The Non-Partisan Association is upping the ante when it comes to swimming-related election promises, saying it would double the number of outdoor pools, whereas Vision Vancouver has already offered free swimming lessons for kids.
"While Vision has committed to offering free swimming lessons in our community pools, these pools are already at capacity," said John Coupar, who is seeking re-election to the park board for the NPA. "Already, there is no room in the existing pools to meet family demand for pool time."
The NPA, led by mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe, unveiled its park-board platform at a news conference Tuesday. Mr. LaPointe told reporters the NPA, in addition to doubling the number of outdoor pools from three to six, would repair relationships between community-centre associations and city hall.
He pointed to the fact that six community-centre associations filed suit against the park board over the introduction of OneCard, which allows cardholders to access all park-board pools, rinks and fitness centres, regardless of where they live.
"The relationship right now is broken," Mr. LaPointe said. "The community centres believe, quite rightly, that their independence is being taken back by a centralized approach that the city is taking," When asked if the NPA would scrap the OneCard system, he said no.
He said the NPA would work toward a joint operating agreement that is satisfactory to the community-centre associations and respects their independence.
Trevor Loke, who is seeking re-election to the park board for Vision Vancouver, said the NPA platform is lacking.
"When the NPA says they're going to supposedly double the number of pools when they don't have any locations, any plans for how those pools are going to look, they don't have any estimates on the operating costs, they don't have any estimates on the capital costs, it's really impossible to take that commitment seriously," he said in an interview.
Mr. Loke called OneCard "an incredible success" and said Vision's objective is to get all of the community-centre associations back to the table.