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Councillors question free swims

Free public swims on June 7th at some local pools stirred the pot around the council table during a Wednesday meeting.

The six facilities include the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex in Orléans, the Canterbury Recreation Complex, the Lowertown Pool, the Pinecrest Recreation Complex, the Richcraft Recreation Complex and the Kanata Leisure Centre.

The rest of the municipal pools will offer two for one admission.

It's expected the initiative will cost $1,500.

Some councillors complained the initiative should be offered city-wide, others said there isn't really a need to promote the city pools since they're busy enough.

Councillor Diane Deans questioned whether the offer was money well spent.

"But really, it's one aquatics budget, it's one swim budget, and when we're reducing some programming, people that have been taking the swim programs for years and years and they were always an hour and now they're reduced to 45 minutes...to me, it's a budget consideration. So if you have to reduce your aquatics programming because of budget considerations, then should you really be giving away free swims in some, not all of, the pools?"

According to city figures, one free swimming session at three pools garnered 343 people during last year's event. All other pools offered two for one admission, which saw 684 people pay half price.

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