Council’s double standard

Letter about council's decision to go ahead with artificial turf at Robron Park

After reading the soccer thank you letters I wonder where they were during the referendum debate, if this is such a great idea.

I am concerned that on the one hand they want to promote healthy exercise for our youth, but on the other they show that some laws can be ignored.   My Mother, a lawyer, Q.C. and a Judge instilled a respect in us kids for the rule of law in a civilized society and one can’t pick and choose which laws to obey. I guess that they must justify the current council decision to disobey the voters who bothered to show up to vote NO for the whole package, not just one portion.

While I’m not a great fan of referenda, when they are used they should be followed. The point is made that the referendum was defeated because of the expensive hockey arena/event centre. I wonder how the hockey players feel pitted against the soccer Moms. I submit that the whole project was too expensive and that is why it was voted down.  One notices that they don’t call for a separate referendum on fields alone, they know it would lose also.

It wasn’t so long ago that my wife and I stood on the sidelines in our rain gear to watch our “striker” son run back and forth on a wet soccer pitch. None of our games were cancelled due to elements but that was long ago in the stone age. Perhaps those other communities who had to build artificial turf fields don’t have such forward thinking First Nations communities as we do to build excellent sports facilities at no cost to the local taxpayer. I know  we all pay for First Nations as federal taxpayers, but I welcome other Canadians helping paying for the future of our children.

One only has to look at the NCAA website to document the increased injuries associated with the artificial turf in American Colleges. As well, there is mounting concern regarding schools with artificial turf not attracting prospective recruits for the same reason.

Major league baseball in two years will only have one field with artificial turf because of the injuries and the cost of maintenance. If it isn’t good enough for professional baseball then why expose our children to the hazards?

Once the field is in then the next most expensive cost is maintenance. Recently a former classmate of mine, who is a lawyer in California, was talking on social media about the increased injuries on toboggan slides and the successful lawsuits against municipalities because of hazards not removed.

When the topic turned to artificial fields he mentioned that municipalities who don’t follow  the manufacturers exact maintenance guidelines open themselves to  lawsuits in case of injury.

As the fields age the more intense the maintenance schedule becomes.  Given our inability to cut the grass on the current fields, I wonder in the future when council is looking at ways to cut costs start to decrease maintenance on that field, exposing our city taxpayers to expensive lawsuits.

Sterling Campbell