IF there was ever hard evidence that the North Shore suffers from an excess of North Vancouvers, it came to light this week when the district decided not to go in with the city on a new Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The City of North Vancouver, in its ongoing struggle to redesign Harry Jerome Recreation Centre, has concluded that installing the North Shore's first 50-metre pool would be an important improvement. Indeed, a full-sized facility could be transformative, creating a training facility for budding athletes and a draw for major events. But the plan isn't one the city can afford on its own.
With the district planning to rebuild its 25-metre pool at William Griffin, roughly two kilometers away, the solution seemed obvious: Why not go in on the project together, and create one great facility in place of two mediocre ones?
The move would have been a no-brainer had it been under the purview of a single council. But it wasn't. Because Harry Jerome lies on the other side of the municipal boundary - roughly five blocks past it - the district balked. No way was it going to help with a project on the far side of that arbitrary line.
Instead, it will go ahead with its half-sized pool a four-minute drive from Harry Jerome, leaving both municipalities with inferior facilities. The decision denies the community a valuable asset and likely saves taxpayers nothing.
In the face of this outcome, one wonders if our pools are the only thing that should be amalgamated.