Thanks everyone for the support and for pressuring City Council to reconsider and agree NOT to close the pools. Nice job!
The City of Regina has proposed closing several of the public pools in the city and, potentially, replacing them with spray pads.
Access to recreational opportunities is linked to numerous positive outcomes for youth including: reduced drug and alcohol abuse, reduced gang involvement, reduced violent crime, improved educational outcomes, improved mental health, reduced rates of childhood obesity, and reduced rates of obesity-related health problems (such as diabetes and depression). Given that the burden of these problems is disproportionately heavy in the Heritage community, any proposal to reduce recreational opportunities in this neighbourhood is particularly mind-boggling.
Likewise, the idea that a reduced number of enhanced facilities might better serve the population represents a major disconnect between those making such decisions and the reality of low-income individuals living in the inner-city. Across Canada, participation in physical activity and recreation is lowest among marginalized populations residing in poor neighbourhoods. There are numerous reasons for this but the main culprits are: a scarcity of local recreational infrastructure, user fees, and transportation issues. The closure of Maple Leaf pool (which currently has free admission) would obviously exacerbate these first two problems. Moreover, much of the population that uses this facility cannot simply hop into their SUVs and drive to another neighbourhood and use their pool. Transportation can be a major obstacle to low-income populations. Many do not have access to a vehicle and a monthly bus pass represents a significant portion of their discretionary income. Likely, once this facility closes, many of the children that currently pack this pool in the summer will not find alternative recreational opportunities. Drug are available and gangs are active in this neighbourhood. You can imagine the alternative activities that some kids might find.
We understand that our city is facing budgetary challenges but cutting recreational facilities used by low-income inner-city children and families? I think it’s time for city council to review “Regina’s Vision” and have a conversation about what is truly valuable and important.
Spray pads are not a true alternative to public pools. Public pools are used by a wide variety of ages – young and old. We want to ensure that our public pools remain open, especially the free ones.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED hereby petition the Council of the City of Regina not to close any public swimming pools.
By signing below, each resident attests that he or she is lives in the city and has not previously signed the petition.
The Stop City of Regina Pool Closures petition to City of Regina was written by Dawn Thomas and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.