Opinion

Dogs deserve their day in Nelson's downtown

Dogs on Baker Street? We say it
Dogs on Baker Street? We say it's time to give at a shot.
— image credit: Megan Cole photo

Getting dogs back in the downtown scene received a less than enthusiastic response from politicians last week.

The Nelson Business Association presentation took place during a committee of the whole meeting where council rarely makes decisions, but reaction from those who will make the ultimate call was rather icy.

The business association charged former councillor Margaret Stacey with presenting the report which has been in the works for several months. Stacey told council the majority of businesses in the downtown have agreed that the dog ban in our city’s core needs to be revisited. The business group is suggesting a six month trial period of allowing leashed canines in the downtown.

“If they feel that that’s the most important issue for them in the downtown core, then clearly we have a responsibility to look into it,” said Mayor John Dooley. “But we have to take into consideration the greater good when we look into it.”

It certainly doesn’t sound the mayor is jumping on side at this point.

Other councillors, like Robin Cherbo, made their position pretty clear to local media. Cherbo was heard on 103.5 The Bridge telling a story about his brush with a less than cooperative dog owner in Lakeside Park.

It doesn’t look promising for a lifting of the ban and we feel that’s a mistake.

It’s been many years since the Nelson Business Association has waded into issues of policy in our community. And though they are just one of many interest groups in this city, the fruits of their labour on this issue deserves respect. Association members have invested a lot of time in meetings and discussion to get this point and it’s council’s responsibility to listen to its constituents.

The trial period is completely reasonable. Let’s lift the ban, monitor it closely and then spend next winter discussing the outcome.

Every candidate that ran in November’s election threw out the “I will listen to constituents” concept at some point. Here’s the first major test of whether those we elected are ready to follow through on their promise.

 

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