Dogs the focus of debate in Oyama

Owen Dickie wants dogs to walk along rail corridor until decisions made

A Lake Country politician is insisting people walking their dogs continue that tradition.

Coun. Owen Dickie insists the old rail corridor, across the Oyama isthmus and along the east side of Wood Lake to the end of the Canada Lands site, remain off-leash for dogs until there has been public input.

“It’s an area people have walked their dogs for at least the 25 years I’ve lived here,” he said.

However, he says some residents have been approached by bylaw staff for walking their dogs off-leash since the district purchased the rail corridor.

“It’s not fair to residents because we promised there would be no changes (in policies) without consultation,” said Dickie.

“We should maintain the status quo until there is consultation.”

Beyond the corridor, Dickie says off-leash rules would continue for beaches enclosed by swimming buoys.

Council will consider Dickie’s notice of motion at a later date.

“We have a difference of opinion on where there’s a change in use there,” said Mayor James Baker.

“We are asking people to stay off the rail trail.”

However, Dickie insists the district has described the trail corridor as undeveloped and people use it at their own risk.

“You can go on the trail any hour of the day and someone is on the corridor,” he said.