Ray Smith – Dease Pool Update

Ribbons at Dease Pool

THUNDER BAY – LETTERS – On behalf of all the citizens of Thunder Bay who support the continued use of Dease Pool, I would ask the Mayor and council to reconsider their decision to close Dease Pool.

In a very short time, we have gathered over 2,500 signatures from around the city to refurbish this historic pool, the oldest outdoor pool in Canada. This ongoing petition continues to grow with many new locations.
Dease Pool is a treasured asset and is a very special place for thousands of children who live in the area. They spend most of their summer holidays at the pool interacting with  friends and neighbors.  It is a safe haven for them as it has been for the children who came before them for the last 106 years.
On two other occasions, the city considered closing not only Dease Pool but Heath Pool as well.
This usually occurs when maintenance is required due to neglect on the city’s part.
Surely our Mayor and Council can see the good in preserving this valuable asset and allocating the necessary funds to update this pool as previous councils have done in the past.
We have seen the council recently approve a motion to take 4 million dollars out of the Renew Thunder Bay Fund to study a new indoor turf facility. We have also seen council recommend taking all of the hotel tax money for this same project, almost 2 million dollars each year.
Are Dease Pool and the kids that use it any less deserving of some of our tax dollars?  Another option would be to take out a 5-year debenture to cover the cost of updating the pool which would have little impact on the budget. Is this not what the city is planning to do with the five million dollars they are about to hand over towards a new Art Gallery?
Preserving Dease Pool is supported by the Schools in the neighbourhood, namely McKellar Park School and Pope John Paul the ll.
Some of the supporters of the Dease  Pool include Jo-Anne Giertuga, principal of Mckellar Park School, Don Grant principal of Pope John Paul ll as well as Sharon Angeconeb, principal of Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.
Ken Ogima, Chief Executive Officer of Fort William First Nations strongly supports keeping Dease Pool open and has the backing of Fort William First Nations., including Chief Peter Collins.
Other notable supporters of refurbishing and keeping  Dease Pool open are: John Dolcetti, Bev Massaro, George Seagris, Ron Chookomolin, Tony Stokaluk, Rob DeGagne, William Fratpietro , Nick Fratpietro, Judith Monteith Farell, Gary Nistico, Tim McCormack  Ian  McRae and yours truly,
Ray Smith