Rally Makes Waves
From: Let's Make Waves Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:49 AM
May 1st Rally results in meeting with Education Minister Kathleen Wynne
Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of death in Canadians under the age of 14?
Did you know that 95% of children in schools with pools can swim by Grade 6?
Last week we kicked off the start of National Summer Safety Week, when students, parents, grandparents, and aquatic organizations rallied at Queen’s Park to encourage the Province, the City of Toronto, and the TDSB to sit down with David Crombie and work collaboratively to find a long-term sustainable solution to save Toronto’s pools housed in schools.
Despite threatening weather on May 1st a large crowd gathered on the front lawn of Queen’s Park to sing, cheer, and listen to a cross-section of students, adults, parents, grandparents, non-profit aquatic organizations, and Olympic athletes talk about the importance of these pools. Media clips of the rally are posted on our website, www.letsmakewaves.ca
The proposed closure of 39 school pools, which represent approximately one third of all pools in Toronto, will result in a severe shortage of pool time limiting the availability of swimming lessons, recreational swim time, and training time for aquatic athletes. At a time when childhood obesity is at an all-time high, and our aging population need pools for low-impact fitness and rehabilitation, closing so many pools with have a dramatic negative effect on health and well-being of our children.
The rally sent a clear signal to politicians that this issue, and those who demand action from their elected officials, will not simply go away. In fact the rally resulted in a private meeting with Education Minister Kathleen Wynne that same day. Although Minister Wynne reiterated her position that the Province is not considering providing additional funding at this time, she agreed that there needs to be a City aquatic strategy developed jointly by the TDSB and City of Toronto that incorporates the school pools.
Additional meetings between Let’s Make Waves and MPPs, City Councillors, TDSB Trustees, and David Crombie are currently in the works to make sure that a solution is found to this very important issue.
There is no way we would have gotten this far without your support. Please encourage others to sign the petition on our website, as we now have over 40,000 signatures. Please continue to write and call your local MPP, City Councillor, and Trustee. Urge your representatives to come up with some creative solutions for Mr. Crombie, ask them to arrange a community meeting to discuss the issue with those who will be affected by these planned closures, and request that they reach out to their constituents to ask if they have any creative solutions. We want them to know that we are still here and still demanding action.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have any ideas or suggestions, or if you are interested in volunteering your time and energy.
LET'S MAKE WAVES is a city-wide coalition of people working together to save our pools from closure.