George Baars-Wilhelm

Transcona Ward

George Baars-Wilhelm

Candidate Transcona

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.
This is my first run for city councilor for the Transcona Ward. If elected I would like create a working group with interested stakeholders to come up with a detailed plan on how to increase/add new areas/parks for off-leash dog parks.
Q2: Does your ward have an off-leash dog park? If not, do you know why not?
At this moment we do not have an off-leash park area officially. The Transcona Trail between Plessis Rd. and Hoka St. is no longer an Off-leash dog area. As stated this is my first run at running for Councilor for Transcona. If elected I would work with the city’s department to see if there are areas that would be suitable for an off-leash dog area/park.
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.
If elected I would go forward with creating a working group with all stake holders to come up with a detailed plan to begin the process of exploring new areas within Transcona that would be suitable for an off-leash dog park/area.
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 think this has happened for several reasons. It has not been a main priority of city officials or Councilors. Council and city departments have prioritized other areas to allocate funds too. Basically it has not been on their radar so to speak. So if elected, I would push for this to become a priority.
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?
I think the overall model is an interesting one. Again I think parts of the plan could be implemented dependent on the resource allocations. It would take longer in areas where the space limited.
Q6: What specifically should the City do to create off-leash recreational space in older, well-established neighbourhoods?
In older areas or areas with very limited space to use for off-leash dog parks this would take more planning and consultation with all stakeholders.
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 elected, as stated in question 3, I would go forward with creating a working group with all stakeholders to come up with a detailed plan to begin the process of exploring new areas within Transcona and other city Wards that would be suitable for an off-leash dog park/area. Taking in mind that this will have to be done in a tight resource allocation budget.
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?
If elected, it will need buy-in from all stakeholders in Transcona and other areas of the city. There is no one easy answer to change things. The budget restraints and citizens wanting allocations for many projects, it will come down to convincing everyone involved that off-leash dog areas/parks is a priority. I think, as stated before, a first step would be creation of a working group with all stakeholders to come up with feasible plans and move forward with them. I also think if we could come up with a private/public funding agreements, moving forward with increasing off-leash dog areas would most likely move faster. Living in Trnascona I have family members that take their dog to the “bio-reserve” to run free. I agree we need a much more suitable area in Transcona for dog owns. Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.
  • blake

    September 24, 2014, am30 2:25 AM

    Thank-You for your answers. As a dog owner I appreciate that some thought went into your answers. I would be willing to work with people like you. Who knows maybe we can get the ball rolling and make Transcona more dog friendly by adding more dog friendly areas. I too use the bioreserve to walk my dogs since the offleash area between Plessis and Hoka was closed. The bioreserve is a great option but it is not city property. There is also some confusion as to whether dogs can be leash free. When I contacted Fort Whyte (managers of the property) about walking dogs off leash they didn’t have a problem with dogs walking offleash. However we have met walkers in the bioreserve who suggested dogs must be on a leash in the bioreserve, Thanks again for supporting dogs.

    • George Baars-Wilhelm

      September 24, 2014, pm30 6:03 PM

      Thanks Blake,

      I think there are ways to make more off-leash areas happen that won’t break the bank, so to speak. We are pet lovers ourselves and our parents do fostering off dogs when needed… They use the bio reserve too, as there is no official areas in Transcona. Check out my website for more info.

      If you have any questions just use the contact form on my website.

      If you like my ideas, I hope you’ll vote for me, or pass on my info to others..

      Thanks again

      George Baars-Wilhelm

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