EDITORIAL: A bad decision

Both the arena and pool are closed on Family Day in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Ah, Family Day, a great time to gather the children, force the teens away from the video games and head to the local ice rink. Thoughts turn to holding the hand of a wobbly toddler just learning to skate, or watching your 12 year-old fumble through awk-

ward, pre-dating contact with a boy or girl he/she might or might not like to kiss some day.

Or perhaps you are a little older and decide to drag the old tube skates out of the garage so you can feel the wind rush through you hair as you zip around the rink, getting a chuckle out of the wobbly toddler, the awkward teens and the parents trying deal with all of that.

Oceanside Place, what a great place to go on Family Day. Not so much. We are disappointed to report, as you may have found out yourself yesterday, Oceanside Place was closed on Family Day.

No worries, you said as you packed away the mittens, helmet and skates, we’ll just head to Ravensong Pool. It’s chilly enough outside and the kids will love to splash around in the pool while I soak in the hot tub or enjoy a good sweat in the sauna.

Not so fast, family guy. Ravensong Pool was closed on Family Day, too.

Of all the days of the year to be closed, one would think Family Day would be low on the list. That’s exactly what some readers expressed to us in e-mails and calls over the last few days.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s general manager of recreation and parks, Tom Osborne, says those facilities are closed most stat holidays as a “cost-saving measure.”

In the RDN’s defence, Family Day is new for 2013. Osborne said the opening of the rink and pool on Family Day 2014 could be reviewed in budget discussions. It’s a double-time staffing bill for the RDN and needs to be worked out with the unions involved, too.

Osborne also suggested families could enjoy the “great outdoors” at RDN parks like Moorecroft.

Fair enough, but we would like to think the leadership of the RDN and its unions would have been able think on their feet and make a grown-up decision within a budget year. They could have worked out a deal to keep these facilities open on Family Day, and could have used this new holiday as an excellent marketing tool for these facilities.

OK, it’s a new holiday, so perhaps our readers are willing to cut the RDN and its unions some slack. We’re hopeful the doors won’t be closed on Family Day 2014.