The future of the Scotia Pool remains uncertain, but I commend the folks who have formed the Scotia Pool Society. They believe in the Pool, they believe in the recreational and therapeutic opportunities it provides for residents of Colchester County and they are asking for an opportunity to demonstrate that the service it provides to the community can be maintained.
We know that provincial support for the pool has disappeared and that the Municipality no longer wishes to provide financial assistance. These are unfortunate circumstances, but they are decisions that these two levels of government have made.
The Scotia Pool Society consists of dedicated, committed residents who believe there is a future in maintaining Scotia Pool. To that end, they requested an opportunity to meet with the Minister of Agriculture, John MacDonell and it was encouraging initially to learn that he was prepared to meet with them.
On behalf of the Scotia Pool Society and my constituents in Colchester North, I wrote to Minister MacDonell to acknowledge his willingness to meet. The Minister had asked the Society to put together a business plan and they looked forward to meeting with the Minister to share that plan.
The outcome of that meeting was disappointing. The pool serves a growing number of swimmers of all ages and it has a very active society that is prepared to raise money to maintain current programs at the pool. The Society needed to know if they could lease the pool from the province.
Following the meeting with the Minister there appeared to be some outstanding issues. In particular, the possibility of a lease arrangement between the Province and the Society, liability issues and sharing of maintenance costs. With the possible deadline of September 2013 quickly approaching, I would encourage both parties to make this a priority.
An open house including a free swim on August 1st has provided another opportunity for families and individuals to enjoy Scotia Pool. The increasing residential growth in Bible Hill and Valley areas should not be overlooked. That population growth needs to be considered when the future of Scotia Pool is being determined. I want to thank the members of the Scotia Pool Society and the families who use the pool for their interest in and commitment to a second facility in the area that can accommodate the needs of many of our residents.
I would hope that the Province gives the Society an opportunity to lease the facility, and to implement their business plan. If the Society is willing to take on that responsibility at no cost to the taxpayer, why not give them a chance. It will be up to the residents to make use of the facility, or they will lose it.