Although I place scant faith in rumour, a person I trust recently related a story about a dialogue with a municipal bylaw employee.
When asked about whether or not fines were in place for people not picking up after their dogs or not controlling their dogs on Whiffin Spit my friend was told that they were, but weren’t generally enforced. Then was told that “when the dog park goes in, Whiffin Spit will become an on-leash area anyway.” Again, rumour. However, disturbing if true.
On June 13, a Sooke councillor made their obvious bias against dogs on Whiffin Spit very public in a Times Colonist article about the new dog park in Langford. This lends credence to the rumour.
In my opinion, people that don’t pick up after their dogs still won’t do so regardless of whether or not the dog is on leash. Dogs on leash can still react badly if not properly controlled. Off leash parks are good in dense residential areas but are not a perfect solution in all situations.
A better way to “clean up” Whiffin Spit is frequent, irregular (so they don’t know you’re coming) patrolling of the area by bylaw enforcement. People not acting responsibly within the definitions of the bylaw should be fined. The fines will both act to curb unwanted behaviour and increase revenue.
Asking people to behave sometimes works. Shaming them in the pocketbook is normally much more effective. Again, rumour and personal opinion only.