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Letters June 2: Unleashed dogs in Saanich parks; protecting fragile parks; what to do with biosolids

On a walk with a dog at PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park) in Saanich. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

More room for dogs with all those trails

I have followed the development of Saanich’s People, Pets and Park Strategy and I attended the Zoom session on Monday where consultants hired to develop the strategy presented their report.

I was surprised by the consultants’ lack of knowledge and understanding of the trails in Mount Doug Park. Limiting dog walkers to a single the off-leash portion of a 1.5-kilometre loop in Mount Doug Park is simply not going to work.

Their recommendation would funnel all dog owners who want to walk their dogs off-leash to a one small trail beginning at Glendenning. Parking is already severely limited on Glendenning and there is no space to accommodate people who park on Cedar Hill Road or Churchill Drive and walk their dogs off leash from there.

Mount Doug Park has 21 kilometres of trails. Surely the consultants can come up with something better than this to present to Saanich council.

Theresa Kerin


Concerns about new leash laws in Saanich

Re: “Saanich considers requiring pets to be leashed in parks,” May 31.

Twenty years ago my friends and our dogs thoroughly enjoyed our walks up Mount Douglas/PKOLS. We would help to pull out the invasive wild garlic to do our bit for the park.

We had no issues with other dogs or their people. We picked up our poop bags and carried them out.

I am now in my 80th year and my dog is old. We are no longer able to walk Mount Doug. I was widowed shortly before the Covid lockdown and being able to meet friends and their happy dogs on the beach at Cadboro Bay was a balm to my soul. They got me through a tough time.

I need to be able to walk my dog unleashed at the sandy part of the beach for our physical and mental health. It is unsafe for me to clamber over the logs with a dog on a leash. I paid a $100 fine for the privilege.

I go there every day now and the only birds I see are one heron and a lot of Canada geese.

I don’t know how this hatred of dogs got started but has ruined my enjoyment of the park. I have faithfully bought a dog tag every year for the privilege of being harassed by the spies who post my picture.

I have just received my property tax notice. I do not wish to have my money spent on more dog policing of parks. There are so many more important things to use my tax money for.

I hope Saanich council will consider the well-being of all constituents – the majority of whom are dog owners or enjoy meeting them.

Nancy Bain


Please don’t limit my walks with the dogs

Re: “Saanich considers requiring pets to be leashed in parks,” May 31.

The headline made my blood pressure rise … literally!

I am a senior in good health who registers a normal reading, but when I took my BP after reading this, it took me to hypertension level.

Pop-up parks don’t work for me as I need to walk in nature with my dogs (off leash and under my control) to maintain my good physical and mental health.

Limiting the dog off leash trail in PKOLS to 1.5 kilometres is like taking 10 main road arteries to downtown and demanding that all traffic use only one road. That would not be a happy situation.

I feel Saanich is being swayed by statistics (that apparently may not be valid according to a UVic statistician) and a few anti-dog advocates at the expense of many law abiding, tax paying, voting, dog-walking residents.

My grandfather always said ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.’ Good common sense adage.

With sincere hope that Saanich mayor and council don’t cause my BP to continue to rise!

Merlayna Snyder


Leave the park just the way it is

Re: “Saanich considers requiring pets to be leashed in parks,” May 31.

With its People, Pets and Parks strategy, Saanich is proposing severe restrictions on off-leash dogs. This is an expensive solution to a problem that does not exist, or if it does exist it’s in the imagination of dogmatic environmentalists (yes, pun intended) and/or people who just don’t like dogs.

I have lived near Mount Doug for 32 years, and in that time have hiked there many thousands of times, sometimes with dogs, sometimes without. I know the mountain better than most.

And in all the time I have spent there the number of negative interactions I have seen is almost zero. The overwhelming majority of dogs are well behaved, stay on the trail, and listen to their owners.

They, like their owners, come away from their walk/hike/run better for it.

My advice? Leave it as it is.

Frank Chester


Cats cause problems too

Re: “Saanich considers requiring pets to be leashed in parks,” May 31.

We are responsible dog owners, and for years we have enjoyed access to local beaches and parks with our dog(s). Now we read about plans under discussion to severely limit the number of exercise options for owners and their dogs in Saanich. We strongly oppose such plans!!

Seemingly the main objections to allowing dogs to continue to have access to parks are the failure of some owners to pick up after their pets, which overlooks the fact that the vast majority of owners are socially responsible, and remove their pet’s droppings, as well as the fact that some owners allow their dogs to attack other dogs, or disturb humans in some way.

As a counter argument, I cite the depredation on a massive scale by cats, something presumably never considered.

If one contention is that off-leash dogs interfere with the migration or habitat of birds, this pales in comparison with the slaughter of birds by roaming cats.

Canine pets should be allowed to enjoy the freedom and exercise that they have hitherto been able to enjoy.

Sally and Michael Blayney



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