An off-leash dog chases a bird in Cadboro Bay. (Photo submitted)

Study finds no ‘harmonious solution’ to Saanich off-leash dog restrictions

Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association present findings to council Sept. 28

The issue of dogs on beaches will come before Saanich council but may be put on hold as the federal government studies the impacts of off-leash canines on migratory birds.

In early 2020, Coun. Karen Harper submitted a report highlighting issues with off-leash dogs on beaches and called for a bylaw review.

When the topic came before council in February, public input from those advocating both for and against a bylaw review dominated the meeting. After hearing the extent of the debate, council postponed a vote to allow the Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association (CBRA) to conduct community consultation.

On Sept. 28, the CBRA will present a report outlining the result of the public consultation to council, however, Harper noted it’s unlikely Saanich will take any action in the near future.

Over the summer, the federal government notified all municipalities bordering the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary that it will be partnering with the Canadian Wildlife Service to study “the impacts of at-large dogs on migratory birds” in Greater Victoria, she said.

The CBRA report – submitted to council Aug. 31 – suggests Saanich either stick to the status quo with more enforcement and better signage or make drastic changes to the leashing rules with fewer off-leash areas.

Despite the pandemic, the CBRA conducted consultation over the summer, said spokesperson Liz Miller.

In June, a preliminary report – that compiled observational data, resident comments and environmental reports – was released and suggested minor changes to improve dog walkers’ beach access, implementing partial leashing and a dog-free beach zone or enforcing full leashing and a dog-free beach zone. CBRA then launched a public survey.

The goal was to come up with a solution that would make residents on both sides of the matter feel welcome at local beaches, Miller said. However, once the survey closed, the committee began work on the final report and found no “harmonious solution.”

“It’s a difficult issue with no quick resolution,” Miller said.

Harper agreed that the CBRA’s task was an impossible one and commended the volunteers for their efforts.

She’s pleased the federal government, which has jurisdiction over the bird sanctuary, announced the study as she’d called for an in-depth review of the matter in her initial motion. She expects a decision won’t be made until the federal government’s study is complete.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

beachesbirdsDistrict of SaanichDogs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Const. Graham Walker of the Saanich Traffic Safety Unit recreates an incident involving a driver who police say attempted to film the scene of a crash while driving up Highway 17. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police track down driver caught filming accident scene on Pat Bay Highway

Driver issued $368 ticket, points on their licence

Victoria High School. (Black Press Media file photo)
Alumni Association abandons plans for eight-lane track at Vic High

SD61 spokesperson says easement, which makes 8-lane track impossible, left out of consultation

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak appreciates the efforts of residents and business owners who took part in the VicPD community survey. The questionnaire saw a combined nearly 1,000 respondents from Victoria and Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD survey says: overall satisfaction positive, accountability needs work

Respondents feel safe during day, not so much at night; more police presence would help

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is looking for this man, who they say stole a charity box. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers looking for man who stole charity box from Saanich grocery store

Anyone with information asked to call Crime Stoppers

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read