City Waives $75,000 In Fees For Diving Canada

he City of Windsor is waiving up to $75,000 in fees for Diving Canada to use the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre to set up a local diving club.

The 6-5 vote on council will see up to $25,000 in fees waived each year for a three year period — ending June 30, 2019.

Administration brought forward the waiver of fees as part of living up to the city's end of an agreement related to hosting the FINA Diving World Series Event from 2014 to 2017. Diving Canada committed to helping the city recruit a world class coach to establish the new diving program.

By waiving fees, the city is reducing barriers for the club to get on its feet.

In its report to council, administration pointed out the high performance facility may not fulfill its potential if a dive club isn't established at the centre.

Councillor Bill Marra felt council was bypassing its own fee waiver policy in approving the move.

"We're violating our own process, our own policy," says Marra. "The request came six months after we adopted a policy and the policy is not being applied, so that's my opposition."

Councillor John Elliott felt waiving the aquatic centre fees made sense.

"I like this diving program because it's going to bring something more to the facility itself," says Elliott.

However, councillor Irek Kusmierczyk feels the city is playing favourites in waiving the fee for the Diving Canada.

"Simply put, it's patently unfair and it's patently unfair to organizations like Riverside Minor Hockey, Optimist Baseball Club," says Kusmierczyk.

Head Coach for LaSalle-Windsor Special Olympic Swimming Cynthia Lane isn't impressed with the decision. She says her group has asked to have fees waived, but has been rejected.

"I'm disappointed that we don't seem to do things in a fair and equitable manner and we haven't taken into account the needs of people with disabilities," says Lane. "When we talk about quality, we had a lot of discussion about quality life, a lot of discussion about wanting to use the facility, but what are providing to that population?"

Part of the agreement will see the city maintain and make available the 1-metre and 3-metre springboard as well as a number of platforms ranging from 1-metre to 10-metres.

The new dive club is responsible for $2-million in liability insurance.

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AM800 file photo of the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre. (Photo by Teresinha Medeiros)