Stop this Lunacy!

A letter to the province, city & school board from Oakwood Collegiate Parent Council
April 7, 2008       Re:  Toronto Schools Close Pools

Shame, shame and shame on you all and on every level of government you represent for your short sightedness, your refusal to invest in children’s health, children’s futures and the public education system.

As recently as 2005, our provincial government announced it was 
“Working with education partners to examine ways that swimming survival programs may be incorporated into the daily physical activity requirement.”  (Ministry of Health Promotion)
And the Ontario government’s ACTIVE2010 “Sports and Physical Activity Strategy” expressly states:
Enhancing Participation in Sports : School System
“ Schools have been identified as the first setting where children are exposed to organized sport. ACTIVE 2010 will enhance participation in school athletics and promote its benefit through education…….Increasing participation in sport and physical activity in Ontario schools will lead to healthier students, who will realize the benefits of participation through increased health, decreased absenteeism, increased self-esteem, improved health and lifestyle choices, and an increased tendency to participate in their community…”

Are your words really that empty??
The infrastructure in the City of Toronto is crumbling. The schools are old, rundown, decaying. The recreational facilities in most of these schools are abysmal.

If you insist on closing pools because the facilities are old, where is your commitment to replacing these with new facilities? Either fix these structures or put funds and effort into building new indoor pools!

The Parks and Recreation programmes at the city level are continually under “cut-back” attacks  so there is no option there to move children into programmes run by the city.

Your solution? To further cut-back on the recreational facilities and thus the enjoyment that children do have in school.  This is appalling. Those of you who have made this decision are gutless. Those of you who have silently and complicity supported this decision are equally to blame.

Your poor planning and poor decision making will affect hundreds and hundreds of children. Many of these children will never learn to swim.  

STOP this lunacy!!  INVEST IN OUR CHILDREN!!

Beth Davey
Allison Pedley
Oakwood C.I. School Parent Council Co-Chairs
On behalf of Oakwood C. I. Parents

sent TO:     John Campbell Chair, Toronto District School Board
Maria Rodrigues, Trustee, Ward 9, Toronto District School Board
Mayor David Miller , City of Toronto
Shelley Carroll, Budget Chief, City of Toronto
Caesar Palacio, Councillor, Ward 17, City of Toronto
Kathleen Wynne , Minister of Education, Province of Ontario
George Smitherman, Minister of Health, Province of Ontario
Margaret Best, (Minister of Health Promotion, Province of Ontario
Tony Ruprecht, M.P.P, Davenport, Province of Ontario
Dalton McGuinty, Premier, Province of Ontario

From the TDSB website:
Schools identified for decommissioning in June 2008:
Elementary Schools:, Carleton Village Sr PS, Earl Grey Sr PS, Fern Avenue Jr & Sr. PS, Keele Street Jr PS & City Community Centre, Kensington Community School, Queen Alexandra Sr. PS. and Winona McMurrich Jr PS
Secondary Schools: Bickford Centre, Central Commerce Collegiate, Central Technical School (2 pools), Danforth Collegiate & Technical Institute, Downsview SS, Forest Hill CI, George Harvey CI, George S Henry Academy, Jarvis CI, Monarch Park, North Toronto CI, Riverdale CI, Rosedale Heights SS, SATEC @WA Porter and Ursula Franklin Academy at Western Technical
School identified for decommissioning in June 2009:
Allenby Jr PS, AY Jackson SS, Deer Park Jr & Sr PS, Glenview Sr PS, Bloor CI, Harbord CI, Humberside CI, Lawrence Park CI, Malvern CI, Northern SS, Oakwood CI, Parkdale CI, RH King Academy, Stephen Leacock CI, Western Technical-Commercial School, and Westview Centennial