09 January 2010

Fraser River Park: a compromise that just might work

A staff report at the last Planning and Environment committee recommended dividing Fraser River park into two distinct areas. The western portion would be off-leash for dogs all day, all year round, while the eastern portion would have restrictions during the summer months. After listening to the public and discussing the proposal, the committee forwarded a recommendation to the full Board to make the western portion off-leash and the eastern portion on-leash all the time. This is a compromise I hope all users of the park can live with.

The issue of off-leash areas in public spaces is not going away. Most of the elected Commissioners promised to deal, once and for all (or at least for the time being) with this thorny issue. In the past the Board had developed various guidelines that pleased no one, and even set up a 'dog task force' which ended in complete dysfunction. This Board now has an opportunity to make some solid public policy around the issue and lay it to rest, if not forever, at least for a while. It is one of those issue, however, where you cannot please everybody. When the final policy is delivered there will be some who will vociferously disagree. That is not a reason, though, to avoid the issue. I will be advocating for the Board to deal with it sooner rather than later.

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