No timeline for when View Royal YMCA/YWCA will reopen, if it does

No timeline for when View Royal YMCA/YWCA will reopen, if it does
WatchThe YMCA/YWCA locations in Victoria and Langford have finally reopened their doors after being closed for months due to the pandemic. But the View Royal Y is still empty, and as Jasmine Bala tells us, there's no timeline for when it might open.

The View Royal YMCA/YWCA remains closed as the two other Vancouver Island Y facilities reopen to members.

The Westhills and downtown Victoria locations reopened a few days ago, after being closed since March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When the pandemic hit, effectively we shut down the vast majority of our operation,” said Derek Gent, CEO of Vancouver Island Y. “We lost 85 per cent of our revenues.”

As a result of the significant loss in revenue and the viability of the location, Gent said he can’t promise the View Royal Y will even be opening back up at all.

“September is not going to happen. October is a possibility, but the reality is we just don’t know,” he said.

“You sort of have to wake up every day and look at the conditions around you. So we don’t have a timeline right now.”

When the board made the decision to keep the View Royal Y closed, Gent added, they immediately sent out word to parents using the child care centre at the facility.

“I know that’s particularly frustrating for the child care families where certainty is everything around planning for the logistics of your whole life,” he explained.

Those looking for a guaranteed spot should look elsewhere, Gent said, including the two other Y locations that still have spaces available.

The Y is operating at 50 per cent capacity and the child care facilities are taking advantage of government funding available. The province is supplying temporary emergency funding for child care providers, both open and closed, to help them stay afloat during the pandemic.

“We are currently seeing preliminary number of about over 85 per cent of child care centres that are open and receiving our temporary emergency funding and we will continue to monitor that,” said Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen during question period Tuesday.

Chen added the funding has helped more than 4,500 centres stay open. In the case of the View Royal Y, however, it’s still not enough.

“That doesn’t cover all of our costs even during the shutdown,” Gent explained. “There’s infrastructure. We’re paying market rent in a busy shopping mall so making the numbers work even with two times the funding is certainly not enough to sustain us.”

With the government funding set to end on Aug. 31, Gent added it’s going to be even more challenging to get operations back to normal, full capacity.

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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