Family Day openings pondered

Regional District of Nanaimo talks about having pool in Qualicum Beach and arena in Parksville open during Family Day 2014

The closure of both Ravensong Aquatic Centre and Oceanside Place on the Family Day holiday didn’t sit well with many parents in the area and Regional District of Nanaimo directors weren’t too happy about it either.

At Tuesday night’s committee of the whole meeting,   director Dave Willie said he was surprised to hear the facilities were closed on Family Day.

He suggested directors and staff should have shared information about the inaugural Family Day holiday and taken steps to ensure facilities were open.

“Maybe we could have got sponsors and made something happen,” he said. “I want to find ways to address this and make sure we don’t have that happen again.”

The RDN wasn’t the only jurisdiction to be caught flat-footed however. Deputy board chair  Diane Brennan noted that the facilities in Victoria were kept open only because of a financial donation by the local CUPE union.

Nanaimo was able to keep its facilities open because of an $8,000 grant from the province, funding that was not made available to the RDN.

Staff were directed to prepare a report on the cost implications of opening the two facilities on Family Day and to review options to offset any increased costs, including seeking grants or sponsorships, limiting facility operational hours or adjusting user fees.