Beach dog confusion

Recently, I noticed a new sign at the public entrances to the beach on Butterball Drive restricting dogs to be on leash when on the beach.

  • Jul. 16, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Recently, I noticed a new sign at the public entrances to the beach on Butterball Drive restricting dogs to be on leash when on the beach in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

I have lived here for nine years and walked my dogs on the beach off leash, with no incidents. My questions are: when, why and by who were these changes made? And why was there no public notification of pending changes?

So I called the number on the sign. The respondent did not know when the signs were put up, or by whom. He gave me a number for the Ministry of Forests. The number is no longer in service, and gave a new number.

So I called that number again and informed the respondent that the number had been changed and the new number was his. He was totally unaware of the change, but gave me the number of the local Ministry of Environment. Of  course it is not open on the weekend and furthermore would not accept any voice messages.

If dogs on the beach, off leash, offer a threat to wildlife and the environment, what about boats, paddle boarders, kayakers, etc. Or just people and noisy kids running around on the beach?

Where do the restrictions end?

And how are they all going to be enforced? I would hope that our police and bylaw and conservation enforcement officers have more important things to worry about than dogs off leash on a wide expanse of beach.

Maeva lowenQualicum Beach