Stefan Jonasson

St. James - Brooklands Ward

Stefan Jonasson

Candidate St. James - Brooklands

Dog Friendly

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.
Other than offering personal financial support to the Winnipeg Humane Society, I haven't had occasion to directly serve Winnipeg dogs or dog owners.
Q2: Does your ward have an off-leash dog park? If not, do you know why not?
It's my understanding that St. James-Brooklands has two off-leash dog parks — one at Bourkevale Park and one at Sturgeon and Silver.
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 would be happy to work towards increasing the number of dog parks in my ward; however, I think the determination of how many and where they should be would be best determined by the creation of a city-wide strategy that would establish benchmarks and then seek to consult with dog owners and other stakeholders at a neighbourhood level to help determine the best locations.
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?
I suspect that Winnipeg lags behind other cities when it comes to dog parks because of a general tendency to treat green space and parks as frills rather than as essential community assets that contribute to our quality of life. This may be compounded by a tendency to view outdoor activities as a summer phenomenon, rather than as a year-round phenomenon. If elected, I would work with other councillors to establish benchmarks that would mandate that our city to expand the number of dog parks and the amenities offered so that we were in the top quartile, rather than lagging behind.
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, in general I support WINDOG's model for off-leash dog parks. It seems reasonable and comprehensive. The challenge will be to develop a timeline and find the material resources to mover from the status quo to this preferred model of service.
Q6: What specifically should the City do to create off-leash recreational space in older, well-established neighbourhoods?
In well-established neighbourhoods, it seems critical to work with local residents to identify potential sites for off-leash space which is both convenient and in harmony with other recreational needs.
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.
I would favour the improvement of amenities in off-leash areas, commensurate with the level of use they receive, to ensure that Winnipeg residents and their dogs can enjoy high-quality experiences in the open air.
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 am committed to preserving the city's green spaces, including off-leash spaces, and I would generally oppose the sale of existing green space without the simultaneous acquisition of alternative space.
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