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

Wild Wise Sooke is pushing to get local waste management companies to hop on board to provide bear-resistant bins as an option for residents. On Nov. 23, Sooke council voted to write a letter of support for Wild Wise to send to companies such as GFL Environmental Inc. and Sooke Disposal Ltd. (Black Press Media file photo)
Wild Wise Sooke continues push for bear-resistant bins as option for residents

Bins could cost anywhere from $150 to $300 or more, according to 2019 study

Goldstream Gazette is holding the first annual Local Hero Awards ceremony on the West Shore on June 18. Deadline for nominations is on May 2. (Arnold Lim/News Staff)
Nominate your West Shore hero today!

Submit your application to one of 12 different categories before Jan. 4

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… 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 Dec. 1

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

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read