Bureaucracy with a touch of bias and prejudice

LETTER: Armstrong resident trying to be proactive comes up against reactive municipal government

More than a year ago I had new neighbours move in and to my surprise they brought with them three less than friendly pit bull dogs who routinely bark and jump at the fence whenever I am in my yard.

I tried to befriend the dogs but the owner warned me that they would bite as they were very protective.

One of the dogs, the more aggressive of them escaped the fenced yard but was retrieved before it inflicted any harm to any one or dog for that matter. The fence was repaired and to date the dogs remain within their property.

Between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. I am awakened to the sound of the dogs being released from the garage for their pee break at which time they bark, whine and basically run around the yard until placed back into the garage for the day.

A neighbour informed that he had three dogs when he moved into the neighbourhood but he was warned and ordered to comply with the dog bylaw which stipulated he could possess only two dogs thus he complied to the bylaw having to give up one of his dogs.

On speaking with the dog owner in question she advised she was aware of the two dog bylaw. She advised that the dog control officer had properly licensed the dogs since moving to Armstrong and her having three dogs was not an issue according to the bylaw officer.

I subsequently had a meeting with the Armstrong Bylaw supervisor discussing the situation and he reiterated that there had not been any prior reports regarding the dogs as being a danger to the public and until such time that an incident was reported no further action would be taken. I attempted to make point that my intention was to be pro-active rather than reactive regarding the danger imposed by these dogs.

Here we are a year and half down the road and the three dogs remain on this property and to add insult to injury the Bylaw Supervisor informed that the three dogs will be re-licensed for 2018!

Furthermore the Bylaw Enforcement Supervisor advised that this case has been reviewed by Mayor and Council members and they are supportive of the actions taken by dog control and bylaw officers.

What have I learned as result of this process? That government no matter how large or small operate within their own interpretation of law/rights and without the transparency they offer when campaigning for public office.

In this case it is going to take injury or death to another dog or a person to right this wrong and once again the general public fall victim to bad decision by those in authority who have been sworn into office to serve and yes protect its citizens. I have lived in Armstrong for more than 30 years four of them as a member of the RCMP and know full well the ideology of proactive versus reactive enforcement of our rights and laws.

It is time for the City of Armstrong to demonstrate integrity and accountability to its citizens…but I will not hold my breath!

Like any government or organization it is only as good as its leadership…that we should all know by now and this is just a sample of incompetent leadership in true form!

Unfortunately we see examples of “incompetence in government” at all levels on a daily basis. We must not ignore the fact that media play a huge role in this problem which worsens by the day.

Len Eddy


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