01/09/2012 04:27 EST | Updated 03/10/2012 05:12 EST

Kids, parents in swim goggles speak out against proposed Toronto budget cuts

TORONTO - A group of parents and children dressed in swim gear showed up at Toronto's city hall today to speak out against possible pool closures.

The splashy protest came as they city's budget committee sat down to begin debate on proposed cuts.

The committee is putting the final touches on an expected $88 million in service cuts, as well as increased user fees.

The budget committee is making its final recommendations before council votes on the budget next week.

The children, many holding inflatable pool toys and wearing goggles, said they didn't want to lose their swim programs.

Their parents said they were also concerned about the proposed closure of seven community pools.

"We're worried that there are a lot of issues on the table, and we don't want them to forget that the pools are important," said Julie Dabrusin, whose two daughters are in swim programs.

Meanwhile, a provincial conciliator is sitting down with union and city negotiators in an attempt to reach a collective agreement and prevent an outside workers' strike or lockout.