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25

Jul 2014

WINDOG Asks Candidates “How Dog-Friendly Are You?”

Posted by / in INFORMATION / 2 comments

Which Winnipeg hopefuls will make a long-term commitment to creating safe, attractive, well-appointed, well-maintained off-leash areas for Winnipeg’s 110,000 dogs, if they are elected?

Today WINDOG asked each of the forty-four declared candidates if they would support WINDOG’s model – a three-tiered system with many small neighbourhood dog parks within easy walking distance of residents’ homes; larger community dog parks – at least one in each ward – within easy driving distance; and a large regional off-leash area no more than a twenty minute drive away, in each quadrant of the city.

Several Winnipeg wards have no off-leash dog parks, including Mynarski, Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, Old Kildonan, Daniel McIntyre, Elmwood and Transcona.

Point Douglas, St. Vital, St. Norbert, River Heights-Fort Garry, St. Charles, St. Boniface, and Charleswood each have one, while St. James – Brooklands has two.

North Kildonan has Winnipeg’s only large regional Park – Kilcona – at just over 100 acres.

WINDOG will post candidates’ responses as they are received. Check back regularly and simply click on the ward map at http://windog.ca/map/ to find the dog-friendliest candidates in your ward.

WINDOG will be back in 2018, following up with successful candidates, checking the results of their action plans, and handing out report cards for each one.

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WINDOG’s “I own a dog AND I VOTE” campaign to elect a dog-friendly Mayor and Council grew out of Winnipeg’s off-leash area stewardship groups’ concern that our city’s track record with respect to dog parks is abysmal.

Mazenod Park Bench

Mazenod Dog Park Bench

Photo credit: Jan Leah – Mazenod Dog Park Club

Very limited off-leash space – less than 1% of the City’s green space – is rapidly being lost due to park closures and downsizings, and there is a lack of transparency with respect to administrative decisions that affect our parks. There are so few parks that many have become seriously overcrowded. There is a lack of basic services and amenities; roads and trails are substandard – often impassible – and there are serious health and safety issues, including the recent gopher poisoning at Little Mountain.

central park dogs

New York’s Central Park

WINDOG’s campaign is supported by the New York Council of Dog Owner Groups (NYCDog) and Vancouver’s “I own a dog AND I vote” off-leash area advocacy group. Both organizations ran similar successful campaigns – the former to legalize off-leash areas, the latter to elect a dog-friendly City Council and Parks Board in 2008. The result of those campaigns: great cities that have great neighbourhood, community and regional parks for all their citizens to enjoy, and are wonderful places for dogs and humans to relax, exercise and socialize.

my stanley park

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2 comments
  • Kevin

    July 25, 2014, pm31 12:06 PM
    01

    I have three dogs, and very rarely use dog parks.

    I ensure that my dogs socialize with other calm, well behaved dogs, and we do not use dog parks for our primary exercise. I find that in many cases, dogs whose only outlet are being driven to a dog park and allowed to run around pose a hazard to other park users. Dogs who are walked to the park, often are better mannered and under control when they arrive.

    I am in favour of dog parks, as it means that it keeps people off of children’s playgrounds. Dog parks also allow dog owners to form a sense of community and build ties in a neighbourhood.

    • Clive Hickson

      October 17, 2014, am31 3:44 AM
      02

      Good comment, Kevin. I also have three dogs.

      But as the nearest dog park to my residence is at least 15 to 20 minutes drive, (note… DRIVE), to Maple Leaf or Kilcona)….where would you suggest I “walk” to? Dogs need better than a walk around the block at human speed ….which is what mine are forced to live with.

      As for “Community Centers”…they are places for which I/we have to pay…..but where facilities for priviledged people only are provided. If you’re a skater….you’re “Community”. But if you’re a dog owner…..you’re “Out of Luck”.

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