To the editor:
Let me begin by pointing out that the most important people that are affected by the closure of our pool are the ones being blatantly ignored. Our children. Not once has city council (with the exception of Andrew Foulds) or McKellar ward councillor Bryan Hamilton thought to ask our kids how they feel and what they want. It hearkens back to the “Stone Age” when children were to be seen and not heard. It seems like these kids are non citizens until they are of voting age.
I can guarantee that none of our kids want tennis/pickle ball court. A great many of these kids, some less fortunate, cannot afford to buy the paddles to play a game on a court that is little more than a legacy project by someone who simply cannot understand our way of life in the north and the many challenges that some of us have faced all our lives.
I grew up in the East End over the bridge. We kids enjoyed Widnall Pool when you could get in. There were and still are long lines of kids waiting for someone to exit the pool so they could have a turn to stand elbow to elbow in a filled to capacity and much too small pool. Some of those kids including myself would and still do make the trek to Dease Pool. Not the safest thing to do when you’re a small child and you just want to cool off in 30C weather. And speaking of safety.
Our pool was built because children were drowning in the Neebing. Fences were erected to deter anyone from venturing down the river banks. It’s horrifying to think about the possibility that one of our children could very well end up in the river because Dease Pool was taken from them. How many young lives need to be taken for city counsel to see the true value of our neighbourhood pool?
No one has mentioned or even thought to consider that the closure of the pool affects summer jobs for young adults who attend college or university. The opportunity of employment for students is often the difference between being able to pay for necessities or go hungry. Our lifeguards care about not only the safety of everyone who enjoys the pool but also about fun and enjoyment. Every summer these young men and women show us how much they care by throwing a birthday party for the pool that proudly announces her age and offers the kids free hot dogs and birthday cake. This year she is 108, and she deserves more birthday parties and happy kids and parents swimming and playing in the cool waters that refresh so many from the oppressive heat.
Climate change is also an ignored issue. Summers are getting hotter and hotter and not everyone can afford AC. The hottest days or weeks of summer should be recognized as a health hazard for many. Do we really need another reflective asphalt surface that radiates more heat when Dease Pool absorbs the rays of the sun and further warms the unheated pool? Keeping Dease Pool open is a better option than a tennis court. There is already a tennis court at Chapples and it’s a 10-minute walk from Dease Pool for those who actually want to play tennis and can afford it.
Please stop ignoring us and our kids. Our children deserve to be heard .and treated as important persons. They truly are our future and we need to nurture, respect and protect them. Lead by example because they are watching and learning and one day serve our city and districts.
Dease Pool is a testament to the strength in times of adversity this city is known for. There should be no shame for our community/counsel to ask our private citizens, businesses as well as federal and provincial governments to help offset the cost. How about we treat Dease Pool the same as the carousel at Chippewa Park? Both are an important part of our history and in turn we construct a historical monument (donated) giving thanks to all who participated in restoring/refurbishing our community pool.