Recreation deters crime, promotes accountability, officials say

Town and RCMP stress importance of aquatic facility ahead of Feb. 16 pool referendum.

An aquatic facility would help strengthen the community and deter criminal elements, according to RCMP Sergeant Jason Keays.

The facility would promote community interaction, serving as a gathering place for residents and their neighbours, said Keays, commander of the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment.

Ahead of the Feb. 16 pool referendum in Vanderhoof, Keays is stressing the importance of promoting healthier lifestyles and safer communities with recreation.

“I personally would love to see a swimming pool in Vanderhoof,” he said in an email.

Mayor Gerry Thiessen, who is also supportive of building an aquatic facility here, said recreation facilities heighten a community’s awareness and promotes accountability between residents.

“That’s when crime doesn’t like to flourish,” he said.

In addition, as the town prepares for growth due to resource development projects, a public pool would help attract new families and skilled workers to Vanderhoof, said Thiessen.

“I don’t see any alternative to promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraging people to live in the community,” he said.

“The days are gone when you can just provide a job and people will come.”

The pool referendum has been scheduled in conjunction with the Vanderhoof by-election on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Friendship Centre, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

An advanced poll is available today, Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the municipal office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Two pieces of identification are required in order to vote.

For more information, call the Vanderhoof Municipal Office at 250.567.4711.