Hello and welcome back to Tyson’s Thoughts, the column that dissects all things North Island.
With that quick little introduction out of the way, let’s get right down to business and dissect something.
Will Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool be reopening again anytime soon?
That’s a question that is seemingly on everyone’s minds after the pool was turned down for provincial and federal grant funding.
For those that don’t know, the funding was needed for major renovations and urgent repairs, and thanks to the money not coming in like council had expected, the district was forced to close the pool for the time being, which is very sad and quite unfortunate.
According to the district, the swimming pool is over 40-years-old and has three key issues with it; a leaking basin, an aging mechanical system, and a failing dry-o-tron dehumidification system that is not likely to make it through another season.
Stantec is currently doing an updated report on what the costs will be to fix it, and council is going to have to make a decision on it in the near future.
To be clear, none of this is Port Hardy council’s fault. If anything, this is just another case of rural communities being ignored by our branches of government.
The pool has always been a great place for families to hangout, a place where kids can go and have fun, and oh yeah, a place where they can actually learn to swim.
The pool was personally one of my favourite places to go in town when I was a youth with busy parents who weren’t available to drive me anywhere. I learned how to do flips off the diving board, swam an entire length of the pool underwater, and really just had a lot of fun with my friends. It’s one of the main reasons I love swimming as much as I do today, and I’ll always hold those memories near and dear to my heart.
Seeing the pool closed down is a very frustrating situation, as it’s not only Port Hardy residents who use it, but the majority of people who reside in the Regional District of Mount Waddington.
How can an area with over 11,000 people not have one operational indoor swimming pool?
I think that’s a question we need to be asking our MLA the next time she’s here for a visit.
Tyson Whitney is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised in Port Hardy. His family has lived in Port Hardy for more than 40 years. He graduated with a degree in writing from Vancouver Island University in 2008.