EDITORIAL: Public pool disclosure

Users of the Grandview Aquatic Centre deserved to be promptly informed of incidents concerning safety and privacy.

There is much to celebrate about South Surrey’s Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre.

Driving past the facility on 24 Avenue is a sight to behold, with a design that has earned nearly a dozen accolades since opening to the public in March of this year – an auspicious start.

According to the City of Surrey, on any given day during the summer, as many as 2,800 patrons made use of its pool and fitness area, a number that suggests the facility was long overdue.

Despite its popularity, the aquatic centre has had its share of challenges – most notably concerning the privacy of patrons using the universal change rooms, after a woman in June was recorded by cellphone while showering, resulting in one man being banned from all city facilities.

However, it was only this week that we learned the incident was the not the last “inappropriate behaviour” complaint lodged. In fact, there have been “a couple” since, a city manager confirmed.

While city staff say they were unable to substantiate some of the concerns, one that was substantiated – described only as a similar, yet different, scenario to that in June – also resulted in an individual being banned from city facilities.

As disturbing as the fact that these incidents occurred may be, perhaps more disturbing is the fact they weren’t immediately made public.

In the first incident, details were revealed only after the victim took her experience to media. The second came to light this week, only during media inquiries regarding rumoured renovations to the universal changing rooms.

It’s unclear not only why a city review last July found no concerns with the design of the universal change rooms, but also why it was determined the public wasn’t to be informed in a timely manner. The facility’s patrons – young children, teens, adults and seniors – have a right to know what happened and a right to decide for themselves whether appropriate steps were taken.

And, as we noted in this space last summer, a city-facility ban does nothing to instill confidence in residents who have occasion to visit facilities beyond the city’s control, across Surrey and beyond. Only our legal system can address that.

While work underway this week should improve patrons’ sense of privacy and security in the universal change rooms, the fact the City of Surrey wasn’t proactive in explaining why it was taking place deserves further explanation.

Just Posted

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

Slam poetry creates catharsis for North Delta youth

Burnsview Secondary team gearing up for poetry festival and competition in April

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read