Manitoba

Norwood Pool's future an issue in St. Boniface, but otherwise 'not too much action' in ward, voter says

Heading into the 2018 civic election, Winnipeg's St. Boniface ward faces its own challenges, from bike thefts to a proposed community pool closing — but less than a month away from the Oct. 24 election, some residents said have little interest in their candidates' campaigns.

Some St. Boniface residents say they're not particularly excited about Winnipeg's Oct. 24 civic election

Debate around the future of Norwood Pool has become an issue in St. Boniface ahead of the Oct. 24 election. (Laura Glowacki/CBC)

Heading into the 2018 civic election, Winnipeg's St. Boniface ward faces its own challenges, from bike thefts to a proposed community pool closing — but less than a month away from the Oct. 24 election, some residents said have little interest in their candidates' campaigns.

Jay Dion, 18, is preparing to vote for the first time in a civic election. Dion is a lifelong resident of St. Boniface and a political science major at the University of Manitoba, yet he isn't excited to vote on Oct. 24. 

Although he's a political science student, St. Boniface resident Jay Dion says he isn't very excited about the Oct. 24 civic election. (Danton Unger/CBC)

"It's a civic election. If it were a federal election that would be big for me — I would get really excited about that, but obviously, it's a civic election," said Dion.

Despite his lack of enthusiasm, he said there was one question he wanted candidates Matt Allard (who won the St. Boniface seat in 2014) and Marcel Boille to answer — what's going to happen to the outdoor Norwood Pool?

In May, city administrators recommended closing the nearly 60-year-old community pool, rather than proceeding with renovations estimated to cost $4 million to $6 million.

In July a Facebook page, Save the Norwood Pool, was created to advocate for the facility's continued operation and the question of its future has become an issue in the neighbourhood, where "I Love Norwood Pool" signs have popped up.

Two candidates are running for the St. Boniface council seat in Winnipeg's 2018 civic election. (CBC)

Camren Friesen, 29, moved into the Norwood neighbourhood in May. Since moving, Friesen said he has already seen the signs and heard a lot about the fight to save the pool.

"I've heard [Norwood Pool] is a staple in the neighbourhood — they always have the free pool accessible," said Friesen. "I'm just curious if that's still going to happen or change or not."

On Sept. 11, the city's community services and parks committee passed the matter on to city administrators for consultation with the community and ward councillor. A report is due back in January 2019 with options for redevelopment of the pool.

St. Boniface ward resident Matthew Trudel says he has nothing to complain about in his neighbourhood. (Danton Unger/CBC)

While the pool's future is a concern for many, another St. Boniface ward resident says he has no complaints about this neighbourhood.

"I'm completely happy in Windsor Park. There's nothing to complain about here," said 27-year-old Matthew Trudel, who has lived in St. Boniface ward for the past 17 years.

"The crime rate here is not too bad. I had a bike stolen once, but other than that, I like this neighbourhood. It's quiet — not too much action."

Winnipeggers will vote for mayor and councillors in 15 city wards on Oct. 24, 2018. (CBC)

More CBC Manitoba election ward profiles:

Journalism students from Red River College's creative communications program have prepared profiles of each city of Winnipeg ward ahead of the 2018 civic election for CBC Manitoba. Read all of our election 2018 coverage here

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