Q1: Please describe what you have done in the past to serve the interest of Winnipeg dogs and dog owners - either in your own ward or in the city.
As the Councillor for St Charles Ward, earlier this year, I spearheaded a public forum to repurpose 4.2 acres of green space into a neighbourhood off leash dog park.Q2: Does your ward have an off-leash dog park? If not, do you know why not?
No, there are no off leash dog parks in St Charles Ward. There are, however, several within driving distance.Q3: If you are elected, will you increase the number of dog parks in your ward. If so how will you do that? If you have specific locations in mind, please identify them.
Yes, if re-elected I'm already on record to go forward with the repurposing of Voyageur Park into an off leash dog park.Q4: Winnipeg lags behind many major Canadian cities in terms of the number and size of its off-leash areas, and level of service and amenities it offers dog park users. Why do you think this has happened? If elected, what would you do to change this?
As a member of the Executive Policy Committee (EPC) I moved a motion to reject the consultants report and send the issue back to the Protection & Community Services Committee (PCS) and to have them provide a more thorough and complete set of guidelines for the development of off leash dog parks.Q5: Do you support WINDOG’s model for Winnipeg off-leash dog parks? Please provide reasons. If so, what will you do to implement it? If not, why not?
Yes, I am familiar with WINDOG's model for off leash dog parks in Winnipeg, which is based on the very successful Calgary model. In Calgary, there are three levels of off leash dog parks. #1. Regional, #2. Community & #3. Neighbourhood. In Winnipeg, three out of the four quadrants have regional parks, Kilcona, North East, Maple Grove, South East, Little Mountain, North West. There is no regional park servicing the South West portion of Winnipeg. I'd work towards developing the southwest quadrant. We have a reasonable number of community-sized parks but need to develop many more neighbourhood type parks, like Voyageur in the St Charles Ward.Q6: What specifically should the City do to create off-leash recreational space in older, well-established neighbourhoods?
Parks and Open Space Division would be asked to evaluate and assess the activity in existing green spaces in mature neighbourhoods. Those that we're deemed to be underutilizes, could be candidates for repurposing as neighbourhood off leash opportunities. This would have to include consultation of the immediate residents.Q7: If you are elected, what specifically will you do to improve Winnipeg's existing off-leash areas? Please consider the park infrastructure, facilities, and type and level of service the city offers and give examples.
If re-elected, I would commit to pursuing permanent funding in the Operations budget and Capital Funding for infrastructure improvements.Q8: Winnipeg dog owners have been losing what little off-leash space they have, as it’s repurposed for other recreational users and for municipal profit through the sale and rental of off-leash space. If elected, what would you do to change this?
The City has provided temporary use of several green spaces dedicated to future development, specifically Charleswood, Brenda Leipsic and Sturgeon & Silver. None of these locations have had permanent off leash designations nor should they. I will work towards including reasonable off leash space within the design of future developments over the next four-year term. It is a balancing act trying to satisfy the long term needs of the city and it's residents, including the four-legged ones.