Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Recreation divided....

As I am looking through the recreation offerings by the local governments, I am once again amazed at the fundamental stupidity of this city.

I live on the boundary of three municipalities, my ex lives on the boundary of three municipalities (though not the same three as myself). We are trying to figure out what programs there are for our kids and we are looking through the guides of four local governments.

If we can not amalgamate the local governments, we should at a minimum amalgamate all the parks and recreation services of the core. The peninsula and the western communities have already done so, though I know they have their problems.

The moronic local boundaries that run through the middle of neighbourhoods means that local governments can not realistically restrict use to their own residents. No one asks if I am a Saanich resident when I use Pearkes. Esquimalt does not look for my address when I am at Archie Browning. Why are we operating all these facilities separately?

The core region of Victoria has seven pools (two of them not public), seven ice sheets (though three of them are not really available to the public), and 8 recreation centres (one not public).

When one looks at Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria, you can see which one is the weakest at offering services - my home city of Victoria. Victoria does not have a single decent recreation centre, though it does have 7 community centre type facilities. The city does not have a single ice sheet of its own for use by the community. The city has a single pool that is not even on a par with what Oak Bay and Esquimalt have. Saanich has two pools.

Victoria should consider a major upgrade to the Crystal Pool facility, but it should also build a pool in the Gorge area of the city. Ideally one should get Saanich and Victoria to coperate on building two new pools, one near to Burnside and Harriet and another at the Cedar Hill rec Centre. The two should also build a two rink ice sheet at Cedar Hill Rec.

If the core municipal governments pooled their resources, the ability to build better and more complete recreation facilities would be easier.

There has been some cooperation in the region between Saanich and SD 61. Saanich put some money into the construction of the new Colquitz. I think this is a good model for use of the buildings. Personally I would like to see all the schools used more often by the public. The same for the school grounds. Our schools are woefully underused as they stand at the moment. I believe it would make sense to have all the physical infrastructure of the schools become the property of the local government.

As far as I can see at the moment, we are not using our recreational dollars wisely and not maximizing our use of the existing public buildings.
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