difficult decision-making. But the ABC Council seems unwilling to get its feet wet.

 

Repairs to the existing pool should be funded and it should be adequately maintained until the replacement is complete, so the 180,000 people who use Kits Pool each year don't have to suffer for the administrators' gross incompetence.

  

The “reimagine and replace” motion is being put forward by Sim and Cllr. Sarah Kirby-Yung. That’s consistent with the ABC playbook. They think that only they and their rich pals can make the Stanley Park railway run on time. Only they can fill our pools with cleansing waters. It’s all part of the ABC power grab from the elected Park Board – which shows just how shallow their idea of democracy is.

 

TEAM calls for the restructuring of the City’s financial plan and adequate funding of Park Board facilities to undo the damage that’s been done. TEAM supports parks and recreation facilities for people – not for private interests and profit.

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