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School pools may close

<p>The province has refused the Toronto school board’s plea to fund its pools, so plans are underway to close most of them by September.</p>

Province won’t offer funding


The province has refused the Toronto school board’s plea to fund its pools, so plans are underway to close most of them by September.



To keep water in the pools — used for gym classes, swim lessons and team training — would require an additional $12 million in annual funding, said Toronto District School Board chair John Campbell.



The province won’t save the 78 pools because they’re a Toronto oddity and the funding formula can’t deal with that, the education minister said yesterday.



"As a citizen of Toronto I don’t want to see those pools closed, but, at the same time, I have to recognize as the minister that they are the responsibility of this community," Kathleen Wynne said. "There isn’t specific provincial money for the pools."



This is the second time in two weeks the province has refused to fund a request from the Toronto board. Last week, the premier said he wouldn’t fund the board’s planned Africentric school, but sources say the two are unrelated.



Last summer the board told the province that if, by Feb. 1, it didn’t commit to paying for the pools, the board would close them.



















board, city to meet next week






  • It costs the board $17 million a year to keep the pools open. The board already gets $5 million from the city, which runs parks and recreation programs in 35 pools.

  • The board and the city will meet to talk about pools next week but Toronto has its own budget woes and isn’t prepared to pay another $12 million.



 
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