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

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

‘A monumental step’: Surrey Food Bank finds new, much larger home in Newton

The charity is expected to make the move next summer

UPDATED: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read