Cornwall pool policy sans topless restrictions approved

Cornwall's policy and procedures manual for city pools on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. The new 138 page manual removes restrictions on whether women can go topless. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – City council has passed a revamped policy for the Cornwall Aquatic Center and outdoor pools.

The new policy and procedures document was approved during Monday night’s council meeting with no discussion.

The 138 page manual has one significant change – there are no restrictions on whether women and girls can go topless, which had been the subject of a Human Rights Tribunal complaint.

The only reference to clothing is that “all patrons must wear proper swim wear, cut off jeans are not permitted.”

Even though the policy passed, the lawsuit from an unidentified woman from Eastern Ontario remains unresolved.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch following the council meeting, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy says it’s still part of legal discussions.

“Those things are still…confidential matters. Once a point in time as we have any sort of agreement with the person that brought the suit forward then they’ll be released at that time,” O’Shaughnessy said.

He said the city’s lawyers are in contact with the other party but there has been no agreement for dropping the complaint.

“Discussions continue,” he said.

Cornwall was among nine entities named in the complaint earlier this year.

Some of those named in the lawsuit, like Cornwall, have changed their policy while others have remain steadfast that women have to be clothed above the waist while using their facilities.

Woman have been able to go topless in Ontario since 1996.

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