When the Vancouver Park Board meets Monday night, it will discuss a two per cent increase in recreational fees.
Though the increase is in response to inflation, Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon is wary of this increase, considering that the previous increase was only a few months ago in the spring.
“Two per cent in the spring, two per cent in the fall, I don’t know a lot of people who have had four per cent increases in their incomes this year,” Mackinnon says. “Any kind of increase, even if it’s 50 cents or a dollar, it adds up week after week, month in and month out.”
If the vote goes through, the increase would go in to effect later in September.
“Everyone is on a restricted income of some sort. All of these fee increases mean they (people) have to make choices on whether they are going to have their kids or themselves participate in recreation or not,” he says.
Increases would see swim fees rise by ten cents for adults, youth, and seniors, while swim fees for kids will increase by five cents.
Increases to the one year flexi-pass would hike from $393 to $401 for adults, $275 to $281 for youth and from $196 to $200 for children.
Children’s fees apply to those between the ages of 3-12, which is also a concern for MacKinnon, as he puts it redefining the idea of who counts as a child.
“In Vancouver, up until about 2010, children under five got their recreation and entrance to pools for free, but that was re-defined to pre-school age, two years and under. I’m still concerned that there may be families out there with young children that may be missing out on recreational opportunities because of these fees, I will also be asking about that,” he says.