Edmonton, Alberta, has adopted a new policy that allows adults and minors accompanied by their parents to swim bare-chested at public pools in accordance with the province’s Human Rights Act. According to the “Recreation Facility Safety Guideline” article on the City of Edmonton’s official webpage, “all patrons are permitted to go topless in City operated pools if they so wish.”
A spokesperson for the city government, Christopher Webster, told The Epoch Times that the decision to review the swimming attire guidelines was made in 2019, and the policy was implemented in June 2022. Webster said, “the City of Edmonton determined it cannot deny anyone from accessing a City-owned and operated indoor or outdoor pool because they wish to swim while not wearing a top,” adding that “our swimming guidelines must not discriminate on the basis of gender.” He also noted that taking photos or videos at the recreation facilities without staff permission is not allowed.
In addition, Webster pointed out that the city authorities are aware that some people may feel uncomfortable with the new policy, but that it is a human rights issue and they have an obligation to treat all individuals equally when using City pools.
Priya Bhasin-Singh, director for Edmonton’s aquatics and leisure centres, told Postmedia that the city didn’t receive any feedback in relation to the swim attire policy change until after local media reported the issue this week. She said reactions to the policy have been mixed.
Marnie Cathcart contributed to this report.