VICTORIA -- Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has tabled a motion to open up the showers at Royal Athletic Park (RAP) to unsheltered people in the city.

Helps says that the current shower capacity at Our Place is not enough to keep up with demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past month, access to showers has been identified as a critical need by both service providers and people living outside,” reads the motion.

Helps suggests opening up the showers at Royal Athletic Park to the public when the park is open for community use during regular operating hours.

Alternatively, Helps says that a shower trailer could be moved into the park’s parking lot for community use.

Overall, the motion calls for council to make public shower services available at RAP and to provide any necessary funding to clean and operate the showers from the federal-provincial “Safe Restart” fund, which brought more than $1 billion to the province for public services, with the majority of the funding going towards transportation services, like BC Transit, BC Ferries and TransLink.

Victoria city council will review the motion at a committee of the whole meeting Thursday.

Council will also discuss other matters at the meeting, including adopting its single-use plastic bag ban.

Victoria city staff are recommending that council delay adopting its checkout bag regulation bylaw until next year.