Waivers not required at Complex

As Richard Mason and other community members have discovered you can fight City Hall.

As Richard Mason and other community members have discovered you can fight City Hall.

A month after implementing a waiver system that required signees to waive “certain legal rights” and specified that neither the City, nor employees or volunteers would not be responsible or subject to a claim as a result of an individual’s injury or death due to participation in recreation complex activities, the City has backed down.

According to a press release issued by the City, “In consultation with the City’s insurance broker, the City will no longer require the use of waivers for pool/fitness passes at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.”

The release goes on to state that in keeping with past practice waivers will continue to be required for specific program registration.

The City cited concerns raised by patrons with respect to waiver wording and the choice by some patrons not to renew their fitness passes as reasons for its policy change.

Mason was one of those concerned patrons.

He had purchased a three-month pass in March for sessions starting April 1 but refused to sign the waiver when it was presented.

On April 1 he produced his pass at the complex and was approved to swim.

Only later did he receive a call from the City saying he was not allowed to swim.

That galvanized him to write a four-page letter to City council outlining his grievances.

The next thing Mason knew he was getting a second phone call from the City saying the waiver system had been dropped.

As for the decision, Mason says, “I think it’s a good one.

“I think they should have asked people in the first place instead of arbitrarily saying sign it or you don’t get in. … I’m glad it’s over.”

The City says the number of complaints drove the change and as an alternative will increase the use of signage at the facility.

“The intent of the waivers was to inform patrons of the fact that there are inherent risks in using the recreation facility,” says City CAO Brian Carruthers, adding that the wording of the waivers made some patrons feel like they were signing away their rights to legal recourse if an injury or loss were to occur.

“The City constantly exercises a high degree of risk prevention trough the complex and the use of waivers does not reduce the City’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for those who visit the facility or partake in programs,” Deb Radolla, manager of active living said.