Jason Cummings

Elmwood - East Kildonan Ward

Jason Cumming

Candidate Transcona

Dog Neutral

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.
I have been an avid dog owner for many years and even went as far as looking for work at the Humane Society this past winter.
Q2: Does your ward have an off-leash dog park? If not, do you know why not?
No, East Kildonan-Elmwood does not currently have an off leash dog park. I have not heard official reasons as to why this is but my best guess would be lack of space and the fact that there is Kilcona Park relatively close by.
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.
I think it's a great idea! While this community might not have as many large parks as others, I think certain parks like East Kildonan Centennial Park could have allotted times where dogs can have off leash time at the 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?
Unfortunately as our city has grown it seems we've placed parks and recreational areas lower on the priority list. Obviously these parks cant be expanded where there is no room to do so, but making certain times of the day or certain days of the week when some parks may have off leash dogs is a good start. Additional improvements such as fountains and vending machines for treats and baggies can be implemented in the larger parks to improve the experience of both dog and owner.
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?
Unfortunately I can't say that I support WINDOG's model wholly. My reasoning is that if we start trying to make many of our parks in residential communities into dog parks, we'll be asking people to chose between having a park for their children and a park for their pet. I don't think segregated dog parks is the answer here. I very much support having more open space for our dogs, but I think it has to start with creating a balance between dogs and people in the existing parks rather than shifting the focus of them to dogs only. If we can accomplish a good balance here, then there is even the possibility that in the future all parks can be shared by dogs and people.
Q6: What specifically should the City do to create off-leash recreational space in older, well-established neighbourhoods?
Specifically, I think that the city should start by making specific dog friendly hours. We can start off small, say from 6pm to 9pm every day dogs will be allowed off leash in designated areas, and expand from there. If we do this right, the sky is the limit as to where this kind of concept can take us.
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.
Specifically, I think that although it may be a challenge, we should take into greater consideration the amount of flooding that these parks see during our springs. If people are anything like me, its a huge deterrent. Aside from that I think that vending machines, picnic areas, fire pits, and vending machines would be great additions to existing parks.
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?
I think one of the biggest reasons this is happening is because a dog park is a huge area dedicated to one thing only and if you don't have a dog then you would never go to a dog park. This factor of segregation is what is driving officials to make the decision for fewer dog parks and more family parks. I sincerely think that we can create a nice balance between people and dogs and then we wouldn't have to re purpose these areas to accommodate families as well.
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