The Kimberley Aquatic Centre has been closed since last April due to COVID-19. Bulletin file

Residents launch online petition urging city to open Aquatic Centre

The building has been closed since last April

Some Kimberley residents are signing a petition on change.org urging Mayor and Council to reopen the Aquatic Centre, which has been closed since last April due to COVID-19.

READ: Kimberley Aquatic Centre closed until further notice

The petition has garnered over 400 signatures as of Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Please help express how important the reopening of our Kimberley Aquatic Centre is by signing this petition, it says.

“This petition was created to help demonstrate how many people in our town rely on our Aquatic Centre for their wellness, especially our senior population who struggle to get enough exercise outside. Many people suffer from joint pain which is eliminated by exercising in the water. In addition, swimming is a life skill in which our younger population need to continue developing.

“Many swimming pools throughout BC are starting to open up or have made a plan to reopen. lifesaving.bc.ca/covid19 has a list of the pools scheduled to reopen and what they plan to offer in regards to programs.

“We are navigating uncharted waters during this pandemic but we are in this together and the Aquatic centre is a very important aspect in keeping our community healthy.

“Please sign this petition and/or email our Mayor and Councillors to express how important it is to keep our community healthy and strong especially during this time. “Acknowledging the fact it will be a different experience and there will be new procedures in place, we want to keep everyone safe and we support the new protocols and procedures and will utilize our pool facilities responsibly.

Thank you for your support!

Be Calm. Be Kind. Be Safe”

Mayor Don McCormick says that he, Council and staff are well aware how much people miss having the use of the pool, but they are abiding by direction from the Provincial Health Officer.

“The Kimberley Aquatic Centre was never designed for social distancing,” McCormick said. “People actually in the water are probably the easiest. It’s the rest of the facility and all the touch points. Many of the users are seniors and they are the most vulnerable of our population. For us to open without direction from the Provincial Health Officer would be irresponsible.”

McCormick says he realizes fatigue is setting in with weathering this pandemic. People are tired of not having use of the facilities they used to enjoy.

“But nothing has changed (as far as COVID-10 is concerned),” he said. “No one wants the pool open more than us. There are jobs at stake. But it’s all about direction from the Provincial Health Officer.”



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

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