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Oct 2014

Dog Owners Win with a Dog-Friendly City Council

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And the winners are…

Yesterday’s election results indicate Winnipeg’s dog community can look forward to a much brighter future and high quality off-leash areas throughout the city.

In July Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee already voted to create a new comprehensive  off-leash area management plan after rejecting the administration’s much more limited and seriously flawed dog park guidelines, which were developed without public consultation. WINDOG has asked that this time  the City consult with its citizens in an open, transparent process.

Winnipeg’s Mayor-elect and seven City Councillors  have indicated their support to WINDOG’s 3-tiered model for dog parks.WINDOG’S model proposes many small neighbourhood off-leash areas within walking distance of residents’ homes, a mid-sized dog park in every ward and a large Kilcona-size regional dog park  in every quadrant of the city.

Winnipeg now has two “super dog-friendly” community leaders: Mayor – Brian Bowman and North Kildonan Councillor – Jeff Browaty. And there are six “dog-friendlies”:
Charleswood – Marty Morantz
Old Kildonan – Devi Sharma
River Heights /Fort Garry – John Orlikow
St. Boniface – Matt Allard
St. Vital – Brian Mayes
Transcona – Russ Wyatt
In the “dog-unfriendly” camp, Fort Rouge –East Fort Garry’s Jenny Gerbasi and Janice Lukes (St. Norbert). Both are strong supporters of Winnipeg’s bike lobby.  In 2012 Transcona’s only off-leash park was closed and re-purposed as a link in Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Network.  Gerbasi also supports residential development and a bus rapid transit route through the Parker Wetlands that will close Brenda Leipsic Dog Park.

Six candidates didn’t bother to respond to WINDOG’s survey, indicating that off-leash dog parks are a very low priority for them – Mike Paktaghan (Point Douglas), Shawn Dobson (St. Charles); Jason Schreyer (Elmwood – East Kildonan); Ross Eadie (Mynarski); Scott Gillingham ( St. James); and Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre).

Don’t despair if you live in a dog-unfriendly ward. Speak up! Let your Mayor, your City Councillor – and WINDOG – know what you want for off-leash dog parks in your part of the city.

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