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LETTER: Senior pet owners deserve better access to Cadboro Bay

I want to bring to your attention the recent decision by Saanich related to dogs in Cadboro Bay Gyro Park.

Saanich has recently (May 2021) voted to allow leashed dogs on selected pathways in Gyro Park. This was an important vote because it allows the community (primarily seniors) to walk safely with their dogs, and at the same time, families with kids do not feel threatened by dogs. In a period in which seniors are already confined to their homes because of COVID-19 issues, the ability to walk their dog and talk with other seniors is essential for their mental and physical health.

However, Saanich disagrees with this. Saanich very recently (June 2021) changed their mind, and now after 9 a.m., leashed dogs are not allowed to walk on the cement pathway in Gyro Park. This means that seniors now have to walk with their dogs to the end of Cadboro Bay beach (toward Tudor Avenue), go up the road using a narrow path (full of large logs), and walk on the road back to Cadboro Bay Village (there is no sidewalk).

I am not a senior, but I have witnessed this. It was sad to talk with the seniors and hear from them that a Saanich supervisor at Gyro Park told them that they could not walk their leashed dogs to go home.

Is Saanich trying to punish the seniors and others in the community who peacefully use Gyro Park and Cadboro Bay beach? In the middle of a global pandemic, Saanich decided that their priority is to forbid leashed dogs to walk on a cement pathway. That is a decision that does not build a community.

Maycira Costa