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LETTER: Dog walkers have been used as a scapegoat for park degradation


To be brief, I am totally against Saanich council’s People, Pets and Parks strategy.

I understand that one park in particular is overcrowded on weekdays and in the summer, but if you just need to reduce park use, you can do it in a fairer way. You could restrict dog walkers from using that park on weekends or during peak hours.

I stopped going to that park 10 years ago because the signs were quite accusatory and it made me upset to be falsely accused. The ‘friends’ of that park have been a very strong lobby group and an anti-dog group, and listening to one voice only is a conflict of interest for council.

I suppose that if you want to be seen as preserving parkland then reducing park usage is a quick and easy fix. You can say to the public, ‘See, dog walkers were really the culprits causing park degradation’ when in reality the park has only improved because you have removed a large percentage of the park users. Using a scapegoat is a time-honoured method for politicians but I never thought that I would see it in Saanich where I have lived for 58 years.

So sad and I am very disappointed in every member of council, especially the ones who hid their bias during the election period. It seems to me that it only takes under 10,000 votes to get elected to council. Every member of council will now have many more no votes than that. I, for one, will not put up with ignorance and unfair bias in my civic leaders, even if they think they are doing it for the ‘common good’ as they see it.

Wendy Yzenbrandt