Ontario parents frustrated with lack of swimming lessons amid lifeguard shortage

Several Ontario cities say they’re dealing with a shortage of lifeguards, which is leading to class cancellations and reduced public swim times.

The situation has left some affected parents frustrated that their children won’t be able to participate in city-run swim lessons this fall.

In Ottawa, parent Lacey Miller says her five-year-old daughter’s swim classes that were scheduled to start soon were cancelled due to the lifeguard shortage, and no other-city-run classes are currently available for the season.

Dan Chenier, manager of recreation, cultural and facility services at the City of Ottawa, says a lifeguard shortage is affecting most city pools and has led to the cancellation of some learn-to-swim classes and public swim times.

Read more: Lifeguard shortages impacting pools, water programs across Canada

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He says qualified supervisory staff have been filling in as lifeguards to help deal with the situation.

The City of Toronto and the City of Hamilton say they are also facing a shortage of qualified lifeguards because training programs were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic or ran with smaller class sizes.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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