It’s not too late to revisit pool-closure decision in North Dundas

The Editor:

This letter was recently sent to the members of North Dundas Council.

Dear Mayor Fraser and Council Members,

When summer hiring took place I was impressed to hear of your foresight to hire qualified pool staff to do laborers work so that you would be prepared for a late opening of our North Dundas Pools, should the opportunity arise.  It was with dismay that I heard you had decided not to proceed with that plan.  Having now watched the video of the special meeting where you discussed the reasoning, I feel I need to voice my opinion and I believe the opinion of many.

I firstly want to congratulate Meaghan and her staff and the students who went to great lengths to come up with a reopening plan that would follow the COVID-19 protocols.  Well done!

As a grandparent of young grandchildren and on behalf of families with children, as a community and as a Country, we so need to let the children get back to a normal life that includes the opportunity to enjoy the pool and being in the proximity of other children and families. If you have been following our CHEO Director and now many health care professionals concerned about the mental health of our children, they also are becoming more adamant that we need to return to a more normal life.

A competitor swims at the Chesterville pool in 2017. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News file

If we are going to have to deal with these kinds of protocols for a while then why not let the staff proceed with a trial run of our own here in North Dundas?  We cannot live the rest of our lives in fear and continually looking at the ‘what if’s’ …. I believe the staff and students who put together the procedure for reopening have the intelligence to handle these challenges as well as the occasional person who is not happy about the rules … I am sure they have had to handle these types of behaviours over the years.

Aside from the Covid aspect, in the future, not having the pool operational breaks the chain of supply of good lifeguards for years to come. Local kids spend years training so they can work in Town. Not offering the foundation swimming lessons, the role models of teens the younger ones ‘know’ and the potential job prospects for when they are old enough means we won’t have a local supply of pool staff.

We have followed the lead of Ottawa and area for many decisions made in this Community.  They are stepping out and moving forward with the opening of their pools, and eventually we hope and pray, our playgrounds and other facilities. Please reconsider your decision. We have been warned that this heat wave is here for the entire summer — it’s not too late to revisit your decision based on new information and let the children play. As an aside, I think as adults can come up with a safe way of continuing with Aqua fit too!

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Sandy Laneville

Winchester

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