As someone who walks the promenade daily, I have come to the conclusion that the dog trial is more about human behaviour than about dogs on the promenade.
Like the proverbial three wise monkeys who “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” dog walkers share the firm belief that everyone must be having a wonderful experience on the promenade due to the new arrival of furry friends.
I hate to be the one to cross the wise monkeys, but let me give you some examples of the undesirable side of this pilot project. I have confronted several dog walkers on the promenade that did not clean up after their dog, and/or had their dog off-leash. These folks were quite indignant that I complained about their irresponsible behaviour.
They all had a ready excuse as to why they were above the law and that I should mind my own business and get with the new program.
Mayor Walker has been adamant that absolutely no dogs are allowed on the White Rock pier at any time. It’s a heritage site, he said.Numerous additional “no dogs allowed” signs have been installed.
In spite of this, far too many dog walkers have illegally been using the pier.
The problem is so severe that two bylaw enforcement officers are often stationed at the foot of the pier, at great expense to the taxpayer, to act like schoolyard monitors to dissuade the indifferent, law-breaking dog walkers.
White Rock residents won’t hear all the facts of what’s been going on from the predominantly pro-dog task force because they will be filtering the flow of information to the public through their rose-coloured glasses. There will also be no facts revealed about public health or the environment. Just move along folks – don’t worry, be happy – everything will be fine.
I can only hope that council will wake up and wisely return to the model of no dogs on the promenade.
Dog walkers have always had access to 99.9 per cent of the city’s public spaces and certainly don’t need to conquer the last remaining 0.1 per cent – the promenade and pier.
This valuable, natural and cultural heritage asset must be retained as a dog-free zone.
Chris Plettenberg, White Rock