In the last civic election the NPA promised to build three new pools. The NPA mayoralty candidate said that Vancouver was “dramatically underserved” by the current three outdoor pools. Here is a Metro article from the election:Metro
It was a hollow platform promise for the NPA with no plans for where the pools would be located or how they would be paid for. But hey, it was an election and making wild promises seemed to be the NPA’s campaign strategy.
While the NPA was not elected in the majority on council, it did gain control of the Park Board. One has to wonder, how many folks voted for the NPA with the expectation that they would be getting three new pools in Vancouver. Also, the NPA’s election notion of the lack of outdoor pools does not seem to be burning concern for the current NPA majority on the Park Board.
While the NPA-controlled Park Board has been busy granting contracts to build zip lines and renting deck chairs in our parks, it seems curious that there has been no mention of new pools at budget time. Did the Park Board Chair go to Council at budget time and request that the Capital Plan be amended to include three new pools? No!
Vancouver has some pretty spectacular pools, both indoor and outdoor. New Brighton pool, Kits pool and Second Beach pool are all located in idyllic places where folks can swim in warm pool waters. We also have some incredible indoor pools like the Aquatic Centre and Hillcrest. Some of the pools are in need of updating and renovations. To this end the Park Board commissioned a consultant to develop a strategy for the renewal of pools back in 2011. You can read the study here: Park Board Pool Study
Interestingly, a key finding and recommendation of the report was to “Phase out of stand alone outdoor pools, build future ones in combination with indoor pools.” There is a plan and it is based on rational thinking around how to use taxpayer’s money in the most cost-effective way to obtain maximum recreational utility.
It is regrettable that the NPA made promises during the election knowing full well that there was no possibility of fulfilling these pledges based on the planning that was already in place and paid for by taxpayers dollars at the time.