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LETTER: Still plenty of leash-optional parks in Saanich


As attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Letter writer Jan Cook (Nov. 15 Saanich News) claimed “All (Saanich) parks are leash only, except for a few off-leash optional ones between 6-9 a.m.”

This is not correct. In fact, the new bylaws clearly outline 56 Saanich parks that are leash-optional at all times. A further 43 Saanich parks are designated leash-optional from 6-9 a.m. This information is clearly available on the Saanich municipal website. As the amendments to the bylaw were just passed Oct. 30, it is understandable that Saanich has not put up physical signs in every one of these 99 parks yet. Give them time.

The writer goes on to say that “Extend-a-leashes are not allowed in Saanich, period.”

This is not correct. All of the 99 leash-optional parks explicitly allow retractable leashes to be used. They may not be used on sidewalks and also on trails in parks that are designated leash only such as Mount Tolmie Park, Rithet’s Bog or other environmentally sensitive areas clearly listed in the bylaws. If anyone would like to argue that they require a 14-foot-long leash on a four-foot-wide sidewalk or trail, feel free.

I encourage readers to visit the Saanich Parks website for themselves to see what the actual regulations are, before credulously repeating a click-bait headline, or something that they may have heard somewhere from someone. All visitors are welcome to bring dogs to Saanich. The 99 different off-leash parks will probably satisfy them. I’m not sure if there is a mythical land where all dogs are allowed to run free at all times in every single one of their local parks, so I don’t think they’ll be too upset.

D. Hutchinson