Parksville has been a camping destination of ours for several years so now that we live here it was no surprise to see the signs going up banning dogs from the beach for the months of March and April during the Brant migration. However, it has been a surprise to see how many people ignore and completely disregard the signs and the laws and take their dogs on the beach anyway.
I walk my dog on the boardwalk most days and there has never been one day during the two months when I have not seen at least four dogs on the beach. Some people do not know of the ban and once they read the information and realize there is a fine, they leave the area without a problem. I have seen others read the signs, shrug as if it does not apply to them, and just keep on walking on to the beach letting their dogs off leash as they go. I have also encountered people with dogs running free along the water’s edge chasing the birds and others throwing stones at them. I believe there should be a sign at every entrance to the beach from the boardwalk, not just in a few places and then no-one can say they didn’t see any notice or sign.
More than a few times I have called the phone number on the sign only to be told that they are not responsible for monitoring the area. Then after calling the bylaw office I was told that there is no-one available to follow up. So, I want to know who is responsible and why is the conservation department phone number on the signs if they won’t do anything about the law breakers and why bother to put up the signs at all if there is nobody monitoring the situation?
If there is a mandate to protect the wildlife during this time, why not have more bodies on the beach and the boardwalk to keep the people who think they are above the law, (who are either blind or deaf or totally indifferent to the notices and the other people trying to be helpful letting them know of the ban), away from the area and make sure they pay the fines if they are caught.
I have had more than one person hurl abuse at me for reminding them that dogs are banned from the beach and quite frankly it makes me mad to see how many people break the law and get away with it.