Thursday, April 10, 2008

TDSB pools running on empty

Once upon a time there was a home owner who loved having a swimming pool. They moved and could not have a swimming pool in the new home. They were comforted by a friend who told them if they ever missed the swimming pool they could fill up their bathtub with water and toss money in it.

TDSB has been facing this dilemma for many years as they tried to operate their 78 swimming pools. They did not have a mandate to offer this community service so they would not receive funding from the Ministry of Education. The City of Toronto provided limited funding to help pay for the maintenance of the pools. On Friday TDSB faced reality and announced the closing of 23 pools this year and 16 pools next summer for a total annual savings of $4 million.

This is simply a case of bureaucratic red tape. The pools provided an important community service by providing the skills to prevent drownings. It also provided healthy recreation in an era where child obesity appears to be a primary concern. The big question is what is going to happen
on a hot summer day when the city realizes that there are not enough swimming pools. Will they try to build more or simply shrug their shoulders and blame a different level of government. Somebody should have stepped up and acted in the best interest of the citizens of Toronto, instead of the best interests of their individual bureaucratic department. Such short sightedness will only cause harm in the future.

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