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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read